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Euston Street Primary School
Euston Street, BT6 9AG, UK Belfast
+44 (0)2890 457089

Euston Street School

'While I breathe I learn'

The first school in the street  was actually known as Brown Memorial School but this became a part of  Euston Street Public Elementary School when the newly erected building  was opened in 1926.   The building was designed by W.G. Davies on the 'double quad' pattern, initially pioneered by R.S.  Wilshere.

 The laying of the foundation stone, by the Lady Mayoress, Lady Turner, took place on  the 21 January 1925, while the official opening ceremony was performed by the Minister of Education, Viscount Charlemont, on Friday, 2  July, 1926 (see Newspapers for details).

The first principal, Mr W. A. Loughlin Boyd, presided over 1,000 pupils, aged from 5 to 12, for the princely sum of 9 pounds a week.  He was assisted by Mr Kirkpatrick,  Miss Florence Millar (VP), Miss Emily Foster, Miss Sarah Foley, Miss Mary Foley, Miss Jane Foley, Miss Mary Holden, Miss Harriet Collins, Miss Milly Todd, Miss Edith McKegney, Miss May Nixon, Vera Empey, Eveline Gransden  and Miss Margaret Allen.  The average salary for a teacher then was around £6 a week.

Among the earliest pupils, one, John Ritchie, later became famous as a Belfast Celtic footballer.  Other famous footballers included Jackie Patterson, who played for Linfield, and John Anderson, who played for Glentoran.

During the war, despite being close to the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard, Euston Street School escaped major bomb damage, although it 'lost' almost 200 students due to evacuation, relocation or to the workforce.  Six teachers disappeared from the books as well.

Things quickly returned to normal after the war and, apart from changes in staff (Cecil Bell was appointed headmaster in 1946), things continued as normal until the 1954.  Shortages of other premises - and a local demand - lead the Belfast Education and Library  Board to set up a part-time library service on the school premises.  This proved very popular with local adults and children alike - so much so, that when it was threatened with closure, local residents sent in a petition of protest!  [see Libraries for details]  The library service survived until  the early 1990s.

In 1978 a local housewife asked Lord Melchett, the Minister of Education, why there was no provision for nursery education in the area.  He investigated, and wrote to tell her that plans were afoot.  Shortly afterwards a  nursery school was opened on school premises. 

Pile of books
Secondary Sources

Loose pages
Primary Sources

Mother, daughter and grandchild
Other Sources

 Cartoon people linking arms

Over the years Euston Street School has taken an active interest in local and national events and charitable fundraising.  In 1987 the children raised £1,000 for the NSPCC; in 1988 they won first prize in the 'Industry Matters' competition for their building project; 1993 they raised money for Leukaemia Research;  in 1994 they won a competition organised by Boots the chemists to buy sports equipment and recently they won £10,000 in a Belfast Telegraph competition, 'Building for the future'.

Euston Street School continues today to build for the future by educating the children of the area, by taking an active role in community events and by the dedication and hard work of its staff.  That the children are inspired by their time there is evident by the work they produce: below is 'My favourite building' by Catherine Murphy - a lovingly crafted drawing of Euston Street School.

Two drawings of Euston Street School and garden

Euston Street Primary School continues to take part in community and national events.  
This is their exhibition for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations.  
Even the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr. Jim Rodgers,  was impressed!

Secondary Sources

When people have looked at original documents and carried out research, they will often publish, as a book or a pamphlet, what they have found out.  If you use such a book or pamphlet, this is known as  doing 'Secondary Research'.  This is because you are getting the information 'second-hand' rather than getting it yourself from the original source.  

Examples of Secondary Sources include:


Street Directories

The Internet

The Media

The problem with Secondary Sources is that you cannot be sure that all the information has been recorded accurately.  The writer may have missed a bit, or got the facts wrong, or even twisted the facts to give a different impression of what really happened.

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are first hand accounts, usual unique documents (or 'records'), that recorded things as they happened.    The following list is just some of the primary sources you can use.

Department of Education Records

School Registers and other School Records

School books  

Maps and Plans

The problem with Primary Sources  is that not all of them  have survived,  some parts may be  torn or missing and sometimes they can  be very  difficult to read.   This can be because the paper has discoloured or the ink has faded or simply that the handwriting is very bad.  

Other Sources

Other Sources include museums and libraries but can also include what is known as 'Oral History'.  This is when you listen to someone talking about their experiences.  People to talk to include:



Past pupils


Don't forget, though, that someone's memory may not be very reliable.  Sometimes people can forget things, or 'remember' things in a way that didn't actually happen.

primary schools in Belfast, secondary schools in Belfast, schools in Belfast

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