Our meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday of the month in the Sandel Centre, 6 Knocklynn Road, Coleraine BT52 1WT at 7.30 p.m unless otherwise stated. There are no meetings in July, August nor December. Visitors are very welcome at all our meetings. Admission for non-members is £3.00 per head. This includes tea/coffee and biscuits after the meeting.
In his illustrated talk Ken told us that he arrived in the New University of Ulster in Coleraine from Durham in 1968 to lecture in the History Department. There he developed a degree in film and media studies. He explained the background to the establishment of the University – the Lockwood Report of 1965 recommended the site to be Coleraine rather than Derry. Interspersed with slides he showed short video clips of early events and personalities. The talk was well attended.
See News for report
Keith gave an interesting talk on the oldest sporting club in Coleraine – the Bann Rowing Club founded in 1841. He spoke about 2 men who had made huge contributions – Tommy Glen, cox, and Bobby Platt, oarsman, cox and coach who received an M.B.E. in 2012.
The boathouse was refurbished in 1992 and many female rowers joined. The 2012 Olympics featured Richard and Peter Chambers also Alan Campbell winning medals. A great boost for the Club which produced finance from the government. Several young male and female rowers are showing great potential for the future.
Keith explained the reason for no longer holding a Regatta. This was due to changes in the river.
Thirty members and visitors braved a cold and snowy night to hear Billy Bones speak on his time in Coleraine pantomimes. He gave a short history of pantomime and explained some of the traditions e.g. “goodies” enter stage right and “baddies” enter stage left also audiences are encouraged to participate verbally in the drama.
Billy was a fan of pantomime from a young age. He acted in Coleraine Drama Club, Killowen Parish Players and the Provincial Players, usually playing the “Dame”. Coleraine Town Hall was the eventual “home” of the town’s Pantomime.
Billy worked with Ballymoney Literary and Debating Society, Portrush Summer Theatre and the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine.
Our speaker related the story of a triple shooting which occurred in Dunmore House, Carrigans, Co. Donegal. The house was occcupied by Colonel Robert McClintock, his wife Jenny, their son William and his fiancee Helen Macworth. William had served in the army but had suffered severe spinal injuries from falling off a horse. On 24.9.1938 William, his mother and his fiancee were found shot dead.
A jury found that William had been shot by his mother when she was of unsound mind. She then shot herself as did Helen.
There are many unanswered questions in this case, hence the title “mysterious” being given to the talk.
Talbot was born in London in 1852 and was a frequent visitor to Castlerock where he married Elizabeth Jane Greer in 1876. He also saved his cousin from drowning there.
In addition to being in the type founding industry he became a writer of boys’ fiction and contributed to the Boy’s Own Paper and the Leeds Mercury. The former publication began in 1879 as an antidote to the “penny dreadfuls”. He wrote many books the most famous being “The Fifth Form at St. Dominics” (1881) which was later made into a film. Talbot died of tuberculosis in 1893 at the early age of 41.
Jay Nethercott, James Weston and Chairman Robert Anderson
James Weston gave an illustrated history of the Ulster Gliding Club from its foundation in 1930. He explained the early methods of launch – bungey or catapult at various locations e.g. Tyrella Beach in Co. Down, Magilligan, Knockagh. In 1932 a glider cost £150. Heights and distances increased over the years. In 1938 a flight of 44 miles was achieved from Magilligan to Aldergrove. (Aldergrove is an out of bounds area now).
From 1965 – 1971 Long Kesh airfield was in use and by 1978 the Club had moved to its present site at Bellarena. The Club has a cadet scheme and flies people with disabilities.
We will visit Sinclair Seaman’s Church in Belfast, The Gasworks Museum in Carrickfergus and then the Moravian Village of Gracehill. Lunch will be in the Chimney Corner. See News section for report and photographs.
In the early 19th century the original Town Book of Coleraine was compiled by John Claudius Beresford an Irish Society agent. It was a detailed list of the town’s buildings, tenants and acres (agricultural holdings). Andrew’s book has made the original more “user friendly”. He has included information from several sources including the 1756 and 1777 rent rolls and the 1738 Map of Acres. The latter was discovered recently by the local Irish Society. Andrew has photographed the frontage of all existing properties listed in the original book and put them alongside the sketches in the original book to illustrate the changes that 200 years have made to the town.
A very interesting and informative talk for those who are researching the history of Coleraine.
L to R: Diana Kirkpatrick (Secretary), Andrew Kane and Robert Anderson (Chairman).
Stanley’s illustrated talk was in two parts. Firstly he spoke of his work in the Coleraine based Monsanto fibre manufacturing plant which was built in 1958 at Somerset. It produced Acrilan which was used in the making of carpets, shirts, socks etc.. The factory closed down in 1985.
See News for report.