Craigavon Historical Society at 21

Vol. 6 No. 1 - 1989

Coming of Age

21 Years of Craigavon Historical Society

by S.C. Lutton

The year 1989 will herald the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Craigavon Local History Society (after a year the title was changed to the Craigavon Historical Society). The origins of the Society are now a little obscure but there were several meetings held in Lurgan in early 1967 of people interested in forming a Historical Society. Amongst these were, Rev B J Mooney; S J W Cooper; K Clendinning; J F McShane; D M Holt; G R Robinson.

When it was eventually agreed to form a Historical Society, the question of a title came up. There were some strong feelings expressed about this, but eventually the Rev B J Mooney, proposed the title, Craigavon Local History Society, which was acceptable to the majority of the meeting.

The first year of the newly pledged Society can best be summed up in a foreword by the elected Chairman, Rev B J Mooney as printed in the publication (later Review) of April 1968.

The Craigavon Local History Society was launched at a meeting held in the College of Technology, Lurgan in April 1967. In the course of the meeting it transpired that the people present were interested not only in History, in the strict sense, but also in a wide variety of kindred subjects e.g., Archaeology, Folk-Life, Place-names, to mention only three. It was agreed that the Society should cast its net wide enough to embrace all these interests.

The first publication was a seven page (including soft front and back) slim booklet with a front cover ink drawing, sketched by S J W Cooper, of the entrance walls and gate of a farm, over-hung by a mature tree. The officials listed were:

  • President : Rev B J Mooney
  • Hon. Secretary: Miss H Mehaffey
  • Hon. Treasurer: D M Holt

The newly fledged Society had a priority thrust upon it. It was realised that with the development of the new city of Craigavon, many features of the landscape would be obliterated or damaged beyond recognition. It was felt that something should be done to preserve for posterity at least a record of the designated area. To this end a number of groups were formed from amongst the members to survey the townlands threatened by development and to photograph and record interesting features of buildings and landscape. The Team Leaders of the project as recorded in the 1968 Bulletin were:

J F McShane, D Ryan, S J W Cooper, K Clendinning, H G Brand, S C Lutton, K McClelland.

The survey team leaders were issued with large scale Ordinance Survey Maps of their areas. The maps were supplied by the recently formed Craigavon Development Commission of Bachelor's Walk, Portadown who assisted and encouraged the Society in carrying out this survey and in many other ways. Although much time and energy was expended by the survey team, not a great deal was finalised to the point of being recorded for posterity. One of the difficulties was getting a team of three or four members together on a Saturday morning or afternoon. However, some interesting records with photographs were made and these have appeared in subsequent Reviews, over the years.

In the 1968 Bulletin, a description is given of the stage coach route on the old Lurgan/Portadown road, which passed through the townland of Legahory, Drumgor, Moyraverty, Crossmachilly, Lisnamintry (Bluestone) Lylo, Bocombra, Killicomaine and Edenderry. Mention is made and the site marked on a map of interesting features, such as the 'Crown Inn' Legahory, the Society of Friends Burial Ground at Lynastown and the 'Red Cow Inn' at Moyraverty. The back page of the Bulletin showed 3 silhouette drawings of gates as found in Moyraverty and constructed by local Blacksmiths.

The Second Review Vol. 1 No 1 with photograph of St Marks Parish Church, Portadown, publication of 1969 was much more ambitious. The title was changed to REVIEW, Journal of the Craigavon Historical Society and was printed by the Ronan Press, Lurgan. There was a change in Officials;

Mrs McCormac was now Hon Secretary and S C Lutton had replaced D M Holt as Hon Treasurer. Douglas Holt had been appointed Manager of the Portglenone branch of the Northern Bank and consequently had to resign his office in the Society, on leaving Portadown.

The Editor of the Review was S J W Cooper, assisted by K Clendinning.

The Committee as listed were:

K McClelland; J F McShane; D Holt, G Leckey, K Clendinning and S J W Cooper,

Articles in this Review were:

  • "Portadown and Banbridge Regional Waterworks" by S C Lutton,
  • "The Brownlow Family and the Rise of Lurgan by K Clendinning,
  • "Family Names in the Lurgan Area" by P Creery,
  • "Roof Construction in Traditional Houses in the Craigavon Area" by S J W Cooper,

A particular point of interest in this article, is the description and cross-section drawing of the CRUCK FRAME house construction found in and around the Waringstown area. This cross-section drawing has appeared on the cover of all subsequent REVIEWS as the symbol or 'Logo' of the Society,

  • "Lynastown Burial Ground" by S J W Cooper with list of burials.

In 1968 there is a write up of the Society's outings by D H Holt. The evening outing was to Tandragee Castle, Gosford Castle at Markethill. The all day, Summer outing was attended by 46 members to Faughart, County Louth, the Gap of the North, Pass of Moyry and round the Cooley peninsula to the town of Carlingford with its many ruins, thence via Windy gap and the Long Woman's Grove to Ballymascanlon Hotel for an evening meal, before proceeding home.

The membership of the Society for 1968/69 was 67 and the annual subscription £1.

The 1969/70 Review Vol. 1 No 2 with cover photograph of Brownlow House noted a further change in officials; Mrs Florence E Gracey had taken over from Mrs McCormac as Hon Secretary. The Committee was composed of J N Brown, G R Chapman, K Clendinning, S J W Cooper, J F McShane, G Robinson and S C Lutton.

