Goodbye to an old friend

After over a century of shaping futures, Pinwherry Primary school said goodbye to its last pupils on Monday.

The school was built in 1892 and opened a year later and ever since then has become a focal point of the village remembered fondly by its former pupils and staff.

And last Wednesday afternoon pupils past and present had one last trip down memory lane as they walked the classrooms for one final time.

“There’s a lot of memories in this place,” said one former pupil, “this school certainly turned me into the man I have become.

“It’s sad to see it close, it’s a big loss for a small community.”

In a touching and fitting speech, head teacher Celia Crawford said the school “installed many boys and girls with wonderful values that would stand them in good stead for the rest of their life.”

“Over the years the school saw pupils go to the first and second world wars, become home makers or tradesman, go to university and college and travel far shores.

“It is a testimony to the influence the school has had on their lives that so many came to take a walk down memory lane, such was the high esteem they held for their old school.

“The community enjoys a fantastic relationship with the school that stretches directly back to the Victorian era and right up to the present day.

“The records and hisorical documents are now in the Ayrshire archives where they will be held safe. The school has served the community well and we hope it will re-open soon for a different use.

“However, we are ringing the changes with the new purpose built Colmonell Primary that will be enjoyed by both current pupils and generations to come.”

Councillor Hywel Davies, South Ayrshire Council’s spokesman for Lifelong Learning, said: “Pinwherry Primary School has served the community well and I am sure that each of the children will enjoy their time at the new Colmonell Primary School, which is a fantastic facility, where they will be with their existing friends and have the chance to make new ones.”

At last Wednesday’s farewell to the school, the pupils also paid tribute to a close friend of the school, PC Bobby Bell. A song, written and performed by the pupils, reminisced about visits and talks PC Bell had given the pupils and of all the lessons he gave them.

Mrs Crawford added finally: “A school is more than bricks and mortar, it is all about the pupils, staff and the local community.”

Visitors were able to view photographs of a bygone era with some dating back to 1893 when the school was opened.

The school’s final prizegiving ceremony started with a piper leading pupils, staff and guests, from the school to the local community hall.

The pupils kept guests enthralled with their musical entertainment, followed by the presentation of prizes.

Every child in the school was presented with an atlas and a teddy bear dressed in Pinwherry Primary School uniform to commemorate the school.

The teddy bears were all made by the pupils.

After everyone was led back to the school by a lone piper, the oldest pupil in the school, Ellie Paterson, (12), had a very important task to perform - ringing the school hand bell for the very last time.