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‘Wonderful memories’ shared at two-day primary school museum exhibition in Tain


By Niall Harkiss

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Parents and grandparents were invited to attend.
Parents and grandparents were invited to attend.

An exhibition celebrating the history of Tain’s oldest primary school was heralded as an “amazing couple of days” last week.

Knockbreck Primary School opened its doors to parents, carers, previous staff and teachers to showcase the heritage of the 137-year-old building with a two-day museum exhibition, held on Wednesday June 5 and Thursday June 6.

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With funding from Knockbreck Parent Council, Tain Bowling Club, Albyn Housing and Tain Community Council, the “museum” featured a range of displays and work from existing pupils.

A display from Tain & District Museum included photos and information pieces, as well as an old classroom desk, complete with slate and belt.

Primary 7 pupils had worked on a history of Knockbreck during war years, complemented by class photos from over the years, and scrap books, folders and pictures showcasing pupil achievements.

An old classroom desk, along with a slate and belt, were part of the display.
An old classroom desk, along with a slate and belt, were part of the display.

Old newspaper reports, model and film clips were used to tell the story of the school’s historic fire, which hit the school in 1985.

Historic school plans, ranging from 1877 to the present day were also on show, included plans for the new 3-18 campus. Pupils in P5 also made a Lego replica of the current building.

In the main hall, clips of school highlights and interviews with school staff was playing for visitors to enjoy, while chromebooks were also on demand for P3 pupils to offer a lesson in the history of Knockbreck.

Film clips, prepared with help from Eden Court engagement team members Vicky MacRae and Ckak Hin Leung, also included favourite memories from P1 and P1 children, a P7 re-enactment of a flood which took place in 2022, and footage of P3 pupils singing Nova Nova at the St Duthus Pageant held every year in the Collegiate Church.

Tea and coffee was also provided with home baking from White Cottage Bakery.

Knockbreck Primary head teacher Jane Mackay, who was featured in a ‘headteacher timeline’ drawn by P1s and P7s, said the “whole community came out to support” their museum.

A portrait of head teacher Jane Mackay, as draw by Knockbreck pupil Ayesha, P1.
A portrait of head teacher Jane Mackay, as draw by Knockbreck pupil Ayesha, P1.

Mrs Mackay said: “It was the most amazing couple of days, with visitors of all ages, sharing their wonderful memories of Knockbreck Primary School.

“There was a huge turnout with people returning on the second day as they didn’t manage to get round everything on the first day.

“It was lovely to see the whole community come out to support our project. It was extremely hard work for everyone involved but the end result made it all worthwhile.

“The building itself has so much history and it is important for everyone to get the chance to celebrate the part it has played in the history of Tain, and the fond memories it has created for us all.”

A display board from Tain & District Museum containing historic information and photos was a feature of the museum.
A display board from Tain & District Museum containing historic information and photos was a feature of the museum.
Knockbreck Primary pupils drew pictures of their favourite memories. This is a selection of memories from P3 children.
Knockbreck Primary pupils drew pictures of their favourite memories. This is a selection of memories from P3 children.
Primary 5 pupils taking some time to view the display.
Primary 5 pupils taking some time to view the display.
Knockbreck pupils worked on a 3-D model of the school.
Knockbreck pupils worked on a 3-D model of the school.
Pupils from all years were invited to take part in the display.
Pupils from all years were invited to take part in the display.

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