article celebrating the memories of past pupils and
teachers of Hilden Primary School, near Lisburn, took
on a more poignant message with the announcement that
the school is under threat of closure. (May
Article contributed by: Pat Mackell
Hilden Primary School and The
I lived in the village of Hilden between
1950 and 1965. My father John Mackell was a foreman
in No. 4 Twisting Room at the Barbour Threads factory.
The school had originally been set up to educate the
children of workers. The school was also non-denominational
with both Catholic and Protestant pupils.
The head teacher was a Mr Alexander Woodend,
a much respected and feared man by pupils, parents and
staff. A man of huge intellect, energy and presence.
He dominated any room he entered. Naturally therefore
his nickname was simply "the Wee Man."
He was a fierce disciplinarian and carried a concealed
thin bamboo cane down the inside of his left trouser
leg. At the first sign of any percieved wrong doing,
whoosh in a blur of Musketee movement the deadly weapon
was in his hand ready to dole out punishment.
Once I was sent to his office by another
teacher for laughing in class during "Sing
along with the BBC". He lectured me for several
minutes as I stood trembling in front of him. Eventually
the dreaded cane was produced and he told me to hold
out my hand: whoosh, thwack he hit his leather desk
six times while I stood in amazement. "Now
boy," he said, "go out of this office
and hold your hand as if you are in pain. Do not tell
anybody else that I let you off or you will get six
of the best for real. " As I walked out, several
dry lipped boys waited their turn.
My mother Bridgid Mackell was the cleaner for the school
which now has a team of contract workers to do the job
she did single-handed. After school when I stayed behind
to help her mop the long red tiled hall I was rewarded
by being allowed free reign to explore the school. One
of my favourite spots was the coke shute into the boiler
house: lift the steel manhole cover and there was a
ready made slide into the dark coke pile.
The school also had a great reputation in that it had
a 100% success rate in students passing the eleven plus.
However it should be added that "The Wee Man"
only allowed the brightest and best pupils to sit the
exam. After the 11 plus the selected few went to their
choosen grammar school. The rest were split into two
sub groups: the Protestant pupils went on to the state
comprehensive and the Catholic pupils stayed at Hilden
marking time until they went briefly to the Lisburn
Technical College at 15 (there was no Catholic secondary
school at that time). Between 12 and 15 the "last
class" was shared by different age groups oldest
at the back, youngest to the front.
After The Wee man retired I met him once in Lisburn.
I was by that time an officer in the Merchant Navy.
He remembered me and said he always knew I would end
up in a boiler room given my training on the coke shute.
He told me he was doing some lecturing to the officers
at Army Headquarters. He winked at me and said he liked
to have them trembling in their seats ... "unfortunately,"
he added whistfully, "I'm not allowed to use
Donald Watters - Mar '07
nice to hear from you, Sorry I can,t help you with the
Lambeg people you want to trace but maybe some of the
other forum readers can help. I only remember Freddie
Dixon faintly, he was a class or two higher .His sister
Margaret was in my class, she married another classmate
Eddie Hughes whose Gran lived in Bridge St. You also
mentioned Sunnymede, a girl from there was also in our
class, Rita Shaw. I wonder what became of her. She sat
in front of me beside Lily Nurse and left around 1955
to go to Grammer school. . I suppose she is also a Grandparent
now. I still think of all the classmates I remember
as young boys and girls and sometimes when I return
to Lisburn play the guessing game, looking at people
around my age ( 63 ) and trying to place them by thinking
of their mothers and fathers
Pat Mackell - Mar '07
Hello Marbeth. Nice to hear from you. I hope your mother
and family are all keeping well. Hilden seems a long
way back in time now; but it was a brilliant little
village to grow up in. We had great times there. My
own children have been raised on the yarns I recountfrom
my youth. No health and safety worries in those days...Shalom,
Jackie Wood - Mar '07
Donald, I read with interest your message but I was
amazed to see reference to the accident with Freddie
Dixon. My brother Bobby was with Freddie that day it
was Bobby's kite. da brought it back form the war. The
accident happened on a Sunday I remember it like yesterday,
it was the early fifties, my ma had commited the awful
sin of putting washing on the line on a Sunday yes a
Sunday. Poor soul she always blamed herself, the accident
was retribution for putting her washing out on a Sunday.
In those days we lived at Sunnymede then we came to
Lambeg ,Carisbrook Gardens I would love to contact names
form those days (I now live in England) some of the
names John Morrison poor John died after swimming in
the Lagan. Tommy Robinson drowned in the Lagan. I have
made contact with and met his brother Davy Robinson
in Torornto. Other names Raymong Gardner, John Curry
or Corry, Billy Bradley Drek Humphries, Tony Stanney,
the Morrow brothers Trevor and Merrill, Harold Stewert.
I know these where all Lambeg people but people from
Hilden my remember them please do put me in touch if
Marbeth Shields (nee Fletcher) - Feb
HI PAT It was great to read your article about Hilden
it brougt back a lot of fond memories regards to yourself
and your MUM Marbeth Shields nee FLETCHER Jan 07
Angela Mousley - Feb '07
My name is Angela Mousley (I attended Hilden Primary
School between 1981 and 1988 under the direction of
Mr Guest). I am delighted to hear that the School will
remain open as are my sister, Louise and brother, Michael.
My mother's family (McPolin) all attended the School
and have very fond memories of their schooldays. Congratulations
Thomas McCabe - Feb '07
Hi. My name is Tom McCabe. I was wondering if Adrienne
Carson nee Kennedy is my cousin. I lived on Strathearn
Place and my Father's sister married a Jimmy Kennedy
and he had a daughter Adrienne.
If so Hi Adrienne
Tom McCabe - Dec '06
I did not go to Hilden - I went to Wm Foote, but had
many friends at Hilden. The response which caught my
attention was from Adrienne - nee Kennedy. I wonder
if this is the daughter of Jimmy Kennedy who married
a McCabe and would be my cousin. She lived on Delacherois
Avenue - old Hilden Avenue.
Aidan Doran - Nov '06
so many names from the past.thanks to pat for getting
the ball rolling with his" wee man" article
and most of the posters i can remember. keep up the
Donald Watters - Dec '06
Pity that all the interest in " our wee school
" has dried up. Funny but it takes a crisis to
get the people to join forces.I hope that someone will
maybe propose and organise a reunion to celebrate the
school,s rescue and it,s 95 anniversity, ( two reasons
to celebrate ). None of us are getting any younger and
like I wrote earlier, the mill probably won,t be with
us much longer. Myself living abroad think often about
our " Alma Mater". It would be nice to meet
old friends and fellow pupils and play the guessing
game " Who is that "
Alan Boal (Kenneth Poots) -
I am looking for information about my birth mother Martha
Jane Poots and my grandparents Adam & Margaret Poots.
