Pupil from the 1930s

In 2009, one of our first pupils returned to Finaghy PS on the eve of our 75th anniversary.

Dougie Adams

Dougie Adams attended Finaghy Primary School from 1938 until 1946. One of 12 children, he grew up in a small house in Lille Park where his mum and dad slept in the kitchen.

His older sister Marjorie, who moved to Australia, was by virtue of her surname the first girl in the first roll book when the school opened in 1934.

Dougie’s connection to the school was renewed when his wife Jean became the school secretary in 1982 and remained in post for 16 years. Dougie, sadly since passed, was guest of honour at the school’s 75th anniversary celebration at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast on May 23 2009.

Dougie: “In those days things were a bit more harsh. If you stepped out of line you would have suffered the cane, or maybe even a slap! The boys and girls came into school by separate entrances. In the classrooms, rows of silent children faced the front and a seat close to the cast-iron radiators was coveted.

“The war years were strange times for a child at school. There was a siren attached to the tower of the local church which was tested every Saturday and it scared the life out of us. There was an air-raid shelter in the grounds of the school and I look back with anxiety to the months of black-outs, rationing and the eventual Blitz.

“I remember working with our teacher Miss McDougall on a Japanese display which was hastily cancelled when news came through of Pearl Harbour.”

Belfast Telegraph article from 2009: