There was a school reunion with a difference as around 200 former pupils, and past teachers excitedly mingled in anticipation for the premiere of the documentary film about Lisnasharragh High School earlier this week.
The audience, all a little older and perhaps wiser than when they had last seen each other, gathered at Glenburn Methodist Church on Tuesday for the screening of The Lisnasharragh Story (pictured).
The school, which rang its bell for the last time in June after 52 years, is well-known for its most famous pupil — football legend George Best, but it was also home to many other “characters” who are also featured in the film.
The audience was treated to a rich oral history of the high school over the decades and through the school’s highs and lows with many funny anecdotes during the hour-and-a-half screening, which for many brought long forgotten childhood memories flooding back.
On the film Barbara McNarry speaks to the film’s creator, producer and former Lisnasharragh pupil, Peter Brownlee about her famous brother’s time at the school before he departed at the age of 15 to start his footballing apprenticeship at Manchester United where he would become a star.
Acclaimed documentary maker Peter, who has worked making wildlife programmes with Sir David Attenborough, said the film was the culmination of six months planning, one week filming including 24 interviews and three months editing. The Bristol-based producer said he hoped people who contributed to the film would enjoy the result of his labour of love.
He said: “Lisnasharragh will be remembered because George Best went there, and as this film shows it was the best school for George. But it was also the best school for many other pupils. We discovered there were a great number of special things about this school including being one of the first in the country to introduce work experience. Designed to take those who did not pass their 11-plus, the dedicated staff tell how they strove to do their very best for each child.
“Notable past pupils who appear in the film include singer Brian Houston, DJ Stephen Woods, ex-mayor Kim Morton and Councillor Michael Copeland,” said Peter.
Anyone wishing to purchase The Lisnasharragh Story DVD can log on to www.lisnasharraghdvd.com.