They lived in Mill Street, Hilden and worked in the
mill. If anyone has information please email me at hooky100
Moya Seaton - Oct '06
Great to hear from you. Yes the 'Tech' and of course
Hilden P S did the trick. I work for BT.
I will give your regards to Marbeth and family. It was
acturally Marbeth that alerted me to this web page via
your Mum. We still visit each other regularly I was
at hers last night (09 Oct).
Well Pat take care.
Moya Seaton - Sep '06
Great to hear from you. I am sure you enjoyed your time
in Florida. Dympna is still in Palm Beach Gardens and
comes 'home' quite often I will pass on your message
about Gabriel Kerr etc.
I too am very glad Hilden School has been resued thanks
to all who worked hard for it.
You are right my Dad was an army man, he passed away
20 Dec 1999. Pat, Tom and Briege Laverty are indeed
my cousins. Pat and Briege live in Tonagh and Tom sadly
was killed in an accident in Moira in Septemeber 1968
at 21 years old.
Donald hope you have a safe trip home.
Pat Mackell - Sep '06
Yes I do remember you and your family. I hope everyone
is well. I am also delighted that the school has been
saved from the axe and I am sure it will go from strengh
to strengh. Give my best to Marbeth Fletcher when you
see her as our families were great friends at that time.
Did the secretarial course at the Tech do the trick
and lead to a working life in the corporate world?
Mina Fletcher - Sep '06
Just to say thanks for you comments on this page and
regards to your Mother and the family.
Donald Watters - Sep '06
I'm here on Holiday in Florida until Sept. 28 with my
brother in law, Gabriel Kerr, who knows your sister
Dymphna very well. He met her here a few times in Florida
but lost her address and phone no. The last address
was West Palm beach here in Florida. Gabriel would like
to get in touch with her and asks if you would give
her his emaill address. It's "whokerrs 519 @aol.com"
or even mine , it's donfatijo @t -online.de as I can
send it to him. I remember you both, you were a little
younger, about my brother Eamon's age and Dymphna was
around mine. Tom and Pat Lavery were your cousins, how
are they? Most of all I remember your father who didn't
walk but marched, he was a very dignified tall person,
an ex military man if I remember.
We all attended Hilden School in the fifties, one big
family, our lives were centered around the Mill and
School. The Teachers were strict but fair. I'm pleased
it's been rescued.
Regards Donald Watters.
Moya Seaton - Sep '06
I'm Moya Seaton who went to Hilden P S (until 1963)
and I remember your Mum, Dad and family. I chummed about
with Marbeth + Cynthia Fletcher (Marbeth alerted me
to the website) I am sure you remember me now. My Granny
was Margaret (Maggie) Burns 163 Mill Street where I
used to stay sometimes as I lived in Lambeg. My sister
Dympna who is older than me went there too, does anyone
else remember us?
I always enjoyed my time at Hilden, Mr Woodend, Miss
Scanell, Mr Guest etc., I too was there until I was
15 years and went to 'The Tech' for 2 years on a Secretarial
I remember a lot of the people mentioned, Kingsmores,
Watters etc. My Mum Agnes (Burns) Seaton also worked
at Hilden Mill for a while. Hilden was always and always
will be special in the hearts of those who was associated
Veronica Kelly - Sep '06
I am so delighted that all your hard work and dedication
has paid off with a sensible and correct decision made
to keep the school open.Long may Hilden IPS, its students
and teachers grow and prosper!
Well done all!
Donald Watters - Sep '06
Glad to hear it worked out, keep up the pressure and
I hope the number of pupils increases soon, at the moment
I'm in Florida but hope the next time I'm in 'Norn iron'
to call in. By the way a reunion would be a very suitable
way to celebrate this happy event, possibly before they
knock down the Mill. A trip down memory lane for quite
a few. I missed the last one but would really make an
effort, Donald Watters.
Geraldine (Smith) Rumpf - Sep '06
As I read all of the articles, I was laughing at many
precious memories that came to mind, while attending
Hilden School. Christine (Kingsmore) I had a great laugh
reading about your love for my brother Peter when you
were 10! I know that I speak for many people to say
that we all had many special friends at Hilden as well
as the impact, many of the Teachers had on us. Miss
Sharkey, Mrs. Harbinson, Mr. Lenaghan, who tried to
get me to be able to play on the boys football team,
I will never forget the excitement, of putting on that
football kit and borrowing my brother's tough leather
boots that covered my ankles and hurt like mad! P6/7
class at the bottom of the corridor with 12 of us in
the class, taught by the firm but fair Mr. Guest. Preparing
for the 11-plus exam. Having school homework over the
summer holidays. I didn't enjoy it at the time but that
little school gave me such a great foundation for life
that just doesn't happen in the schools today. I
have 6 older brothers that attended Hilden and I was
disappointed that I could not attend the reunion. I
hope it stays open long enough to have another. Best
Wishes to all.
Jonny Millen - Sep '06
It was announced today 07/09/06 that Hilden Integrated
Primary is to remain open for the forseeable future.
The announcement was made to Mr T Conway by the SEELB
at a board meeting this afternoon. I am glad to be able
to let you know the good news, now the real work begins
to get the numbers up at the school so we don't face
this again in the future.
Mrs Carol Duffy - Sep '06
We did it! Today we found out the great news that Hilden
Integrated Primary School will remain open. We are looking
forward to a bright future. Thanks to all the magnificent
work carried out by the pupils, parents, staff, governors
and friends of Hilden throughout the community we have
won our campaign!
Ronnie Stevenson - Sep '06
Congratulations to all of you who fought so hard for
Hilden school. You must be very proud of your achievement.
You deserve everyone's praise. Thank you.
Brigid Mackell - Sept. 06
Just heard on the news about Hilden School.... I'm delighted
that this wonderful school has been saved. Worked there
in the 1960's as a cleaner/caretaker. Lived in Hilden
Village from 1950 until around 1964. Very happy memories
of both the Village and the School have enjoyed reading
all the comments and remembering old neighbours and
friends. Well done to everyone who fought to keep the
Donald Watters - Sep '06
BBC Northern Ireland recently published this article
to which I replied as below. Perhaps a few more Letters
may help Donald WATTERS Past pupil from 1949 until 1956
Dear Sir or Madam,
with regard to your article concerning integrated schools
in Northern Ireland, (see below ). Please allow me to
draw your attention to the fact that my old school near
Lisburn, Hilden Public Elementary school, which opened
in 1906 was always an integrated school and fighting
presently against closure by the Authorities was the
first, not as your article writes Lagan College.
regards Donald Watters
The first integrated school in Northern Ireland was
Lagan College which opened near Belfast in 1981 and
there are now 61 integrated schools with more than 18,500
pupils on the roll books.