There was a number of outstanding articles in the Review:

  • 'James Logan, Secretary to William Penn by F J G Malcomson;
  • 'The Danes on Lough Neagh' by Rev Dean B Mooney;
  • 'County Armagh Yeomanry Corps' by S C Lutton;
  • 'A Way of Life Disappears' by K Clendinning;
  • 'The Blacksmith' by S J W Cooper;
  • 'A Day to Remember' by F J McShane describing the all day 1970 Summer Outing to Enniskillen, visiting Devenish and Write Islands on Lough Erne by motor boat.

The May 1970 evening outing was an organised visit to "Focus - 70" at Waringstown when the village and its activities were on view. One of our committee, S J Wilfred Cooper was chairman of the organising committee for "Focus - 70". Waringstown House, the Church of Ireland (Church of the Holy Trinity) and the Presbyterian Church were on view, with an exhibition of village history and leisure activities in the Church hall.

Chief of these was a live demonstration of Damask hand loom weaving by John Leathem. Thus for a period of one week, the almost forgotten sound of the handloom was once again heard in Waringstown with the rhythmical, Hatch-E-Co, Hatch-E-Co sound produced by the jig of the jacquard above the loom and the clickety/clack of the shuttle on its to and fro traverse across the loom sley.

The 1970/71 Review notes some outstanding lectures. The opening Autumn 1970 lecture was one to be remembered. The title "History of Quakerism in Ulster" by George R Chapman. The spring 1971 lecture programme on a single topic, being a series of four lectures on Lough Neagh, organised by Mr R G Morton of the Extra-Mural department of Queens University.

Other lectures given during the year were as follows:

  • 'Bird Conservation' by Frank Hamilton.
  • 'Old Portadown in Pictures' by S C Lutton. It was based on the slides collected by William Sprott. The collection together with a unique projector was donated to Portadown College and may be still available.

The New Year (1971) saw the publication of the Review Vol. 2 No 1. It contained articles by the following writers:

  • 'Moira (Magh rath) the plains of the fort' by Very Rev H Hughes.
  • 'Quaker Meeting Places in the Lurgan Area' by G R Chapman. It was a written development of his oral lecture of October 1970.
  • 'The Graveyards of North West Down' by Richard S J Clarke. This article describes graveyards and church yards with details of notable tomb stones in Magheralin, Moira, Donacloney, Tullylish, etc.
  • 'Lough Neagh, Ulster's Inland Sea" by N C Morton and R G Morton. This was a follow up to the series of lectures in Spring 1971.
  • 'The Armagh Bye-Election' of 1753 by Kieran Clendinning. It describes the election campaign between Francis Caulfeild and William Brownlow of Lurgan.
  • 'Dicky Barton an Eccentric Lurgan Curate' by F J Malcomson. This article describes the life and authorship of Rev Richard Barton BD who was appointed Curate of Shankill Parish, Lurgan in 1744.
  • 'The Site of Craigavon' by D R M Weatherup. This comprehensive article describes the designated area of Craigavon covering 105 square miles.
  • 'The Monuments of County Armagh' by George Robinson, describes how historic monuments fall into three categories, viz 'State Care', 'Co Council Care' and 'Scheduled'. A List is given of Historic Movements with grid reference and Chief description.

The 1971 part day outing was on a Saturday afternoon visit to the Friary Church, Armagh. A talk was given by Mr C Lynn, Archaeologist, engaged on excavations at that time. It was followed by a visit to the Armagh Archbishop's Palace and the adjacent Chapel. The party was conducted through the buildings by Mrs Simms, wife of the Archbishop.

The 'all day', Summer Outing was a circular coach tour of Lough Neagh conducted by B C S Wilson and R G Morton of QUB, Extra-Mural Department.

The List of members for 1970/71 totalled 130.

The Review Vol. 2 No 2 published in early 1973 with plain yellow and white cover covered the year 1971/72.

The 1971 Autumn lecture programme commenced with a series of three lectures on 'Medieval Irish Civilisation'. The opening lecture entitled, 'The Book of Kells' was delivered by Most Rev George Otto Simms, Archbishop of Armagh. The lecture was illustrated by a unique collection of coloured slides showing fine details of the illuminated text.

In November Dr G Stockman lectured on 'Medieval Gaelic Literature'. Mr R G Warner concluded the lectures on 'Irish High Crosses' describing how they represented "the word" in carved relief form which could be understood by a mainly illiterate, Christian Society.

The Spring 1972 opened with a lecture entitled 'Our Georgian Heritage' by Mrs Miriam Daly based on social life in the 18th century. February 1972 a lecture on the 'Conservation of Georgian Buildings' by Mr J E C Lewis Crosby of the "National Trust". He selected Wellbrook Beetling Mill near Cookstown to illustrate the conservation of an industrial building. This beetling mill was used for importing a fine lustrous "finish", to linen cloth 'A Georgian Evening' by Mr R G Morton concluded the series.

The lecture was illustrated by slides and highlighted with readings from some 18th century authors. He also read extracts from Mrs Delany's letters, depicting life lived in Irish country houses. Mrs Delany's home was "Mount Panther", near Dundrum, County Down. This magnificent mansion is now in ruins - alas! the glory has departed.

