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Olderfleet Primary School, Larne, Co. Antrim

Olderfleet – The First 100 Years by Mrs McCarlie

by Mrs Irene McCarlie
Former Staff and Past Chair of Parents’ Association, Former Governor


Olderfleet School 1884 -1984

1884 29th July Olderfleet National School opened. It consisted of one large room 22’ x 35’ which was divided in half by presses. The ceiling was high and noise carried from one section to the other. A gallery 4ft high above floor level stored dining tables and contained a kitchen area.

First Larne Presbyterian Church was responsible for the school until 1923.

1923 Education (N.I.) Act

1946 December Annual prize distribution began.

1949 October Parents’ Association was formed.

1950 July First Sports Day

1950 A large wooden hut had been constructed at the top of the playground for the use of infants. From Mach 1951 this hut and main building was heated by oil fires – prior coal fires.

Notes from Management Committee Meetings

1951 Need for additional accommodation. 80 pupils; 2 teachers no partition in 1 room. 3 sites inspected – rejected, danger of traffic no council permission; too small low lying

1952 Feb 160 pupils – crowded premises.

1952 August Additional accommodation in Curran Hall.

1953 Purchased 2 vacant houses east side and 2 vacant shops west side of school – 1956

1957 Proposals for accommodating pupils during construction of new school.

1958 31st March Pupils moved to Parish and Methodist Halls

1959 4th May Report that new school was making excellent progress.

1959 December – New building completed

Central Hall 40’ x 30’  5 classrooms 25’ x 21’ and 26’ x 24’

1960 4th January – opened as a school

1960 22nd December – Official Opening

1964 Concern for increasing school population

1968 Summer – 2 mobile classrooms

1969 Annual Prize Distribution disbanded. Cups sent to Cultra Folk Museum as a sign of a passing era.

1975 Installation of telephone

Rolls 238 (Boys 120 Girls 118)

1984 15th April – Centenary Thanksgiving Service


1884 Mr John Mathers

1/10/1885 – 16/12/1886 Mr Henry Boyd, Kilwaughter

1886 – 1922 Mr Edward Young

1922 – 1947 Mr William Yeats came from Islandmagee. In August 1915 he was appointed Choirmaster (Precentor) and later Organist of First Larne Presbyterian Church – founder of Larne Male Voice Choir. Conductor Larne Philharmonic Choir and Deputy Ulster Male Voice Choir.

1/9/1947 – 30/9/1961 Mr David Hawthorne – trained in Marlborough St. Dublin, taught in Loughbrickland Primary Mullaghmossin Primary.

1/10/61 – 31/8/1975 Mr Samuel Frame Q.U.B. and Stranmillis – previous principal of Woodburn Primary.

1/9/1975 Mr William Burns Q.U.B. and Stranmillis – taught inn Primary 1963 – 75.


Larne Times – Thursday 22nd December 1960


A new primary school built at a cost of £30,000 on the site of the original Olderfleet Primary School, was opened in Larne last Friday afternoon by Mrs Kenneth A MacCormac, wife of the Director of Education for Co. Antrim.

The new building which has been in use for some time, comprises five classrooms and an assembly hall with all the usual ancillary accommodation. While the new school was being built, classes were held in various halls in the town.

The school’s flag was unfurled by Mrs M Lawson, a member of the local management committee.

Mrs MacCormac, who described the school as a beautiful building which filled a great need in the harbour area, said she hoped the pupils would benefit from the up-to-date facilities in the future.

Mr K.S. MacCormac thanked all those who had helped in the work of building the school. Some parents, he said, had at one time begun to despair of getting a school at all, but there had been great difficulties. He was delighted, however, to see the new school opened.

Mr W.J.F. Donald, Chairman of the County Education Committee, who presided, welcomed Mr & Mrs MacCormac and recalled that at one time they had lived in Larne.

A vote of thanks to Mrs MacCormac and Mrs Lawson was proposed by Mr T Gregg, a member of the management committee and seconded by Mr J. McCall. Mr Donald and the Education Committee were thanked by Mr C.E.F. Robinson,

The architect was Mr J Tomilson, Belfast and the main contractor was Samuel Hunter, Cross St Larne.