Ian McPherson - Sep '06
As a listed building, the Hilden schoolhouse will be
open to the public as part of the European Heritage
days, about which you can read more here:
The school will be open on Saturday 9th 10am - 2pm,
and Sunday 10th, 3pm - 5pm. Admission is free to all
participating venues. Contact the school at:
4 Bridge Street, Hilden, LISBURN BT27 4RZ Tel: 028 9260
Past pupils would be very welcome as they can pass
on their memories, and we would also welcome those interested
in enrolling their children at the school who can see
what a beautiful building Hilden IPS is situated in,
as well as the general public and those interested in
fine architecture and local history.
The new school term starts today and it is expected
that the four SEELB commissioners will also be making
a decision on the school's future in the coming week.
Ronnie Stevenson - Aug '06
As one of three brothers who all attended Hilden it
saddens me to hear of its possible closure. It is a
sad commentary on the governance of our homeland when
one of the few genuine mixed schools, both in sex and
religion is the victim of a faceless people who pay
lip service to integrated education.
I wish those leading the fight to preserve Hilden school
every success in their endeavours.
To: Adrienne and Jim
As a side issue to this it is nice to see that you are
both well and hopefully enjoying life. I well remember
the happy times we had at school Adrienne especially
in the 11+ class.
In your case Jim I remember the Boys Club camps and
a particular walk up Slieve Donard when you were threatened
with being kicked down the mountain because you would
not stay with the group.
Happy days indeed.
All my regards,
Christine Kingsmore / Crawford - Aug
Hello Sammy - yes indeed your family and mine (Kingsmores
) where close I would go down on a Friday night and
your dad gave me sixpence and then Elizabeth and Hazel
would come up to my house 160 Mill Street, Hilden -
and granda would give us a sixpence each as you say
sammy your father and mine worked together. Indeed Sammy,
they where fantastic days great people you had great
parents I remember one day your aunt Maureen was going
to kill us because we took a dirty mop and washed the
windows in your house we thought we where helping but
it was a mess oh how I loved going into your house.
Your mother and father where fantastic people as where
my own mum who died in 1993 and dad in 1976 just 49
years old but no-one can take the memories away from
us sammy please take care tell everyone I was asking
Ian McPherson - Aug '06
Some updates. On June 27th, Lisburn City Council unanimously
passed a motion in support of Hilden School (proposed
by the DUP's Paul Porter); Seamus Close (Alliance) complained
about lack of democracy and underspending by the British
Government in NI education. The democratic-deficit was
seemingly confirmed on July 7th when Education Minister
Maria Eagle sacked the old SEELB board members (churchmen,
councillors, etc.) who were due to decide Hilden's future
and replaced them with four "commissioners".
However, despite setbacks, the process of hiring a new
principal is proceding well and parents and governors
are planning on making a presentation to the SEELB,
tentatively scheduled for August 16th. Plans for the
Barbour Mill site include family housing, apartments,
a gym, exhibition centre, restaurant, etc. New pictures
of the school and mill can be seen at: http://www.kiosk-korner.co.uk/hilden11.html
Despite a temporary problem with URL redirection, our
website has had 2200 hits and there are 71 messages
in the guestbook (only one of which was anti-Hilden).
Thanks again for everyone's interest and support.
Sam Lowry - Aug '06
I have read all these articles with great interest and
the memories come flooding back we lived at 179 mill
street hilden. I stumbled on this site by accident i'm
glad I did I still can't believe they would even contemplate
closing hilden school I have great memories of Christine
Kingsmore's family we were all good friends my dad and
christine's worked together for years and were very
close. Sadly my mum died in1999 and my dad died in 2001,
I still live in lisburn as does my brother Thomas sisters
Hazel and Teresa. Elizabeth lives in Moira hopefully
somebody remembers us
Christine Kingsmore / Crawford - June
Just to let you know Ian, I have written to Irene Knox
and will continue my support for the school - I loved
so much and got so much from that school. If there is
any other way I can help please contact me by email:
hildengirl1962 at hotmail.co.uk. I will help in what
every way I can.
Christine Kingsmore / Crawford - June
Dear Ian, as an ex pupil off hilden i am disgusted that
anyone would want to tear the heart out of our school
and it was our heart from my own memories of the school.
l recall so many happy times I was in shock when i was
leaving hilden school to go to st patrick's. The shock
came when i got my uniform and went to my friend's house
to see if she had got her uniform as she took it from
the wardrobe I explained to her that she had got the
wrong uniform or my mother has got me the wrong uniform.
But it turned out that we where going to be going to
different schools because of our religion what was religion
Well i was to learn the hard way as i was parted from
some of my friends but the good thing was it never made
any difference we remain friends to this very day. As
for hilden school there is not a school in the land
could have given me the start in my own life as i went
on to be a nurse. Yes of course my second school was
fine but my foundation and my roots came from hilden
school and they always will. I had the pleasure of being
on the first ever p.t.a. that hilden school ever had
and it was just like i had never left it.
When i think of hilden school i feel so proud to have
been a pupil as were all 10 of us, as were my aunts
mary and annie fullerton and my mother kathleen kingsmore
nee fullerton, my uncle john mcdermot who passed away
around 3 years ago age 94 went to hilden school along
with members of his family. I will support hilden primary
school as they supported me.
Ian McPherson - June '06
I have been sent a copy of very fine letter sent by
an ex-pupil to the SEELB in support of the school. In
the next week, before the end of the month, the Hilden
Parents Group and Board of Governors will be making
submissions to the SEELB. May I ask ex-pupils and /
or members of the Hilden community who wish to make
their support count to also write to: IRENE KNOX, Chief
Executive, SEELB, Grahamsbridge Road, Dundonald, BT16
2HS. I am very grateful for all the support and goodwill
so far received.
We also expect the Lisburn City Council to pass a resolution
in support of the school at its meeting on Tuesday,
June 27th, starting 7pm. I would advise that as many
supporters of the school as possible attend this council
meeting. Indeed, this whole campaign has been a huge
learning experience for me personally and I would advise
people generally to make sure they at least semi-regularly
attend their local council meetings and lobby their
councillors, MPs. MLAs, MEP, etc. They work for you!
There is an anti-small school agenda which is starting
to emerge into the public consciousness through "leaks"
to the press, etc. Small schools are the heartbeat of
their communities, they produce well-rounded, well-educated,
well-behaved children, and there is no evidence that
they cost more than large schools to maintain.
However, large new "core" schools - the SEELB's
current agenda - are easier for administrators to run,
regardless of the effects on children and society now
and in the future. Spurious evidence about falling numbers
contradicts the government's official line that Northern
Ireland's birth-rate is among the highest in the EU
and that our population is rising. Capping the size
of large schools and filling up small local community
schools makes more sense, don't you think? Thank you
for supporting Hilden School - long live the small school!
Adrienne Carson - June '06
Glad to see my brother send his support, I phoned him
to tell him the news and he was annoyed. I remember
most of the people Christine mentioned. The Harrissons
the Phillips and the Sheridans and I could name eyery
family that lived in Hilden. I forgot to mention Mr
Guest in my peice he was great he would come to the
park some days and play tennis with our class. I met
him a few years ago at Mrs Woodend's funeral which I
and a few past pupils attended, and it was great to
see him and talk of times past. I wonder if he knows
about the school.I'm sure he would give his support.
Best wishes Adrienne.
Sharon Curran - June '06
I have been teaching Key Stage 1 at Hilden IPS for eight
years. It is great to read all the support from past
pupils and friends of Hilden IPS. I believe it is a
school worth fighting for, we may be small but we have
a lot to offer and the family atmosphere is rarely found
in bigger Primary schools. Please keep supporting us
- we want to be open for our hundreth anniversary and
Adrienne Carson nee Kennnedy - June
Lovely to read all the comments from pupils of Hilden.
It brings back so many memories. MY brother Jim sends
his regards to all who remember him. He says hello to
Donald. Even my children support the school just from
hearing me talk about it. Keep up the good work.
Christine Kingsmore / Crawford - June
Hello all, well I think if these people read this page
maybe they would think twice about Hilden school. Jim
Kennedy, I lived in 160 mill street hilden with my grandparents
and 2 aunts, it was a great place to live and go to
school - memories off happy times. I hope and pray that
the children will get a lot of happiness from the school
in years to come.
Pat Mackell - June '06
Christine - You are a gold mine of information and should
write it all down. I recognise all the Hilden family
names you mention. Isn't funny you coming across the
photograph of my father John Mackell. He died a few
years ago but always talked about Hilden, the school
and Barbour Threads where he spent most of his working
life, with great affection. My mother Bridget Mackell
is still fit and well and is visiting me in England
at the end of July. She has most of the copies of the
Newsletter you mention: what date is the one you have?
I was very sad to learn of the death of your brothers
at such a young age please accept my sympathies.
I recall The Fletcher family well as Mina Fletcher
was friends with my mother and often spent the evening
in our house. I am sure she will not mind me saying
but she could talk the hind legs off a donkey sometimes
keeping us entertained into the wee hours.
I am amazed at the response my original article has
provoked; and it is a testament to the quality of education
and life we all shared in that small corner of Ireland.
Hilden school provided the common denominator to generations
of children of every religion and none. Jim Kennedy's
contribution on this page sums it up more eloquently
than I can; but a school that produced rounded, tolerant
and productive individuals should not be swept away
at the stroke of some beaurocrats pen. Keep up the fight.
Ian McPherson - June '06
Fantastic contributions, especially the testimonials
from past pupils. I would be very grateful if people
like Jim Kennedy would allow me to quote them on our
Jim Kennedy - June '06
46 Bridge Street, Hilden
152 Mill Street, Hilden
Two addresses that are in my Soul. My life began in
the first on 17 July 1941, known as the Back Street,
continued in the second, known as the Front Street,
to which we flitted about six years later. Flitting
from the Back Street, especially the lower part near
the wee race to the Front Street was considered to be
moving up in the world in those days, everything in
the Front Street seemed brighter somehow, although the
people were just the same.
I started Hilden Public Elementary School when I was
about 4, progressed through the classes until I entered
for the Eleven Plus which we knew as the qualifying
examination, which I passed, as one of the 100% who
never failed under ‘Alex’ Woodend. I attended
St Malachy’s College, Belfast for four years,
then served an apprenticeship at the University Press,
Castlereagh. I moved to London in 1965 to work in the
Printing Trade, where I worked for the next thirty years,
the last fifteen of those in Government Printing for
HMSO, where we did the printing for the House of Commons
and the House of Lords. During those thirty years in
London I have worked with and lived among a cross-section
of most of the World’s peoples.
The reason I am giving this potted history is, that
although my working life was nothing out of the ordinary,
to go and live and work in another country and mix with
a melting pot of people requires character and respect
for others, and that is exactly what I learned at Hilden
School. Along with the 3R’s , which were compulsory,
the teachers explained to you about respecting other
people, no matter what their creed or colour. Mr Woodend
actually did say that when you go out into the big wide
world remember where you were first taught, remember
Hilden School. I did, and I am grateful.
I am sure that the teaching staff today are just as
dedicated and as good at teaching as any previous teacher.
I am also sure that the parents of the pupils today
are just as good parents as we had in our day, so therefore
the 3R’s and respect for others is just as prevalent.
So I think you should do everything within your legal
powers to keep the School open. This is the start of
the so-called ‘Marching Season’, so march
for the School. Get permission, and march on the Town
Hall. If the politicians had half the wisdom of past
and present teachers of Hilden School a lot of the trials
and tribulations of the past thirty years might have
been avoided. Remind them that having voted them in
you have the power to vote them out again. You are doing
a great job in your endeavours to keep Hilden School
open and I wish you every success
Wayne Leathem - June '06
A former pupil of HIPS (1970-75), as was my brother
Perry (1967-72). My family lived at East Down View.
I recall so much of the 'old' school - the old outside
toilets, which thankfully were replaced before I left.
The milk issue, which during winter would see bottles
lining the radiator pipes attempting to thaw the milk
out. Students would be called to class using an old
Yes it was a bygone era but the school had standards
of education and care and more importantly a focal point
of the community. I would be saddened to think that
the closure would go ahead.
Christine Kingsmore / Crawford - June
Well everyone it seems we never left the school it is
so great to think we are all so united. Hilden Mill,
funny my grandmother and her brothers and sisters moved
from Killyleagh County Down they moved into the house
on the corner accross from the school they attened the
school - all 19 children. My granny was 1 off 22 chrildren,
19 lived and they attened hilden school, then my mother
her 2 sisters - Annie and Mary fullerton. Then I had
6 brothers and 3 sisters who attended - as did my 2
sons and my nephews and neices funny I found a barbour
threads limited newsletter last night and pat your fathers
photo is in it - no.4 twisting foreman Mr J Mackle,
also there was a little letter to my 2 aunts on the
death of their mother, my granny, 1973. Also my grandmothers
sister Kathleen Harrison and it said this deceased lady
was a member of an old-establised and highly respected
hilden family whose ancestors came oringinally from
Killyleagh, County Down her family and her grand children
all attented the school, as did the Ferris family my
cousins the Kincellas.
My cousins loads off the family, do these people not
know what hilden school done for us all? I could go
over all my relatations but it would take a book. The
first p.t.a. that started in hilden school, I was a
member off as was Ann Mcallister and Phil Mulholand
and the mind has gone blank. I remember going around
the shops to ask them for items for our sale in hilden
park we got loads and we all had a great day in the
park. There were all sorts of things that was put on
and curtains where bought and fire provided. I have
pictures of the fancy dress party that was held in the
canteen and quiz nights.
Mrs Richardson was my sons P1 teacher, sadly she pasted
away very young. I have her picture from the fancy dress
- she dressed up as a cowboy/girl. A lovely wee girl
indeed. Hilden school our school are great memories.
I remember I was about 10 years old and I was so in
love with peter smith he never knew but my heart missed
a beat when i would see him.
His brother Francis was in my class and I have a picture
off three rows of us getting our photos taken in the
yard with Miss Sharkey, oh dear i could go on and on
and I pray Hilden school goes on and on.
Pat if you would like a copy of the book let me know,
I have changed my email address. So we will all do as
much as we can for the best school in northern ireland.
Our lives where hilden school, and people who sit at
desks decide if they will close Hilden. They never earned
the right it was and will remain our school. If in anyway
I can help just let me know Christine Kingmsore/Crawford
the fight goes on.
Donald Watters - June '06
Give Jim my regards, of course I remember him, he was
a year ahead of me in Hilden school, remember your brother
Brendan also who unfortunatly died very young. Didn't
he work in Hilden mill? Micheal ran about with my brother,
Eamon. I still remember to this day when once Jim and
I clubbed up to buy a 5 packet of Woodbine ( 8 old pence
) that was 2 1/2 ciggies each, we each smoked the 1/2
ciggie in the morning and Jim was entrusted to keep
the other 4 for the afternoon. After dinner we met and
Jim broke the news to me he had "lost" a cigarette
out of the packet, and believe it or not that cigarette
was one of my remaining two! How he was able to tell
that the lost cigarette was mine still remains until
this day a mystery, but as he was a year older and larger
there wasn't much I could do about it. Give my regards
to Sammy Carson your husband, maybe he remembers me,
Ian McPherson - June 06
What fantastic comments from everyone. All past pupils,
though they may no longer live in the area, can still
help our campaign by writing to politicians across the
board, SEELB, DENI, Maria Eagle, NICIE, plus the media
- and tell your friends overseas as this story deserves
to be told beyond our shores! See the lobby list at
Adrienne Carson ( nee Kennedy ) -
Lovely to read all coments I remember the Mackells though
I was older, my brothers are Michael and Jim Kennedy
I also knew Mrs Taylor she was in Killwaren House Hillsborough
with my aunt Mary Bingham. I spoke to her every week.
I knew her well I remember Billy and Norman Taylor to
Jim sends his regards to Donald Watters and whoever
remembers him. My daughter bought Mr Woodends house
some years ago and a lot of his things were left behind
and I have them safe - books and photos. Good luck to
every one trying to keep the school open.
Eleanor Brennan (Headmistress) - June
I have just discovered all these interesting reminiscences;
reminds me of the 90th celebrations we had nearly 3
years ago, when past pupils and staff returned to visit
school. I hope we will all meet again when our school
building celebrates its 100th birthday!
This threat of closure must, in its own way, be good
for school. I have hope that school and the entire community
which has united against the SEELB proposal will be
stronger when the future of school has been secured.
It is sad to see the last linen mill in Lisburn closing.
Fortunately plans are for the site to be developed aesthetically,
mindful of its history and character. School must be
a living part of the regeneration of the area.
Past pupils, please support us by enroling your children
and grandchildren into school and by encouraging your
friends and neighbours to do likewise. Our children
now do not all live locally. Many travel in from all
parts of Lisburn and the surrounding areas. That is
Angela Harris (Watters) - June '06
Hello my name is Angela Harris/Watters and I attended
Hilden Primary School along with my sister Rosemary
and brother Edmund. We all loved this little school
and have fond memories, one that comes to mind was our
Christmas play in the EMB Hall - I had to sing Away
in the Manger and I took one look at everyone watching
and the words would not come out. My Dad kept me going
after and said that I was the best singer there! There
was always a great homely feeling in the school we all
looked out for each other. My favourite day was Friday
as this was "chip day" - I could go over to
the mill canteen and get a bag of chips, it made a great
change from my granny's lunch as I went to her house
(she lived in the mill row) every day. The Headmaster
then was Mr Guest he was a very striking man who was
strict but fair, I met him at the anniversary a while
back. That was a memorable day my brother took the time
to fly home from Munich we had a great time seeing all
the "old faces", we had what sadly was our
last trip around the mill. My dad and my cousin Donald
Watters also attended the school and I know if my dad
was alive today he to would feel very sad about this
wee school closing.
Mandy Smith - May '06
Mandy Smith, past pupil, past parent, present employee.
My family are very annoyed and disappointed at the decision
by the S.E.E.L.B. to propose the closure of H.I.P.S.
My brothers, sisters, myse lf and my son all attended
Hilden. We made many friends from both sides of the
community and benefited greatly from integrated education.We
all must fight and take a stand against this decision
and the poison of segregation.
Nicola Davidson - May '06
It was a sad day for the people of Hilden - Friday 26
May as the mill horn sounded for the very last time
at midday. The horn which has not been heard for many
years brought back happy memories and also marked the
end of an era for Hilden Mill. We took all the kids
in the school outside to hear the horn which sounded
four times and the children applauded after each sounding.
It brought tears to many children and staff as they
remembered grandparents and great grandparents who had
worked there and have since passed away. My Dad, brother
and brother in law were amongst the handful of workers
there to the end and it was a sad occasion for all of
them .I remember going to Hilden park to play on our
school lunch break, after we had had our little bag
of greasy chips from the mill canteen and running back
to school on the sound of the first horn to be there
before the second horn went. If i wanted to go to the
shops or play in the park in the afternoon my mother
always used to say" hurry up before the mill gets
out " as it was impossible to get across the road.
After the events of today it has made me more determined
than ever to do all I can to help save what is left
of " our little village" and make sure that
Hilden Integrated Primary School remains open. On the
3o June 2007 we are not going to hear the school bell
ringing for the very last time, That bell will continue
to ring for many many years.
Donald & Edmund Watters it was lovely to see you
both at the school and hear your stories about your
time at Hilden. And remember that all past pupils are
Veronica Kelly - May '06
My grandmother went to Hilden Primary - Sarah Magennis
- and I've always had a soft spot for the area. I live
by the river at Ballyskeagh now and know the Lagan like
the back of my hand! While the issue is an emotive one
and there's a lot of deserved sentimentality about,
the support for the school remaining open is great to
Just to add my two-pence-worth to the - 'hellos to
old neighbours'. My mum (Sarah's daughter, Betty) says
hello to Harry McKittrick! My mum's uncles, Harry and
Patrick Magennis and her aunt, Kitty Magennis lived
in Hilden and also her other cousins, Sally and Mary
Spence. Her grandad Magennis was also the Park Ranger.
No wonder I feel a tie to Hilden. Mum also attended
the school for a very short time - she thinks during
Ian McPherson - May '06
James & Margaret Mulholland - Your niece will continue
to go to Hilden because - the school is not going to
close! They are trying to close it , but we will not
let them. Parents can still enrol their children in
this fine school. Believe in people, good people, working
people, believe in yourself and in your community and
believe in Hilden School. We shall overcome.
Terry Conway - May '06
As someone whose school life started at Hilden I know
the strength of feeling that exists to preserve our
school. The response from parents and friends has been
Being Chairman of the Board of Governors seems a long
way from Miss Scanell's class giving out the blackboards
,chalks and dusters! It's great to read all the comments
about the school and if there are any readers who remember
me from class please get in touch.
Having been part of the delegation that met with the
SEELB Chief Executive last Friday, I believe we have
put forward a strong case to retain the school. With
the release of the Triennial Action Plan promoting greater
integration across all government departments, it would
be a serious breach of policy.
The Board of Governors will continue to explore every
avenue to emerge from this challenge. Parents and friends
of the school can lobby the local councillors. School
parents and prospective parents keep faith in Hilden
School-it truly is a school for everyone.
Ian McPherson - May '06
The Ulster Star published the childhood memories of
Hilden Village as recalled by Adrienne Carson (nee Kennedy)
this week. Read the article (with photos) online at:
Also, the Save Hilden Integrated Primary School campaign
now have our own free Google discussion group at: http://groups.google.co.uk/group/hilden-ips-sos
A group of parents attended a SEELB committee meeting
on 17/05 and were stunned to discover that Hilden has
NO supportive political representation at all, even
from our own local Lisburn councillors. We must do all
our own lobbying. A list of people to lobby is available
Thanks for everyone's good wishes and support!
James Mulholland, Margaret Mulholland
- May '06
The decision to close Hilden IPS is a tragic and a pathetic
attempt to polarize the sociological make up of Lisburn
as a whole. Everyone should learn together in a spirit
of Kinship and passion.
The DUP should be ashamed to be representing the people
of Lisburn and reevaluate their policy on integrated
My niece goes to Hilden, what will she do when it closes?
She has set up her own web page to show her and all
our families support to the cause of keeping Hilden
Louise Farr - May '06
I have two children presently attending Hilden Integrated
Primary School and another child due to join in 2 years
- It is with great regret that we as concerned parents
teachers and children faced with closure of our wee
school are faced with this Consultation Procedure -
We must all stand together to keep our Integrated School
open and after all we are the voices of our children.
Who after all attend the school and cannot speak for
themselves! Perhaps Hilary McVitty would attend the
School with SELB and find out for herself what a great
School we have and how well taught pupils are. Integrated
education is better all round as everyone is just the
same, great friends and pals! The the SELB has any compassion
- keep the school open!
Nicola Davidson - May '06
Hilden Integrated Primary School are having their annual
car boot sale on Saturday 3 June 11 am - 1pm. Money
raised will go towards the save hilden school campaign.
It would be great to see lots of you past pupils there
and hear more about your time at Hilden. So come along
for a wee cup of tea and a bit of craic!
Agnes & Cam Cambden - May '06
Nessie cambden May.15.2006. My grand children attend
Hilden school. While on holiday my husband an I were
asked to go to the school and tell the children about
canada. We had a great time the children were animated
and curious as to what Canada was like. The questions
were interesting and very intelligent We had a very
good time. it is such a beautiful school with lot's
of character. Please don't make the mistake that they
make here in Canada by pulling down buildings that have
some history and beauty of days gone by. Please please
do not let this lovely building go up in dust and memory
lost. We took some lovely pictures of the school inside
Chrsitine Kingsmore - May '06
I had a teacher called Mrs Magaverion and we all loved
her. The reason - she had time as did all the other
teachers, but when we were getting off for our holiday
breaks she would come into the class and have lots of
tins with her and guess what they were - sweets for
us all to have a party. We never had to bring anything
in for a party, she always did. Hilden School to me
was a place where I felt safe, loved and encouraged.
There are no other schools like it and there never will
be, so why destroy what we and our families enjoyed
and continue to enjoy.
Ian McPherson - May '06
Hi Christine, The "heated dispute" was between
the SEELB on one hand and myself and other like-minded
parents who just refuse to roll over and play dead.
We just DO NOT believe the SEELB's reasons; we do not
accept the "unanimous" vote; the minutes of
the vote to close the school which are either correct
or not correct depending on who you ask; the lack of
any impact statement which is a prerequisite for starting
closure proceedings (with Hilden, things happen in reverse),
etc. Daphne Trimble (UUP) did not believe the committee
had had enough time to acquaint themselves with the
facts; Jenny Palmer (DUP), whose brothers attended the
school reiterated that the minutes were wrong; and both
Ivan Davis (UUP) and Seamus Close (All.) were stunned
at the farcical nature of the whole business. The SEELB
were left in no doubt that they have a fight on their
hands. Nearly 1000 signatures on the petition so far
(including that of Mayor Jonathon Craig). The kids had
a great time at the !
Mayor's parade on Saturday and a group of parents marched
behind wearing protest t-shirts and handing out flyers
to the crowd. We got a sympathetic response from Joe
Public. Power to the people!
