Even the dog understood the language!

From Harry Foy's Book  'Growing up in Portadown in the Thirties and Forties'

In 1933 the old Curran Street school for boys closed and students were transferred to a new school in Carleton Street. The headmaster was Mr Carragher who was a great Gaelic scholar. The whole family spoke Irish when at home and apparently their dog only understood commands given in the native tongue. The other masters were Sean Donnelly, Tom Berry, Chris Mangan and Mr Stewart. Later, Mr McShane became headmaster. I remember bazaars and American teas being held in the school to raise funds. Although the school had a science room, I can't remember science ever being taught. Mr McShane was a great believer in further education and almost half the class was encouraged to go on to the Tech or secondary school in Armagh, a wonderful achievement in those days. We had a very liberal education. Tommy Berry taught and acted out Shakespeare's plays; Sean Donnelly, a great musician, put on concerts and excerpts from Gilbert & Sullivan operas. Mr McShane encouraged participation in festivals especially the verse-speaking class. I had Master Stewart for two years. He was a great believer in the cane and we only sat down when writing. We stood around the classroom for geography, history, math's and English. In those days arithmetic books were shared so you had to borrow one from someone else in the street in order to do your homework.

One day we all looked forward to, was Friday, when the senior boys got to go to the Tech on the Armagh Road to learn woodwork under the watchful eye of George Thompson or "Nippy" Scott. We made egg-stands and towel rollers.

In spite of all the draw backs we left that school with first year algebra and geometry and the ability to do English précis and appreciation exercises. Thank God for those men who, despite the dark times in which we lived, instilled in us a love of music, reading and drama.
Market Day in Portadown.

Street gangs and fogging orchards.

The wee shops.

Colourful vendors.

The Canon's trip.

The Butterfly.

Greenaway's ghost.

Summer on the Bann.

The Great Lemonade Robbery.

My first day at school.

The packman.


Our House.

A long throw since skittles game was born.

The Gas Man Cometh.

In tune with the band.

Clubs and tickmen.

Donald Campbell Had nothing on us.

The Obinsville Cowboys.

Singing in the streets.

Such good sports.

The days of the sand quays.

The magic of Christmas.

Bombs - not sandwiches.

Skipping, football and cigarette cards.

Escape to the movies.

My first taste of plays.

Smuggling knew no borders.

The tale of the pigs.

Three brass balls.

Thanks for the memories.

First class show!.

Who could forget Mary Ann!.

Health remedies.

Fondly Remembered.

Going To The Dogs.


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