The articles in the Review of 1973 were as follows:

  • 'Magheralin, an Historical Notebook' by J N Hamilton. This village now known as Maralin.
  • 'Railways in Craigavon' by Charles P Friel. This is an excellent history of the development of the Ulster Railway through from Belfast to Portadown and the lines radiating from this junction to Armagh, Dungannon, Omagh, Strabane, Derry, Enniskillen and finally Dublin as a merger of several railway systems as the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) in 1876.
  • 'Dendrochronology and its Irish Implications' by M Bailie. This learned article describes the science of dating timber used in building construction to arrive at the approximate date of the building itself.
  • 'Early Settlers in Lurgan' by P Creery. Here we have a list of names of County Armagh householders in 1664/65 in Barony of O'Nealand and Shankill in 1664. A comparison is made with a 1967 Register of Executors to show what names have survived.
  • 'The 17th and 18th Century Family Chronicle' by J C Crozier, tells us of Dolly Monroe the Beauty of the Bann from Laurencetown; the Sacheverells of Mulladry castle, Richhill and the Richardson's of Richhill castle.
  • 'The Carrier' by S J W Cooper. A record of the Kirk family of Monbrief who were carriers in the days of horse and cart transport. Their main area of operation was between the Lurgan districts and Belfast Warehouses and docks.
  • 'Exhibition in Tartaraghan' by W E C Fleming. This is a record of an exhibition held in Tartaraghan Parish Hall in September 1972. It covered all aspects of local history and included Estate Maps, Parish Records, local Industries Farm Implements and Household Articles.

In May 1972 an evening outing took place to Markethill where an organised tour was made of the Spence Bryson and Co Limited linen weaving factory. For this purpose, selected items of machinery in yarn preparation and weaving were seen at work. This factory is one of the few remaining linen weaving units of a former vast industry in Northern Ireland.

The "all day" May outing was to the Galloway Peninsula in South West Scotland with visits to Glenluce Abbey Chapel Finnian and Whithorn Priory.

The Review Vol. 2 No 3 with Pink Cover with drawing of Cross-section of Cruck Frame published in February 1974 covered the 1972/73 period.

The Officials of the Society were:

  • Chairman Very Rev Dean Mooney
  • Vice-Chairman George R Chapman
  • Hon Secretary Mrs F E Gracey
  • Hon Treasurer S C Lutton
  • Editor of Review S J W Cooper assisted by K Glendinning.

The committee were composed of K Clendinning, S J W Cooper, J F McShane, G R Robinson and Arnold Sleator.

The lecture programme commenced in October 1972 with a talk by E R R Green, Director of Irish Studies at QUB. He focused attention on the factories, canals and railways of the 18th and 19th century.

The second lecture was on the 'Industrial Archaeology of the Craigavon Area' by Dr H D Gribbon of the department of Economic History in QUB. He traced the history of transport from horse and cart to canals, railways and road. Dr Gribbon continued with a further lecture on, 'Factories and Manufacturers' premises in the 18th and 19th century with their dependence on wind mill and water-wheel power.

The spring 1973 opening lecture was given by Mr Gavin Simpson on 'Pre-History and Archaeology' of Ireland. It covered two lectures, the first on pre-history and the second on domesticated farming and developing skills of metal working and pottery.

In March the concluding series lecture was given by Mr Tom McNeill on 'Norman Mottes and Castles in Ireland'. This was the final lecture in the series arranged by Mr R L Morton of the Extra-Mural department of QUB.

In April Mr S J W Cooper, addressed the Society on 'Aspects of Local History'. The talk was illustrated by coloured shots items of local historical interest that he had personally collected.

The contents of the Review were as follows:

  • 'Isaac Bullick and the rise of Methodism in Lurgan' by J C Malcomson. It outlines the establishment and development of the Methodist Faith in Lurgan, also visits of John Wesley on no less than seven times.
  • 'Trees and Man' in the Craigavon Area by Francis McCorry.
  • 'From Single Ford to Four Bridges' by W H Jackson.
  • A history of the Newry Navigation Canal in relation to the rivers Bann and Cusher in and around the townland of Knock.
  • "Old Times, Old Names, Old Events" by J C Crozier. Extracts from diaries kept by William Loftie 1700-1775 of Tandragee.
  • "The Montiaghs" by Hazel Turkington. A most informative article of the history of the area south of Lough Neagh, known as the Montiaghs.
  • 'The Linen Trade of County Armagh since the turn of the century' by S C Lutton gives a detailed list of types of flax or linen fabrics produced in County Armagh together with the firms engaged in manufacturing based on the writers 46 years of experience in the weaving end of the linen trade.
  • 'The Clog Ban' by G R Chapman from an article written by Rev A Dawson, former rector of Seagoe, on the County Armagh hand-bell.

May 1973 witnessed our second trip to Scotland. This time it was to the South West of Scotland and the venue was Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, a 18th century mansion, designed by Robert Adam for the 10th Earl of Cassillis, a Kennedy with Irish connections.

The Review Vol. 3 No 1 with cover photographs - The middle Church Ballinderry published in February 1975 covered the 1973/74 years.

The Officials are given as follows:

  • Chairman G R Chapman
  • Vice Chairman S J W Cooper
  • Hon Secretary Mrs F E Gracey
  • Hon Treasurer S C Lutton
  • Committee: Miss L Seawright, K Clendinning, S J W Cooper, S G McShane, F McCorry, G R Robinson.

The opening lecture in 1973 was given by Mr W H Crawford of the Public Records Office on Sources for the History of County Armagh. This title covered a series of three lectures and with Bill Crawford's intimate knowledge of the Lurgan area in particular, it was of a very high standard.

