Coleraine Historical Society was established in February, 1984, by a small group of interested local people who felt that the area needed an organisation which would seek to record, preserve and pass on its rich history. At the First Meeting three months later, the fledgling Coleraine Historical Society set up its first Committee, and decided on its aims, which were to “promote the study of and public interest in the history, antiquities and folk-life of the Coleraine Area, and to work to preserve and facilitate access to information and items of historical interest in the area.” See NEWS for photo of First Committee members.
In our 33rd year of existence, membership numbers are over 100, and the Society’s efforts to carry out its aims continue unabated. Over the years, we have listened to many excellent guest speakers, talking on a wide range of subjects within the broad field of our stated interests.We have had social evenings to entertain other local history societies, concerts where we remembered local musicians and song writers, and we have taken advantage of seminars on local history topics run by other related establishments and organisations.
In 1986, we published Ordnance Survey Memoirs for the parish of Coleraine.Since 1994 we have published a very popular yearly journal, The Bann Disc. Each journal is a collection of articles, poetry, and illustrations, usually old photographs, all submitted by people who have undertaken research on some aspect of local life in the past which interested them.
We also take an ongoing interest in the preservation of old buildings of note in the area, and add our voice to the discussion of any development in this fast growing centre of population, which would put at risk some remnant or evidence of our historic past. Our long-held ambition, as yet unrealized, is the building of a local museum – although we welcome the interim establishment of the fully operational Causeway Museum Service.
The Victorian Gothic Building, the former Irish Society’s School, built in 1868, has now been rescued from dereliction, and has become town housing, whilst preserving the charming facade.