Jonny Millen - May '06
The fight to save Hilden Integrated Primary is a very
worthy cause. I live in Glenmore and my step daughter
has attended the school now for three years and loves
it, as indeed do we the parents. She is a christened
Roman Catholic, my other two children that are approaching
school age are both protestant. Hilden is the only primary
school in Lisburn that all my children are able to attend
together because of its integrated status. The nearest
other integrated primarys are in Derriaghy and Carryduff,
not easy to get to two or three times a day if you don't
drive. The school may be small but has a great family
like atmosphere amongst the pupils and parents. The
last government inspection on the school was a credit
to the Headmistress and teachers as DENI gave them a
This however seems irrelevant to the SEELB and their
Planning Services committee, that on this occasion have
been gifted executive powers to rush through the proposals
for closure of the school. All these people (see who
they are on www.savehildenschool.com)
seem to be interested in is attendance figures and projections,
the human factor and distress to an entire community
isn't important enough to take into consideration on
such an important decision.
Please Help the children of Hilden Integrated save their
Christine Kingsmore - May '06
We need to support our wee school, I believe there was
a heated dispute in the school on monday night.
Mrs Carol Duffy - May '06
Hello everyone, I have been teaching at Hilden for eight
years now. It's a great school with fantastic children,
parents and staff. I found it really heart-warming to
read your comments and think that I'm teaching in a
school that holds so many memories for all of you. Please
do all you can to help us keep Hilden going strong for
another 130 years.
Donald Watters - May '06
Hello Christopher, I remember your father, Billy. He
served an apprenticeship in Hilden mill as a fitter,
I worked with him later in the Tilley lamp in the Toolroom.
Didn't you have an older sister? Your Granny lived across
from the Boys entrance to the school, a diminutive woman
whose hair was tied back in a bun don't remember your
Ian - May '06
If you live in the Hilden / Glenmore area, there is
a petition in support of the school going the rounds.
Also, the savehildenshcool.com
website is up and running and you can leave messages
of support for the school in the guestbook. The people
of this area know that this school is an essential part
of the community, and they also know there is something
dodgy about the SEELB's rush to close it - they feel
that the development of the mill is not simple coincidental.
The site of the school must be worth a fortune in today's
market and, if I understand correctly, if it ceases
to be a school, then it reverts back to whoever owns
the mill. There is a meeting at Hilden School tonight
for parents, teachers, governors, local politicians
and SEELB reps to discuss what is going on (Monday 8/5/6,
7:30pm). We must NOT let apathy weaken our cause - that
is what these bureaucrats are banking on!
Edmund Watters - May '06
My Father Ronnie Watters and sisters Angela and Rosemary
and myself attended Hilden school as well as other members
of the Watters family. I've since moved to Munich, Germany
however on my few trips home I often take a wee drive
past the old place. I have nothing but fond memories
of the school, Mr. Guest the headmaster and all the
friends I made there, Michael Ferguson, Mark McCartney,
Leona Mckilroy, Steven Dunlop, Tyrone McConnel, Paul
Donnelly to name but a few. Surely pupil numbers will
rise when the proposed development of Hilden mill takes
place? This would be a tragedy if allowed to happen.
Christine Kingsmore - May '06
I do hope there will be a lot of support for Hilden
School, it supported us when we where attending the
school - now it is time for us to support hilden as
best we can.
Christine Kingsmore - May '06
Hi pat, I don't remember my granny doing this but they
where great times did you know Francis died on the 21/11/2000,
he was 48 and my brother Michael died 31/3/2000 then
on the 18/6/2000- my aunt Mary died. I lived with them
in Hilden from when i was 2 years old - i loved it.
Sure that wee boy who was murdered at the lagan, young
James McMachon was related to Nellie Watters his mum
was called Philomena Hughes. I nursed Miss Skenell until
she past away - Pat they where great times indeed you
had great parents-- please tell Terna I was asking for
her. Do you remember Davy Egar, Granny used to make
him tea and I was afraid off him. Then there where the
Lowery's at the bottom of the street, Maggie and Dickie
Henrey , Mary and Sally Spence, Tessie Wallace the Quinns,
Stella Quin was married to my dads brother - Mr and
Mrs Flechter. I saw Mrs Flecher a few months ago she
has hardly changed her girls used to dress me up on
May Day,--+ then there was sarah !
MaCauley's the Poots', the Dornan's we all had a great
time. Now at 48 myself Ihad to retire from Nursing as
I got knocked down by joyriders? After 29 years as a
nurse I realy miss it and I have no pictures off us
crowd - so pat I will hear from you again soon I hope,
can't get over my granny.
Pat Mackell - May '06
Christine Kingsmore, my sister is Tierna Mackell (now
Flannigan) I will pass on your comments to her. I clearly
recall your brothers Fancis and David. I also remember
your grandmother. One day on our way home from school
my younger brother Sean got into a fight with Francis
or David ( I cant remember which) who then ran into
your house saying "that fellow Mackell has hit
me" your granny flew out into the street looking
for retribution. Along I come happy as larry unaware
of any conflict and the only mackell in sight. Your
granny got me by the throat and I recall her handbag
flashing around my head as I ran for cover!
I also recall Miss Skanell. Do you recall the drum
stick she used as a cane? In her first class she always
insisted that we had 10 minutes "quiet time"
head down on folded arms on our desks. We were not allowed
to look up. On day I peeked over the fold of my arm
and there she was munching on a sandwich.
Give my best to your family. Great days and great people.
Mrs. N Davidson - May '06
Christopher you had better hurry up if you want photos
of the mill !!!! as far as i know planning permission
has already been granted for apartments and town houses.
If you want to leave your e.mail i could take some pictures
and e.mail them to you. The mill looks so run down it
is such a shame!!! you are more that welcome at the
school while it is still there we get loads of past
pupils calling in for a look around.
Ann McAllister - May '06
Well I hope hilden school does not close and i will
certainly do my bit to prevent it.
Christine Kingsmore Crawford - May
Hi all of you i remember ternia mackell she was in my
class at hilden i lived with my grand parents and my
2 aunts at 160, mill street hilden, sam bleakley's wee
shop. I am one of the kingsmores I cannot believe that
they want to close hilden school. i am sure yous remember
us as there was only 10 of us (haha). I just cant believe
i found this site i feel like i am reliving my child
hood .We had miss skynell in primary 1. I ended up nursing
her in her last days, - then there was mrs harbinson,
she was great i remember yous ; and if i am right harry
is a great manchester united fan? has no-one any photos
of those times? they where great times.
I think I was blessed for the child hood i had living
with my grandparents and my two aunts in mill street
hilden, they where the best we could have wished for
and i was spoiled by the fletcher girls who used to
take me around for the queen of the may. I just want
to thank everyone i knew in hilden for their kindness
.We were one big happy family, if one hurt we all hurt.
my best friends at school where ann mcallister, ursula
kincella, rosemary watters , i still am in contact with
ann and ursula. my tribute goes to my grandmother and
grandfather teeney and francis fullerton and my two
aunts mary and annie, i miss them every day but i am
so proud of them, i lived with them from i was 2 years
old. mum and dad lived in delacherois avenue with the
other 9 children. also to all my friends at hilden school
for making my life a happy one.