The spring 1974 programme on a series of three lectures of the 'Folklife of Ulster' was given by Dr R A Gailey. The titles of the series of three lectures were

  1. Vernacular Architecture
  2. Seasonal Custom Observance
  3. Popular Oral Traditions.

The April lecture which had now become a "Members" lecture was given by Mr Kieran Clendinning. The title was 'The Middle Church at Ballinderry'. The architecture mainly of Jacobean origin was well illustrated with slides. Constant reference was made to Bishop Jeremy Taylor.

As a follow up to his lecture Kieran Clendinning led an evening field-trip to Ballinderry, covering the 'Middle Church' and the ruin of the pre-reformation church, close by Portmore Lough, locally known as the 'La Loua'.

The "all day' Summer Outing was to the Ards Peninsula. It included a visit to the Cistercian foundation of Greyabbey and then a ferry-boat trip across the entrance straits of Strangford Lough (Portaferry to Strangford) which was followed by a visit to Castleward now in "National Trust" care. This large house is the rather unique feature of a "classical" style front and a "Strawberry Gothic" style, rear portion. It was built in this fashion to appeal to the architectural taste of the Ward's, husband and wife.

The February 1976 Vol. 3 No 2 Review with cover page photograph of Mullahead Plough Team covers the 1974/75 year.

The Officials were the same but there was one addition to the Committee, that of Rev W E C Fleming.

The Editorial incorporated the Obituary of Very Rev Dean Bernard Mooney who died on 11th October 1975. Dean Mooney was a foundation member of our Historical Society and its first Chairman. He was a broad minded man, widely read and his scholarship and research into the meaning of local place names, was outstanding. His sincerity and courtesy combined with his ready wit, made him beloved of all.

The Autumn lecture programme of 1974 was a second series for "Sources for the first lecture the History of County Armagh" again by the ever popular lecturer, W H Crawford who lectured on the "Molyneaux Estate of Castledillon about 1700". In November Mr R S Gourley dealt with the "Gosford Estate Papers".

The December lecture by Mr B Trainor on "The Great Famine in North Armagh". From the minutes of the Board of Guardians of Lurgan Work-house, Mr Trainor quoted the appalling figure of 1,118 deaths in the year 1847.

Topic of the spring 1975 series was "Folklife of Ulster" by Dr R G Gailey. This was a series of three lectures all by Dr Gailey. In January the title was "House-hold Life in the Past". February "Changing Food Habits" and March, "Popular Recreations and Sport".

The April meeting by a member was given by Mr Philip Wilson. His topic, "Communications in the Growth of Portadown", a history of bridges, roads, canals and railways.

The Review, published in February 1976 covered the year of 1974/75.

Articles subscribed:

  • 'The Presbyterians of Portadown' by Arnold G Sleator.
  • 'John O'Donovan and Dean Waring' by J F Malcomson.
  • 'The End of Mourne Water in Portadown' by Robert E Hadden.
  • 'The Lough Gullion Drainage Attempt' by Frank McCorry.
  • 'In the Wake of Progress by K Clendinning.
  • 'The Tree-Ring Dating of a group of Waringstown Timbers' by N G L Baillie.
  • 'Market Day in Portadown' by K Clendinning.
  • 'The Blacker Diaries' by S C Lutton.
  • 'Folk Drama in the Craigavon Area' by Alan Gailey.

The 1975 evening outing was conducted by George R Chapman in a small area of County Armagh. The party had a close look at the ancient Parish Church of Kilmore followed by a visit to Ballyhegan where an early "Friends" meeting house was sited. Then on to Annahugh House, a white washed Georgian farm house of some distinction. The final area resited was Loughgall village where the Manor House of the Cope family was inspected.

The Summer all day outing was to South Down, visiting Dromore Mound (motte) and then on to the Downpatrick area where the party visited Inch Abbey, Struel Wells, Kilchief Castle, Jordon's Castle at Ardglass and finally Dundrum Castle, north of Newcastle.

Vol. 3 No 3 of the Review with photograph of "Grace Hall" was published in 1977. It covered the period, 1975/76.

The listed Officials were as follows:

  • Chairman S J W Cooper
  • Vice Chairman K Clendinning
  • Hon Secretary Mrs F E Gracey
  • Hon Treasurer S C Lutton
  • Committee Miss L Seawright, G R Chapman, Rev W E C Fleming, J F McShane, F X McCorry, G R Robinson, B Cassells.

The Autumn 1975 lectures were as follows:

  • 'The Book of Durrow' by Most Rev G O Simms.
  • 'Family Names' by Dr Turner.
  • 'Colonel Saunderson and the Saunderson Papers' by Mr A B Cook. Colonel Saunderson's statue dressed in Victorian frock coat stands in front of St Mark's Church, Portadown.

The Spring 1976 series of lectures were as follows:

  • 'Irish Country Town' by Mr Colin Hatrick, a series of three lectures.
  • The Members lecture in April was given by Rev W E C Fleming. His topic was 'Tartaraghan Precinct'.
  • Articles in the Review were as follows:
  • 'Alexander Cuppage of Silverwood House' by J G Malcomson.
  • 'Looking back at Farming' by S J W Cooper.
  • 'The Quaker Influence in Moyallon' by W H Jackson.
  • 'The Famine of 1846/48' by F X McCorry.
  • 'Tartaraghan Precinct' by Rev W E C Fleming.
  • 'Ulster Memories' by Robert England.

The May, evening outing was to Ardress House. The all day Summer outing was to the village of Gracehill outside Ballymena, a Moravian settlement

The Review of 1978 with photograph of S J W Cooper covered the Societies activities of 1976/77. During this period a display of Agriculture machinery and implements with the addition of by-gone, household effects was established at the farmyard and out buildings of Ardress House, a National Trust property.

