The arrival of ‘The Tech’ in Castleisland in 1935 must have given the town at the time a near incredible morale boost and a monumental lift in spirits.
The 50th anniversary of the opening of the College Road based Castleisland Vocational School was marked by a great community celebration at the Ivy Leaf Art Centre in 1985.
The event was also celebrated by the publishing of a book which chronicled the half century of the life of the school which drew on its pupil base from the broad hinterland around the town and district.
Signs on, several shops opened and operated at the upper side of town and stayed in business for decades afterwards. There was Hannah and Phil Ryan’s, Fleming’s, Mrs. Culloty’s and Griffin’s in the space of a couple of hundred paces from the junction of Main Street and College Road.
Asking for a Reader
I’m asking, for a reader, if anyone out there would have a copy of that commemorative publication titled ‘Windows of Wonder’ the cover of which carried an impressive pen and ink illustration of ‘The Tech’ by the art teacher at the time, Eleanor Scully.
The reader is being beckoned down memory lane and she’d love to have a copy or even a good photocopy of the pages with photographs on them.
Spotted by ‘Specs’
The new building in 1935 didn’t go unnoticed by ‘Specs’ – The Kerryman notes writer at the time and he heaped praise on all those involved from the lobbying to the tradesmen who worked on the building:
In an issue of the paper in June 1935 he wrote the following:
“The new Technical School now in the final stages of completion is a really pretty little concern and reflects the highest credit on all concerned – on the public-spirited gentlemen who kept the matter of a Tech for Castleisland alive for years.
Our Good Archdeacon
On our good Archdeacon who is directly responsible for the materialising of the project and on the contractor and tradesmen who have endowed the town with a model of craftsmanship. Nearby is the National School, plain but ample with its frontage of greenery, shrubs and flower.
One reflects that the nice secluded little demesne would benefit immensely by a few tall forest trees.
Lonesome in its Dereliction
One is inclined to wonder what will be done with the school, that stands across over there across the fields, lonesome in its dereliction and almost dreary for the tumble down fences, the ragged bits of bush in the gateway and the unkempt grasses and weeds on the pathways.
‘All tokens are effaced of human care and labour,’ but the glamour of old memories clings to it as to nowhere else like an old school.
The spirit of its erstwhile great masters seems to hover around it still and the faces and the voices of a hundred happy boys, many of them now flourishing under far foreign skies.” – Specs.
If Anyone Has a Copy…
If anyone has a copy of ‘Windows of Wonder’ to spare they might give me a call on 087 23 59 467 – Please.
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