Gartocharn Primary recently celebrated 50 years since the school building on Ross Loan opened with a jam-packed day which included a fun run and a ceilidh.

The golden jubilee celebrations kicked off at the Kilmaronock Millennium Hall, where the fun run was started by former teacher Mrs Brennan.

And despite the horrendous weather there was a great turn-out for the event before everyone returned safely to the school hall to revive themselves with some warm drinks and delicious baking.

A fantastic photo exhibition in the school hall was also on show, which was carefully and thoughtfully created by Mrs McDonald, and attracted a stream of visitors keen to walk down memory lane.

Current staff were also on hand to provide a guided tour and share some of the changes that have taken place over the years.

John McDonald, head teacher at Gartocharn, told the Reporter: “When I looked back over the last 50 years and I read through the school log books, which has now become one of my favourite pastimes, I could find lots of examples of how things had changed over the years – whether that was the changes in attitudes to health and safety or the parents’ evening meetings that went on to 11pm.

“However, the more I read the more I was drawn to the conclusion that the important things had not changed.

“The staff throughout the years have always been willing to go that extra mile in order to provide great experiences for the children.

“There is the underlying idea that learning should be adventurous and, above all, fun.

“We are just back from a weekend trip to the Ardentinny outdoor centre with the P4-7 children and I can say with great confidence that adventures and fun are still absolutely at the heart of what we do.”

Later in the day, former members of staff returned for an afternoon tea that was very kindly put on by the Gartocharn branch of the SWI and involved a great deal of chatter and reminiscing.

The family ceilidh then took place in the evening, with ceilidh band Skelpit Lug keeping everyone up dancing all night with dances from the Virginia Reel to the Oxo Cube.

But the school will not have quite so long before it can celebrate another big birthday.

The first school in Gartocharn opened in 1876, which means that in eight years the community will be able to celebrate the landmark 150th anniversary of its opening – if they have recovered from the excitement of their latest celebration, that is.

John added: “As a school that never likes to turn down the opportunity to have a bit of a knees-up, we have been extremely busy celebrating this birthday.

“By the end of the day we were well and truly exhausted, but I left the hall with a great sense of pride in our wee school and what we manage to achieve.

“I better keep that quiet [about the next anniversary] as I think the parent council and the staff are all still recovering from the last celebration.

“And they may lock me in the cupboard for the next eight years if I suggest organising something else.”