Pupils bid a fond farewell to Inverurie Market Place School

Miss Budge fires a tickertape cannon into the air as the school bell rings for the last time
Miss Budge fires a tickertape cannon into the air as the school bell rings for the last time

The school bell rang for the last time at Inverurie’s Market Place School last week.

Staff and pupils held a special celebration in the town on Wednesday, October 11.

The children sang a number of songs in the square to the delight of proud parents and family members, led by their Doric bell ringer, kilted janitor Mr Ross.

After the songs were finished a procession, led by pipers, saw the pupils head to the school for the final time.

The celebration event concluded with the children singing ‘Inverurie Market Place is a Jolly Good Fellow’ in the playground.

The school bell then rang for the final time and pupils and staff saw the school off with three cheers and confetti cannons were fired.

Lexie Rait sported a Market Place School coloured bow for her last day at the school as she and her P1 class mates sang and waved flags to mark the end an era

Lexie Rait sported a Market Place School coloured bow for her last day at the school as she and her P1 class mates sang and waved flags to mark the end an era

One touching memory that many pupils have shared in the school’s newsletter is that on a Friday every train that passed at playtime or lunch would sound it’s whistle or horn as the children looking on waved as it sped by.

Pupils and staff will move into the new multi-million pound Uryside Primary School after the October holiday and an official opening ceremony is set to take place in December.

Head teacher Katie Budge said: “Inverurie Market Place has been a wonderful school and one which holds so many happy memories for all those who have passed through the doors.

“There is something very special about Market Place School - it is the community, it is the people!

“We are so proud of our school and we all felt Market Place deserved thanks, a celebration for everyone - former and current pupils, parents, staff and local community members.

“We are all feeling every emotion today. Sadness as the doors close for the final time, happiness as we all hold so many wonderful memories of our time at Market Place and excitement as we prepare to move to our new school.”

An open morning event was held recently for former pupils and staff to come along and share their memories.

Miss Budge added: “700 people came to reminisce, it was such a wonderful morning and so many happy memories were shared.

“Throughout the term we have researched the history of Market Place School, collated the history, collected aretefacts and many wonderful photographs which we have given to the Garioch Heritage Centre for safe keeping and sharing with the community.”

Market Place School was built and opened in 1863 and the first head teacher was Alexander Fowlie.

Over the years the school attendance grew and additional classrooms were built to cope with demand.

The school first became overcrowded in the early 1890’s so in 1895 the building of three new classrooms was completed - Rooms 5, 6 and 7.

The small room inside Room 5 was the staff room.

Each classroom had its own fireplace and it was the cleaner’s job to clean it daily, set it and light it in the mornings.

Rooms were lit by gas and activities requiring good light were done in the morning.

Classes could hold as many as 60 children and the teacher would be helped by a teenage pupil teacher.