Mark Hennessy, Knightsbridge Village, Trim (left), and Michael Farry, Boyne Writers' Group, Trim, with an old schoolbook used in Irish secondary schools. The Ideal Book of Poetry was published by Browne & Nolan Ltd, Dublin, in 1915.

Old schoolbooks appeal by Trim organisers of Bealtaine Festival

They plan to use them for an exhibition in the Knightsbridge Village during the festival, which takes place throughout the country during May and which celebrates creativity in older people. "This exhibition of schoolbooks will be on view during our activities in the Knightsbridge," said Mark Hennessy, marketing manager, Barchester Healthcare. "Our clients - and, indeed, anyone else who attends these activities - will be charmed and delighted to be brought back to their schooldays by means of these books." The Boyne Writers' Group, Trim, has a small number of these books. "It would be great to have a lot more of them," said Michael Farry, secretary of the group, as he displayed The Ideal Book of Poetry, selected and annotated by the Rev JA Kingston, CSSp, and published in 1915 but in wide use much later in the century. It was published by Browne & Nolan Ltd, Dublin, and was for Irish secondary schools. "We don't expect to be so lucky as to get many books of this age," he said, "but we would be more than delighted to accept schoolbooks from any time before, say, the 1970s. Older would be even better." The Boyne Writers' Group will conduct a series of events, mainly poetry and prose readings, in the Knightsbridge Village retirement complex, Longwood Road, Trim, during the Bealtaine festival ( Some of these events will be accompanied by slide shows of relevant photographs. Mr Farry said they hoped that the memories sparked off in older people by these books would lead to some lively and interesting sessions of memoir during the festival. "We know from personal experience gained during our weekly readings of poetry and prose in the Knightsbridge that older people love to be stimulated by the memories of long ago," he added. Offers of old schoolbooks should be made to Michael Farry on (086) 828 3314 or Paddy Smith on (086) 157 7526.

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