NEW Cumnock pupils have reunited after half a century apart.

The 1969 primary 7 class of New Cumnock Junior Secondary School came together after 50 years to catch up at the Town Hall.

The event was organised by three classmates – Eileen Brown, Kate McNaughton (Malcolm) and Bobby Guthrie.

They were joined by classmates Doreen Cowan (Kirkwood), Morag Galbraith (Shankland), Jean Guthrie (Beattie), Bill Grozier, Gail McCluskie, Isabel Owens (McGinn), Liz Wilson (Crawford); teachers Miss Boyle (P4), Mrs MacSween (P6), Miss Lees (P7) and their invited guests.

A hearty buffet and blether were enjoyed by all before a brief presentation on the origins of our school built in the 1870s as New Cumnock Public School.

This was followed by a presentation on our class’s seven years at school (1963-1970) gleaned from articles and photos appearing in the Cumnock Chronicle which spark off lively discussions as the memories came flooding back.

Classmate Bobby Guthrie said: "The highlight came on reaching our Primary 6 year when we recalled Mrs MacSween teaching us to sing the Gaelic song “Eriskay Love Lilt” for the school concert – the hall was filled with the communal sweet sound of “Vair me oro van o”.

Fortunately, Morag had also retained copy of the photo of the class adorned in their kilts and some home-made haircuts!

"Looking back on these seven years it was a time of great change in New Cumnock with a number of major events, some irreversible, some cyclical and some for the better.

"Glenafton Hospital closed and so too Biddall’s Regal Picture House. Major job losses were suffered with the closure of Knockshinnoch and Bank pits although were reemployed in the “super pits” of Barony and Killoch.

"While in the textile industry C.W.Hall’s Hosiery continued to expand and the new Shinwell’s Shirt Factory occupied the refurbished Knockshinnoch Pit Baths. In 1964 Glenafton Athletic had completed a hat-trick of Western League Championships and yet by 1970 the club was struggling to survive and an impassioned plea made to the community for their support.

"The Town Hall hosted many annual events but by 1970 its future was in doubt too.

"As for New Cumnock Junior Secondary School, 1970 saw the closure of the secondary department and our Primary 7 class was first to go directly to the ‘new’ Cumnock Academy to begin our secondary education. The school was renamed Castle Primary School and of course more recently it merged with Cairnhill Primary School to form the New Cumnock Primary School.

"Things have come full circle as the school is housed in the magnificently refurbished original New Cumnock Public School built in the 1870s with the wonderful New Cumnock Nursery School alongside.

"The reunion concluded with the presentation of bouquets of flowers to Miss Boyle, Mrs MacSween and Miss Lees, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed a special day reminiscing with each other and their grateful pupils.