Today will be etched in our memories. Today we launched our very own book ‘Life on the Railways’ with interviewees and family. Today we saw the fruitful culmination of a wonderful effort by pupils and the community. It was a day for celebration. It was a day to feel proud.
The build up to the launch had been exciting but today’s events topped it all!
The scene was set, with names of local GNR railways stations hand crafted and positioned around the walls of the hall. Advertising signs from that era were placed around the platform, to entice rail travellers to purchase their wonderful new product. A beautiful cake, made by our very own classroom assistant, Mrs Rosemary Frazer, awaited consumption. It had been appropriately iced with the GNR railway emblem. Interviewees had been invited and as they gathered in the hall, the buzz grew. Recorded poems and stories played in the background, setting the scene for the launch. Memorabilia, kindly lent from the Enniskillen Railway Museum was on display.
The carriages were finished and in place on the platform (school stage) and the children stood on that railway platform to sing, recite poems and read extracts from their interviews which are now recorded in this book ‘Life of the Railway’.
The special guest to launch the book was Mr Charles Friel. Charles, a noted authority on the railways, was born in Enniskillen close to the station. He watched the trains make their way to and from Enniskillen, coming and going towards Lisnaskea, Newtownbutler and Clones. He enjoyed many railway trips to Bundoran along this Great Northern Railway Line. His memories of the railways on Fermanagh were very much alive, as he spoke. Charles has contributed to many publications on Irish Railways.
P1 sang Down at the station with all the happy little pufferbellies!
P2 sang The Train is a comin’, oh yeah with their tickets ready!
P3 sang Morningtown Ride– with pupils dressed up in appropriate style.
P4 sang I’ve been working on the Railroad– this was a treat!
P5 sang Doing the Locomotion and had everyone tapping their feet.
P6/7 performed the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson- From a Railway Carriage
Rebecca Read (P7 pupil) was the compere for the event and she did an amazing job!
Extracts from interviewees were read by Dara Mullarkey, Abbie Walmsley, Emma McElwaine, Alex Humphreys, Harry Jordan and Emma Bullock.
Mr Raymond Wilson (teacher) dedicated a model railway to the Moat Primary School. It had kindly been given to Mr Wilson from a gentleman in Donegal who had enjoyed collecting model railways in the past but who now wanted to see it further enjoyed by generations to come. It has already proved popular with the children in school.
All interviewees and interviewers were presented with a copy of the book.
It is wonderful to have so many stories in print. Our thanks go to Mairead Mohan from Monaghan County Council for her support and guidance and to Uniting Generations Peace 1V for the funding for this intergenerational project. Sincere thanks go to our pupils and parents who acquired the interviews, and recorded and transcribed them for publication.