For a number of years a collection of old implements and machinery had been made by several members of our Society. These had been held in store in various places and were slowly deteriorating due to rust and damp. The Society was approached by the National Trust who suggested that the out buildings and farmyard at Ardress House would provide a suitable Museum. This suggestion was readily taken up by members of the committee and the setting-up of the display was proceeded with.

The lecture programme was as follows:

  • The Autumn 1976 series was based on Emigration. The opening lecture was by Mr Trevor Parkhill of the PRO on sources of information touching emigration. It was followed in November by Mr N C Mitchell on the Scots-Irish exodus to the
  • New World. Mr Mitchell concluded the series on settlement to Australia, not all of which were voluntary and to the group settlements of Ulster Stock to New Zealand.
  • The Spring 1977 lecture series was under the heading 'Pre-history and Archaeology of South Armagh'. The first lecture was on 'Early Churches in County Armagh' by Miss Anne Hamlin. Mr Chris Lynn continued the series with a lecture, 'Excavations in Armagh City'. The series Was concluded by Mr Michael Avery on 'Hill Forts'.
  • The members lecture in April was given by Mr F.X McCorry on the 'Montiaghs' an area comprising ten townlands, separated in 1865 from the rest of the Parish of Seagoe.

As a result of the interest aroused by the Emigration series, the all day, Summer Outing was a tour embracing the Ulster-American Folk Park, then the Ancestral home of President Wilson of the USA through the Glenelly Valley to Beaghmore, Store Circle.

The articles in the 1978 Review, were as follows:

  • 'The Agricultural Museum at Ardress House' by Linda Seawright.
  • 'The Loughsiders' by F X McCorry.
  • 'Lough Neagh and the Local Sailing Club' by G Philip Bell.
  • 'The Townland of Knock' by Philip Wilson.

The front cover picture of this Review is of Mr S J W Cooper. He organises the "Schools Competition" sponsored by the Society. The competition has a different theme each year. The illustrated write-up of the subject within prescribed limits, is set up in Ardress House for public viewing. Prizes are awarded to the school groups who produce the best results. There is an annual Prize Day ceremony at Ardress House. The first year of the "Schools Competition" coincided with the setting-up of the Agriculture Museum.

The Review Vol. 4 No 2 with the photograph of the Bannfoot ferry covered the year 1978/79. The officials were the same, but the committee had one additional name, that of P B Wilson,

J F McShane did not seek re-election.

The Autumn 1978 lecture series had as its theme "Out-standing figures in the Scots-Irish Emigration to North America".

  • The first lecture was "Penn's Secretary - James Logan of Lurgan" by E R R Green.
  • The second lecture in the series was on the contribution that Andrew Jackson made to the United States of America.
  • The third lecture in December was on Thomas Mellon by Mr George Gilmour of the Irish American Folk Park of Camphill, Omagh. In January 1979,
  • Dr R S J Clarke gave an illustrated talk on "Tombstones".
  • The February and March lectures were given by Dr Brian Graham on, "The Normans in Ireland".
  • Members' night in April was in the hands of K Clendinning and George Robinson with slides and display of articles from the Ardress Agricultural Museum.

The contents of the Review were listed as under.

  • 'John O'Donovan visits Magheralin' by J G Malcomson.
  • 'John Macoun, Botanist and Explorer from Maralin' by Mary G McGeown.
  • 'The poetry of Montiaghs' by F X McCorry.
  • 'Replica of Bronze Age House' by G Robinson.
  • 'Moses Teggart the Poet of the Boglands' by W E C Fleming.
  • 'The Church of the Holy Trinity' by S J W Cooper.

The evening outing in May was a visit to Brownlow House, Lurgan, conducted by K Clendinning.

The annual summer Outing on 26th May 1979 was to Dublin. The party visited first, Christ Church Cathedral and then St Patrick's Cathedral. This event was somewhat marred by a break-in to the parked coach which led to the loss of several items of members' property which were stolen when they were away.

Review Vol. 4 No 3 with photograph of a barge on the Newry Canal. This copy covered two years. The Officials are listed as follows:

  • Chairman K Clendinning
  • Vice Chairman G R Robinson
  • Hon Secretary Mrs F E Gracey
  • Hon Treasurer S C Lutton

Committee Miss M H Andew, Mrs P Wilson, D B Cassells, G R Chapman, S J W Cooper, W E C Fleming, F X McCorry, P B Wilson.

The contents of the Review were contributed by the following writers:

  • 'In Praise of Graveyards' by Edward and Primrose Wilson.
  • '19th Century Schools in Lurgan' by Ian Wilson.
  • 'A short History of the Loughgall Area' by S C Lutton.
  • 'The Blacker Diaries' by S C Lutton.
  • 'Demographic Crises in Shankill Parish' by F X McCorry.
  • 'Gilford and its Mills' by M P Campbell.

The Review had become Bi-Annual and the Hon Secretary's Reports covers events in the Society's year 1979/80 and also 1980/81.

The Autumn lecture series 1979 opened with a talk, entitled, "Robert John Welsh, Photographer Extraordinary" by C Douglas Deane. In November Mr E Wilkinson spoke on "Crozier of Banbridge".

In December Canon J Barry gave a lecture entitled "St Columba's Voyage Relived".

In the Spring series 1980, the January lecture was given by Mr Jonathan Bell on "Traditional Farming".

Dr Philip Robinson the history of "The Traditional Farm Houses" in February.

In March, Mr Hugh Dickson gave an illustrated lecture on "Buildings of North Armagh".

Members night was taken by Mrs Florence E Gracey on "The Growth and Development of Lurgan". This information talk was illustrated through an overhead projector.

The evening outing of 1980 was led by K McClelland and Rev W E C Fleming. It covered the main features of the Tartaraghan and Birches area.

The Annual Summer outing was to North Antrim, Dunluce Castle and Bunamargy Friary were visited. Mr George Robin; organised this tour as on previous years and Mr Dallat of the Glen of Antrim Historical Society acted as guide to Bunamargy.

The third Schools Competition prize day took place at Ardress House on 3rd June, 1980.

1980/81 lectures:

The Society's Chairman, Mr S J W Cooper opened the Autumn 1980 programme with lecture entitled, "Waringstown Past and Present".

In November Mr F X McCorry lectured on "Demographic Aspects of 19th Century Montiagh Life".

In December, Mr McCorry continued this theme with an analysis of population trend and the effect of famine and emigration.

The 1981 Spring series had as a theme "Historic Monuments".

  • In January Mr N Brannon lectured on, "Mapping and Recording Archaeological Sites'
  • In February, Mrs Eileen Hickey lectured on, "Images of Stone".
  • In March, Dr Tom McNeill spoke on, "Medieval Castles".
  • The April Members' night lecture was given by Mr George Robinson on "Maintenance of Ancient Monuments".

The Society's evening outing visited Waringstown where at th Parish Church Mr S J W Cooper outlined the history of the church and its outstanding architectural features.

The all day Annual Summer outing was a journey south to the Republic where Mellifont Abbey, the Boyne Valley sites of Knowth and New Grange were visited. Professor Eogan of University College, Dublin was our guide to the Boyne Valley sites.

The Review Vol. 5 No 1 dated 1983/84 has a picture of "The Hallow", Waringstown. It was taken from an oil painting of 1849 by Hugh Fraser RHA. The Officials listed were:

  • Chairman G R Robinson
  • Vice Chairman K Clendinning
  • Hon Secretary D B Cassells
  • Hon Treasurer Miss M G Boland.

The Committee was composed of Mrs P Wilson, G R Chapman, S J W Cooper, Rev W E Fleming, S C Lutton, F X McCorry, E McElroy, H McIntyre.

The Autumn 1982 lecture programme opened with a illustrated talk by Mrs May Blair on "The Lagan Navigation".

The November lecture was given by Mr D S McNeice, entitled, "The Mill Village of Gilford".

In December, Mr D R M Weatherup spoke on "The Growth of Tandragee".

Spring 1983 lectures was a series of three on "The Plantation of Ulster" by Dr P Robinson.

The Members night was given by K McClelland on "The Architecture of Philip Bell". For this lecture, the Society were the guests of the Mayor of Craigavon and took place at the new, "Civic Centre".

The evening outing was a "walk about" in the City of Armagh, conducted by D R M Weatherup.

The Annual outing took place on 28th May 1983. It followed a tour of the City of Londonderry, included an inspection of a section of the City Walls and Gates; the Guildhall and St Columba's Cathedral. The customary evening meal was partaken at the restaurant in the Roe Valley Country Park.

The Schools Competition, Prize day was as usual at Ardress House. The theme or subject for the competition was "Linen".

This Review was presented in a new larger format. It contained a number of interesting articles as listed below:

  • 'Birds of Lurgan Park' by Walter Culbert.
  • 'The 19th Century Schools in Lurgan, Part 2" by Ian Wilson.
  • 'Tartaraghan Old Graveyard, alias the Toby Hole' by W E C Fleming.
  • 'Reflexions on Irish Linen' by Leslie Calvert.
  • 'Two Cities in Peace and War - Belfast and Bristol' by S C Lutton.
  • 'Crozier of Banbridge' by John Kerr.
  • 'Infant Mortality in Northern Irish Provincial Towns with particular reference to Lurgan, Portadown and Ballymena, in the inter-war period".
  • 'Presbyterianism in Lurgan 1684 1984' by D B Cassells.

The Lecture Programme for 1983-1984 was as follows: October 1983 Annual General Meeting. Speaker: Mr B Mackie.

  • October: Ulster Place Names - Mrs D Flannagan.
  • November: The Newry Canal - Dr D B McNeill.
  • December: George Russell (AE) - J R Gray.
  • January: 1984 Country Crack - T P McDavitte.
  • February: 18th Century Linen Bleachers - Miss J L'Amie.
  • March: Georgian Building in Armagh - Dr D R Weatherup.
  • April: Lecture in First Presbyterian Church, Lurgan - Dr Thompson.

The Evening outing on 8th May was a visit to the original and present, Presbyterian Churches in Lurgan.

The Annual Summer outing was to County Fermanagh, visiting Enniskillen Museum, Castle Archdale and White Island.

The 'Schools Competition' Prize Day was held at Ardress House on 5th June.

Review Vol. 5 No 1 was available in May 1984. It was in a new A4 format and was printed by Austin Graphics, The Studio, 55 Brackagh Road, Portadown. The cost was £372 for 300 copies. Copies of the REVIEW sold to non-members were to be sold at £2.50 per copy.

The Review Vol. 5 No 2 1985/86 has on the cover an old photograph of street trading in High Street, Portadown. The Officials and Committee listed were the same as in Vol. 5 No 1, but, H McIntyre is now designated, "Minutes Secretary".

The Autumn 1984 lecture series, opened in October with a lecture by Mr D Dixon on "Architectural Heritage".

The November lecture was given by Dr F W Hammond on the subject, "Wind and Watermills in Ulster".

In December, Dr M Yates spoke on the "Armagh Archaeological Survey".

The Spring 1985 lecture series started with an illustrated slide lecture on "Alaska". It was delivered in a racy style with pithy comments - more a travelogue than a sober lecture to a historical society, but very entertaining, nevertheless.

In February our old friend, D R M Weatherup gave us a talk on "Loughgall".

In March, Miss A Miller lectured on "Ulster Artists".

The Members night lecture was given by Mr K Clendinning on "Aspects of Old Maralin". At this meeting a presentation of Tyrone Crystal was made to two former officials of the Society namely Mrs Florence Gracey who as Hon Secretary gave out-standing service to the Society for over 14 years and also to Mr Sam Lutton who served for a similar period, as Hon Treasurer.

The Review had its usual series of good articles and it is to be appreciated that they are all of original material that has not been previously published.

  • 'Tartaraghan during the Great Irish Famine' by W E C Fleming.
  • 'Friends Agricultural School, Brookfield near Moira' by G R Chapman.
  • 'Oxford Island, A study in Conservation' by Walter Culbert.
  • 'A Glimpse of Tour, Northern Ireland Towns in the Mid Nineteenth Century" by F X McCorry.
  • 'The Middle Church, Balinderry' by K Clendinning.
  • 'Secondary Education in Lurgan, Half a Century ago' by Emily Hunter.
  • 'Ezekiel Bullock, a Lurgan Clock-maker' by Charles Gardiner.
  • 'The Rise and Development of Portadown' by S C Lutton.
  • 'William F McFadzean VC' by S J W Cooper.

Queen's Birthday Honours. 'Two Society Members' by S J W Cooper. This records the granting of the MBE to our Chairman, George Robinson in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1985. This well deserved honour was conferred on Mr George Robinson for his many years of work in supervising the maintenance and restoration of much of our Northern Ireland Heritage.

Congratulations also to Mr Frank Radbone who in the same Honours List was awarded the "Imperial Service Medal" for dedicated service in the Post Office branch of the Northern Ireland Service.

The evening outing on 14th May 1985 visited Moneypenny's Lock, Lisnamintry Fort and the Friends' Graveyard at Moyraverty. The tour came to an end with a "cup of tea" at Drumgor Primary School, by courtesy of Mr E McElroy.

The all day Summer outing took place on Saturday 25th May. Visits were made to Nendrum, Inch Abbey and Downpatrick.

The Schools' Competition Prize day was held on 4th June at Ardress House. Our best thanks to Mr S J W Cooper for organising this competition, which has done a lot to encourage school children to research and record past and present industries, building and events.

The Review Vol. 5 No 3 of 1986/87 with an old photograph of Portadown GNR Railway Station.

The Officials and Committee of the Society were the same as listed in the Vol. 5 No 2 Review but with addition of Miss E Mullen. The Editor records, Obituary of George R Chapman who died in January 1986.

George Chapman was a member of our Society from its earliest years. He served on the Committee and after a few years was elected Chairman. He contributed a number of very fine articles to Review and also lectured on several occasions. His lectures and articles were amongst the most outstanding the Society had received and were superior in most cases to those delivered by professional writers and speakers.

The Autumn 1985 lecture series started in October with a lecture by Angelique Day entitled "The Ordinance Survey of Ireland - Memories of County Armagh".

In November we had the same speaker on "The Huguenots in Ireland".

The Lecturer listed for December was unable to come and Mr K Clendinning stepped into the breach with a show of very fine slides.

January 1986 was a lecture by Mr M Avery on "Celtic Heroes of the Bronze Age".

In February, Mrs M McManus lectured on "Crafts and Trades in North Armagh".

In March Mr Mallory lectured on "Navan Fort".

Members night in April was spent in the Reference Library in the old Portadown Technical College. The speaker was Mr J Canning, Librarian who was a past member of the Society.

The undernoted articles in Review were contributed:

  • 'Memories of an Old Pupil of Derrycarne School' by Harold Jackson.
  • 'An Early Emigrant Family from Seagoe Parish to America in 1682' by G R Chapman.
  • 'The Brownlow Papers' by Bryan A Follis.
  • 'The Old Railway Station Portadown' by H McIntyre.
  • 'Communication in Clancan' by W E C Fleming.
  • 'Historical Aspects of Kilmore House' by Helen Fitzpatrick.
  • 'The Inland Port of Portadown' by S C Lutton.
  • 'Headstones of the Past' by Ken McElroy.

The May 1986 evening outing was to the lower Ballinderry area. Mr K Clendinning gave the party a conducted tour of historical sites.

The all day, annual outing on the last Saturday in May was in the nature of a conducted tour to Rathlin Island by Mr George Robinson.

The Schools' Competition Prize day was held at Ardress House on 3rd June.

The Atkinson Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup was won by Mount St Catherine's School, Armagh. The cup commemorates the name of a family formerly living in Eden Villa, Bachelor's Walk. The family had a long association with the industrial and social life of Portadown.

Vol. 5 No 3 of the Review was the last one published. The next Review in early 1989 will cover events in 1986/87 and 1987/88.