Its good to hear all of your memories about hilden
school, my brother francis was the oldest and when he
left hilden he went to the tech, then there was david,
michael, paul, mary, brigid, anthony, kevin and myself
christine kingsmore - I loved living in mill street
and going to hilden primary, we were a special crowd
and i know it was the happiest time in my life all the
visits around the mill - i remember performing the black
and white minstrels in hilden park and peter smith was
my partner. there are so many memories, i hope i hear
more about the memories we had and maybe some where,
someone has pictures - they are doing a large story
in the star very soon as i had written to them and they
want all the information they can get about our wee
school-- keep on with your stories.
I was just wondering if anyone ever knew the kincellas
or mcgreavys. My mother was called kathleen fullerton.
Before she married, my grandmother was called teeny
kincella and she came from around saul or rehalp????anyone
know of them i would love to here from anyone who might
have known them.
Ian McPherson - May '06
The SSEELB are tyring to close Hilden Primary School
- the only Integrated primary school in the "City
for Everyone". Falling student numbers are blamed
but other schools with fewer pupils are being spared
and many local people are signing a petition in support
of the school; they know that, despite the fact that
the area is mainly working-class and Protestant, it
is also surprisingly peaceful and well-integrated, and
they believe that the school is a vital part of the
area's special character.
I am putting together a website in support of the
campaign to keep the school open - both parents and
governors are doing whatever they can. Unfortunately,
the SEELB have created a climate of uncertainty in which
some parents are already 'jumping ship', thus adding
to the SEELB's contention that the school is not viable;
in other words, their own actions have created the evidence
they require for their case.
Many local people suspect that the redevelopment of
the Barbour Mill is the real threat to this listed building.
I will add a link to this page from my site and would
certainly appreciate any contributions (stories, memories,
photos, messages of support) which any of you would
care to send me: www.savehildenschool.com
Donald Watters - May '06
My first thoughts when I read about the closing of my
" Alma Mater !" were " How can they".
I, born 1944, remember my first day in Hilden school
as if it was yesterday, Auntie Nellie, who after the
death of my mother in 1949 took her place as "
Ersatz Mutter" and taking leave from her splicing
table in No 4 Twisting in Hilden Mill, donned her best
coat and took me to Hilden school and overgave me in
the care of Miss Skanell in Junior Infants. I shared
a desk with Terence Rickard, who together with his twin
sister Brigit were to accompany me through all classes
until I left to attend Lisburn Tech in 1956..
Mr Woodende, his wife Emily, Junes Cochran, Archie Guest,
Paddy Rowan, ( his son Peter who incidently was also
a pupil and his party piece was a poem " IF ALL
THE SEAS WERE ONE SEA") Jimmy Keaton were members
of the teaching staff then. The girls were taught cooking
in a classroom specially equiped with ovens, later they
went once a week to Lisburn tech.
The introduction of the school dinners 1954 which were
cooked in the Central school and delivered in containers,
the Cornation of Elisabeth , when we were given a tin
box filled with Smarties and marched to the Wallace
park to celebrate, winning a football cup, an accident
where a fellow pupil, Freddie Dixon from Dunmurray suffered
injuries flying a kite which came into contact with
overhead cables are just some of the memories I have.
Father MacNamara came once a year and tested the Catholic
kids on their religous knowledge, they envied the other
pupils as they had a holiday.
The school photographer was also a regular visitor,
I used to try to figure it out how after sitting four
on a bench together to be photographed when the photos
arrived we were alone on the picture.
The magician came also, on a bike with his magic suitcase
strapped behind .
The wrought iron railings and gates were renewned early
1950s as the original were melted down during the war
to make weapons.
Christopher Taylor - May '06
great to read your reply. My dad's family lived at Hilden
from the 20's to approx late 60's when my Granny Taylor
had to leave as they were knocking all the houses down,
she eventually lived to the ripe old age of 101. Your
Grandfather would definately remember them. I hope the
school does not close as it would surely be destroyed
as well. I am now going to make a date to return and
take some photos of the school and the Mill.
I went to Willie Foote. I agree with Mr Davidson about
there being nothing left, that is why I am trying to
find old photos.
Pat Mackell - May '06
I cant believe they are going to close the school. Why
is that ...are the numbers down? They would'nt be closing
it if the "wee man" was still around! Best
of luck Mr Davidson.
Christopher I am unable to recall your grandmother
Elizabeth Taylor. Roughly what years did your family
live in Bridge street? I'll ask my own mother when I
next speak with her. She was the caretaker at the school
late 50's early 60's. My grandfather "wee Harry"
Loftus was the school patrol crossing man and marshalled
the children like a regiment of solidiers. He disliked
cars and would make a point of stopping almost every
vechicle that went past just for the hell of it. I also
climbed the 41 steps many a time on my way up to the
Low Road. Sadly I have no phographs of the area.
N Davidson - May '06
Hi pat thought you would like to know the education
board are trying to close the school. I myself attended
hilden in the late 70's early 80's. My two daughters
attend there and i now work there. We just learnt last
week of the proposed closure and we are going to do
all we can to keep it open. My dad works in the mill
and he will be one of the last workers to go after it
closes on 24 may. There will soon be nothing historical
left of Hilden !!!
Christopher Taylor - May '06
Hi my name is Christopher Taylor. I am originally from
Huguenot drive, top of the 41 steps. My grandmother
lived beside Mrs McKittrick, her name was Elizabeth
Taylor. My father Billy, brother Norman, and sister
May went to Hilden school. Many a tale they told of
those days. Sadly all have now passed away.
Unfortunately I do not remember either of you gents
but I am sure you will remember my family.
I have enjoyed reading your article. I was browsing
looking for old photos of the area, possibly of the
houses were my grandmother lived. If you could help
it would be great.
Pat Mackell - April '06
Harry, I remember your family well; and the long games
of "Kick the Bucket" and hide and seek. My
family is now scattered to the four winds: some live
in Southern Ireland and I live in England. But I will
always have a warm spot for Hilden, the school, the
Overs, the Robins Den, the Park, the Lock on the Lagan
... I could go on and on. Give my regards to all your
Harry McKittrick - March '06
Hi Pat. I don't ready know if you rememder me, my name
is Harry McKittrick, l lived at 49 bridge street Hilden,
and went to school with you. I remember you and your
family living in Hilden. Nice to read your article and
bring back some old memories. How are you keeping these