15 March 2016 – AGM/Dinner – Alison McCaughan “Were you in the Diamond today?”

See News for photos.

16 February 2016 – The Life of Richard Hayward – Irish film actor,writer and musician. Paul Clements
Paul Clement

Paul Clements giving his talk with Richard Hayward in the background

Richard Hayward was born in England in 1892 and moved to Larne as a child. He was a man of many talents and Paul told us he was involved in Drama and Broadcasting, having played at the Gaiety and Abbey theatres in Dublin and performed radio plays on BBC with Tyrone Guthrie.

He starred in films – “Luck of the Irish”, shot near Larne, “The Early Bird” and “Irish and Proud of It”. He was a singer of Irish songs and ballads.

As a travel writer his books include “Where the Shannon Flows”, “In Praise of Ulster”, “The Corrib Country” and “In the Kingdom of Kerry”. He also wrote 3 books of poetry.

He worked as a sweet salesman for Fox’s Glacier Mints and died in a car crash in 1964

19 January 2016 – Jennifer Sturgeon – Under the Spanish Chestnut Tree. A History of Hezlett House
jennifer sturgeon

Our first meeting of 2016 was well attended by over 50 members and visitors. Jennifer’s illustrated talk was based on research which she had done on the history of Hezlett House near Castlerock.

Built as  rectory for Dunboe Parish in 1691 the house was a cruck and truss structure without foundations but built on firm ground with cap stones and the walls built up around the cruck and truss. The first Rector to live there was the Venerable Roger Ford. After 1776 when a new rectory was built in Articlave the house was sold to the Hezlett family. In 1980 the National Trust took over the administration of the house. The Spanish Chestnut Tree in the garden was alleged to be a gallows for those who did not support the 1798 Rebellion.

17 November 2015 – Ken Ward – Wartime Advertising in Coleraine (Members’ Night)

Despite a cold and wet evening c50 members and visitors came to hear Ken’s talk which was based on 3″x 3″ glass slides which contain advertisements used in the Picture Palace cinema in Coleraine during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Some slides were general e.g. for products such as Persil & Aspro. Others were specific to Coleraine Businesses e.g. A.D.Sutherland’s paint business. Savings in war time, Red Cross Concerts & book collections also featured. The N.I. Civil Defence Exhibition, 1943, in Belfast demonstrated a need for some culture during war time. The vote of thanks was given by Diana Kirkpatrick.

Ken giving his talk


20 October 2015 – Stanley Bate – Life on the River Bush and Showband Days

A very well attended meeting heard Stanley’s first talk –  an illustrated journey from the source of the River Bush to its entrance at the sea at Portballintrae. Many bridges were crossed – Magherahoney, Langford, Stranocum, Conagher, Stroan, Bellisle, Victoria (built in 1874 by Robert Montgomery), Benvardin, Seneril, New Bridge (built by the MacNaghtens) and the Tramway Bridge.   His second talk was dedicated to the late Bobby Platt and illustrated many showbands of the 50’s & 60’s era. The vote of thanks to Stanley was given by Nigel McIlwaine.

Stanley after his talk


*** Wednesday 14 October 2015 – Bann Disc Launch ***

Volume 21 of the Bann Disc will be launched in Coleraine Library on Wednesday 14 October at 7.00pm


15 September 2015 – Dr. Olwen Purdue – Big Houses

Over 50 members and visitors heard this talk on large estates in the C19th and how they flourished and then declined. Landlords had wealth and position in society – political influence in Parliament and Court. It was a deferential society with regard to tenant and landlord. From 1880 agrarian unrest prompted Land Reform with fair rents for tenants, freedom of sale and fixity of tenure. Eventually landlords had mounting debts and found difficulty in maintaining large estates and houses. Many of these fine house were abandoned. At present some owners have diversified into e.g. farming special breeds, catering or giving their estate to the National Trust. The vote of thanks to Dr. Purdue was given by Anne-Marie Huston.

Olwen Purdue and Chairman Barbara Harding


13 June 2015 – Outing to Donegal – see News Section for Photos



19 May 2015 – Jim Wilkinson – Dunseverick Memories

Jim gave an interesting talk on the history of Dunseverick, once a busy fishing village which had 2 mills and a kiln. Fishermen had a hard life. The staple diet of the villagers was dried cod. There was no electricity, mains water nor telephones – the nearest being over 2 miles away. Electricity and water came in 1960. Now there are no fishing boats due to EU regulations and the population has reduced to 10. Chris Kirkpatrick gave the vote of thanks to Jim.


21 April 2015 – Trevor Adams – N.I. Digital Film Archive

An evening of fascinating old film clips, commencing with the Lumiere brothers in the late 19th century and moving through the decades. The Film Archive is available to view in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart.


17 March 2015 – AGM & Dinner. Dr. John Kerr, Garvagh – Life of a GP

Characters and experiences over many years


17 February 2015 – Dr. Brendan Scott – The Ulster Port Books

These are based on research done by R.J. Hunter into Customs Books for Derry, Coleraine, Carrickfergus & Lecale Ports which are held by West Yorkshire Archives.

The records are unreliable e.g. cargoes leaving Coleraine diminished on arrival at their destination possibly due to corruption or inaccurate clerical work.

Imports in 1612 – 15 included house building materials, luxury items such as spices, figs, wine from France ans Spain, nets and ropes for the fishing industry and cloth from Scotland.

In July 1615 a consignment of weapons, ammunition and gunpowder were imported from Scotland.

Exports included cattle, grain and timber


20 January 2015 – Hugh Wade – History of Hugh Wade and Son

Hugh gave an illustrated talk on the 180 year old history of the business which commenced in Garvagh in 1835. As was the custom of the time, undertaking was combined with other trades e.g. grocery and public house. In 1937 Wades moved, as undertakers,  to the Waterside in Coleraine. By 1956 they had moved to Railway Road and then to Abbey Street in 1963. They took over T.MacFarlane and Son in 1967. The talk was well attended and enjoyed by members and visitors.

Hugh Wade and Committee
Hugh Wade and Committee


Members’ Night 2009


Speakers at Members’ Night 18.11.09. Back row :- Harry Gregg, Linda Gilmore Front row:-  Grant Cameron and Norman Hamill

Office Bearers and Committee of the Society for 2017- 2018:
  • Chairman: Robert Anderson
  • Secretary: Diana Kirkpatrick
  • Treasurer: Chris Kirkpatrick
  • Member: Josephine Carter
  • Member: Jennifer Cunningham
  • Member  Barbara Harding
  • Member: Anne-Marie Huston
  • Member: Michael Jones
  • Member: Joanne Kennedy
  • Member: Nigel McIlwaine
  • Member: Dr. Michael Thompson
* Programmes of Previous Meetings – click to enlarge *


Programme 1987-1988

PROG 1987-88(1)PROG 1987-88 92)

Programme 1988-1989

PROG 1988-89(1)PROG1988-89(2)

Programme 1993-1994


Programme 1994-1995 * click to enlarge*