Auchenharvie Academy official opening

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down south
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Auchenharvie Academy official opening

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Good news...when I was moving house, I discovered an unsuspected couple of pages of an old A&S Herald lining a drawer. So I can bring to you a few extra items, most importantly this one; an article and pictures of the official opening of Auchenharvie Academy in November 1971.


The challenge presented by a new school to staff and pupils was greater than that of an established school, said Treasurer Robert Lambie of Saltcoats when he officially opened Auchenharvie Academy on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony was preside over by Mr William Paterson, convener of Ayr County Council, and among those present were staff, pupils and invited guests.

Mr Paterson said the new school was the second such building to be opened in Ayrshire this year - the other was at Auchinleck - and they enabled the county to claim that it was second to none in providing secondary school accommodation and education. He hoped the pupils would benefit from their sojourn at Auchenharvie Academy.

Treasurer Lambie said he felt great pride and honour in being asked to open the new school. Hiis only qualifications for doing so, he said, were the fact that he had been born in Boglemart Street which gave him the claim to be the county councillor born nearest to the new school. He was also educated at Stevenston Public School, which became Stevenston High School.

He described the history of Auchenharvie which, he said, had been built over 300 years ago, and referred to the coal-mining industry which had flourished there. He advised the pupils to visit the old engine house so that they would remember the part coal had played in the history of the district.

In 1947, said Mr Lambie, Saltcoats Town Council bought Auchenharvie. The cost of £9,000 was shared equally by Saltcoats and Stevenston Town Councils and Ayrshire Education Committee . The house had been demolished to make way for the new school.

In passing, the treasurer recalled that there had been three large estates in Stevenston parish - Auchenharvie, Kerelaw and Ardeer; the first two had become schools while the third had become a recreation centre for ICi.

" In any new school ," continued Treasurer Lambie, " teachers and pupils have a hard road to travel . " They had no good name to fall back on; everything was new. The pupils must remember that when an individual or team was beaten in a game it was not only them who was defeated - it was also their school.

It was the same for the teachers; they could not say what Auchenharvie Academy had done in the past. The school had to make its mark now. He advised the pupils to work with their teachers to give the new school a good name.

" This is the year when everyone has to do their best. What you do this year will determine the character and reputation of your school . "

He told the pupils to make the most of the facilities available. Scotland was proud of its education system. They must be as proud of their school as pupils of Eton were proud of theirs; there would be very few better schools, he was sure , than Auchenharvie Academy.

A prayer of dedication was said by the Rev William Burnside, west Kilbride, who is a member of the education committee.

Two pupils of the academy, Lorna Anderson and Kenneth Reid, presented Mr Lambie with a painting of Saltcoats Harbour by Mr Thomas Mason of the art department, and a fruit bowl made by Mr James Robson of the technical department.

The school choirs and orchestra entertained the guests and a vote of thanks was proposed by Mr T P McIntyre, convener of the education committee.

The new school has :

36 classrooms
3 geography rooms
15 science rooms
1 lecture theatre
1 art area
6 music rooms
3 commercial subject rooms
5 homecraft rooms
1 homecraft flat
6 technical subject rooms
1 games hall
1 gymnasium
1 PE activity area
1 library
4 dining rooms
2 tea bars
1 kitchen
1 assembly hall

and the Social and Recreational wing includes :

1 activities area
1 practical room
1 lecture room
1 tea bar
cloak and toilet accommodation

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 12th November 1971.

The pictures are as follows :

This first one is of councillors and officials at the opening ceremony.
Auchenharvie Academy opening 1 (2).jpg
The second is of Lorna Anderson and Kenneth Reid making the presentations.
Auchenharvie Academy opening 2.jpg
This third one shows Treasurer Robert Lambie unveiling the plaque.
Auchenharvie Academy opening 3 (2).jpg

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