The lecture programme for 1986/87 began on 30th September 1986 in Craigavon Civic Centre. Following the Annual General Meeting, a programme of "Songs and Stories of the North Armagh Area" was given by David Hammond. A harp recital was given by Portadown Harp School

  • In October the subject was "The Brownlow Papers" by Bryan Follis
  • In November we had a lecture on "Church Records" by Miss Valerie Adams.
  • In December Miss Muriel Green lectured on "The Irish Brontes".
  • The Spring 1987 programme was to have commenced in January with "The Newry - Armagh Railway" by John Campbell but was cancelled due to inclement weather.
  • In February we had an account of recent excavation at Scotch Street, Armagh by Mrs J McDowell.
  • In March the subject was, "The changing Face of Tartaraghan", by Rev W E C Fleming.
  • The April members' night was in the capable hands of Dr F X McCorry who spoke on "A fresh look at important Irish History Sources".

The evening outing took place on the 5th May 1987. Rev W E C Fleming was in charge of the tour which started from the assembly point of Maghery, followed by a boat trip to Coney Island. This excellent outing finished with a welcome cup of tea at Tartaraghan Parish Church hall.

The Annual Summer outing took place on Saturday 30th May 1987. It was an ambitious trip to the Sligo area by coach. The outward route was Enniskillen, Blacklion and Glenfame. Our guide for the day was Mr Frank O'Connor. The party visited The McDermot Cottage, Parkes , Castle on Lough Gill, department of Public Works depot at Drumahair, Sligo Abbey, Crevekeel Court Cairn and Yeat's grave in Drumcliff Churchyard with its epitaph: "Cast a cold eye on life and death, horseman pass by".

The Annual Prize day for the Schools' Competition took place on Tuesday 2nd June 1987 at Ardress House. The theme was, "Local Customs and Superstitions".

The lecture programme for 1987/88 began on 6th October 1987 in Craigavon Civic Centre. Following the Annual General Meeting, Mr Tony McAuley gave a talk illustrated by Video film, on "The Celts". This evening was arranged and sponsored by Craigavon Arts Committee and the Arts Council for Northern Ireland.

  • The normal October lecture was given on the 13th by Mr John Campbell. His subject was "Newry/Armagh Railway".
  • The November lecture was "Basket Malting" by Mrs Alison Fitzgerald, mainly practical demonstration of the art.
  • The December lecture was, "By Lough Neagh's Shores" by Mr Danny Donnelly.
  • The Spring 1988 lecture programme began on 12th January with a talk on "Antique Craftsmanship" by Mr Gavin Boyd who displayed a wonderful collection of antique objects of high quality and craftmanship.
  • The February lecture was given on the 16th on "Family Names" by Brian Turner.
  • The March lecture was by Bob Gourley on "Blacker Estate Agent Extraordinaire".
  • The April members night lecture was given by S C Lutton entitled, "The Spindle and Shuttle". A comprehensive display of linen cloth and weaving objects, shuttles etc, was passed round the members. The evening outing was held on Tuesday 3rd May to Maralin Parish Church. Mr Kieran Clendinning was in charge of the evening which included the old and new churches.

The annual summer outing was held on the 28th May 1988. The venue was "Glenveagh", Ireland's first National Park. The castle is situated on the banks of Gartan Lough and with shelter belts of trees, has developed a most interesting, sunken garden. The surrounding area is somewhat bleak, but might be described as of "wild scenic beauty".

The annual Schools' Competition prize day was held at Ardress House on 7th June 1988. The prizes were presented by Mrs S McKinney, Education Officer of the National Trust.

The 21st Annual General Meeting was held on the 27th September 1988 at the Civic Centre, Craigavon.

The Officials elected were as follows:

  • Chairman Mr G Robinson, MBE
  • Vice Chairman K Clendinning
  • Hon Secretary B Cassells
  • Minutes Sec H McIntyre
  • Hon Treasurer Miss J Boland

The existing Committee was re-elected en bloc consisting of Mrs P Wilson, Miss E Mullen-, Mrs F E Gracey, S J W Cooper, Rev W E C Fleming, S C Lutton, F X McCorry, E McElroy plus two new members, Colin McBurney and Albert Kirk.

Following the conclusion of the AGM, Mr Sam McAutry, well known as author, broadcaster and raconteur, addressed the audience. For a full hour everyone sat spellbound as he told stories and related events of his childhood. The highly successful meeting was jointly sponsored by Craigavon Historical Society and Craigavon Arts Committee.

The autumn 1988 lecture programme continued in October with a talk by Mr Marcus Patton on "The Importance of Traditional Ulster Architecture".

In November, Mr Tony Canavan gave his lecture on "The Newry Canal".

In December, Mr Ross Chapman, Veterinary Surgeon gave a lecture, entitled "Animal Cures, Long Ago". His talk was supported by a demonstration in the use of old veterinary instruments and equipment.

The December lecture completed the activities of the Society for 1988. The programme for 1989 has been planned, as follows:

Lecture in January, "Irish Souterrains" by R B Warner.

February "Estates in Ulster", by Dr J Wright.

March "Ulster Through the Eyes of a Camera", by C Douglas Deane.

April members night, "Waringstown Church and Precinct", by S J Wilfred Cooper.

There will be an evening outing in May and the "all day" Summer outing at the end of May.

The Schools' Competition, prize day will be held on 6th June 1989.

References and Acknowledgements

Society Outings in 1968 by D M Holt, printed in Vol. 1, No 1 Review.

The very comprehensive and meticulous Secretary's Reports in ten copies of the Review covering the years 1986 to 1981. Compiled by Florence E Gracey.

Secretary's Reports in Review from 1982 to 1987 by D Brian Cassells and Harold E McIntyre.

Extracts from the Minute Book