Museum celebrates Dalriada anniversary

The latest exhibition at Ballymoney Museum is an entertaining glimpse through the last 75 years at Dalriada School.

Dalriada School has a long and distinguished history and first opened in 1878. In 1937, it moved to its current site on St. James’s Road and the exhibition celebrates this important anniversary with film, pictures, artefacts and anecdotes of classroom life since then.

Visitors will have the opportunity to look through folders of archive photographs and OLD newspaper reports. Films made by Charlie McAfee are also screened in the gallery, showing the 1951 Sports Day and the school centenary in 1978. The objects on display explore school life through the decades and colourful exhibition panels feature themes such as theatre, music, debating, sport and ‘The Prep’. Old uniform, exercise books, badges, certificates and other memorabilia will bring back many fond memories for old Dalriads and highlight the diverse opportunities for pupils at Ballymoney’s oldest post-primary school.

The Mayor of Ballymoney, Councillor Evelyne Robinson said: “I am delighted that Ballymoney Borough Council can share in Dalriada School’s celebrations with this exhibition at our museum. Dalriada School continues to grow and is a vital part of our community. Many pupils from local families have been fortunate to attend the school and have achieved their career ambitions thanks to the dedication and support of the accomplished staff. This is an important milestone in the school’s history and I wish them well with their other celebrations.”

Mr Brian Dillon, Chairman of the Board of Governors, expressed his thanks to Ballymoney Museum for organising the exhibition and bringing the spirit of Dalriada so vividly to life. “This fascinating exhibition provides many examples of the tradition of excellence in Dalriada down through the decades. I am pleased that Dalriada still produces happy, high achieving pupils today, who excel in as many different fields as their predecessors did thanks to the quality of teaching and learning in the school and the commitment of pupils, parents and staff ”.

Mr. Tom Skelton, Headmaster added his personal comments: “As a former pupil, parent and current Headmaster, I am extremely proud to be part of the Dalriada community. Although education has changed dramatically over the years, Dalriada still retains its unique ethos where pupils, teachers, parents and governors feel valued and respected. As we approach the 75th Anniversary of the School on our present site, I hope we can all attend and support the programme of events to celebrate this landmark and share our pride in Dalriada School.”

The exhibition ‘Dalriada School: 75 years at St.James’s Road’ opens on Monday, 8 October and finishes on 10 November. Admission is free. Opening hours are Monday-Thursday & Saturday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-4.30pm. For further details, please contact Ballymoney Museum, Ballymoney Town Hall, Townhead Street, Tel: 028 2766 0230 or Email: museum@ballymoney.gov.uk .

In addition to the museum’s exhibition, Dalriada School has organised a series of events to commemorate its 75 years at St. James’s Road, including a service of Thanksgiving, a night of drama & nostalgia, an ‘Evening of Music’ and a celebration of sporting achievements. For further details see www.dalriadaschool.com .