Speaker for 7th January 2020

President Dr. John McGlade greets Helen Perry, with Club Treasurer Nigel Semple (L) and Club Photographer Ken Parkes (R)

Coleraine Probus take a look at our local Museums

The President, John McGlade, welcomed members to this the first meeting of 2020, and then introduced the speaker for the meeting, Helen Perry. The topic of Helen's presentation was “The Museum Service; Highlights of the Local Collections”.


There are five historical collections managed by The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, these relate to Ballycastle Museum; the Coleraine Collection in our Town Hall; The Ballymoney Museum; The Roe Valley 'Green Lane' Museum; The Limavady Museum, as well as support for the Garvagh Museum and the Rathlin Boat House.


The Museums Service is responsible for managing the borough's unique archive collections. They endeavour to secure our "Public Memory", in visual and sometimes audio 'story telling', to reveal our famous sons and daughters, their lives and achievements, and the times they lived in.


Helen went on to describe in word and images, the various aspects of the collections associated with; The Mountsandel Settlement (dating back to 7000 BC - 'History really begins here!'); The Corrstown Bronze Age village (comprising 78 buildings and a population of 300, dating from 1500 BC); The Antrim Gardens, medieval excavations exposing Roman pottery shards dating from 2 AD; The Plantation Period with the Ceremonial Sword and silver gilt Mace presented to The Coleraine Corporation by The Hon. The Irish Society in 1702.


A special 'gem' of the collection is the 18th Century "Book of Coleraine”, showing the town as it used to be, a fortified settlement with a street layout similar to that of today. Helen also highlighted local trade and industry, represented by Gribbon's Mill and Taylor's Distillery, as well as famous artists and illustrators, like Hugh Thompson (1860 - 1920) and David McCormick (1860 - 1943).


Helen made special mentions of the extensive folklore, music, poetry and photographic collections of Sam Henry (1878 - 1952) and also Ronnie Gamble's books on the history of “The Coleraine Battery” were rightfully highly commended. Helen closed her talk with a special reference to archived reports and photographs from the 'Chronicle' and the (now defunct) 'Northern Constitution' (both invaluable sources of history recorded as it happened), added together with other photographic collections including postcards and travel posters preserved in the museums collections. Helen's presentation certainly encouraged members to further investigate our local history, and with the average age of Probus Members being well into the 70s, we'll living part of that history every day!


Special Thanks:
to Des for taking the photo, and Graham for the summary of the talk.

To find out more about our Coleraine Museum (and the others) 'Click' the Council logo below (this will open in a new window)


If you are interested in the Garvagh Museum - 'Click' the image below (this will also open in a new window)


- the club visited Garvagh Museum in September 2018 - 'Click' this archive link for a reminder! (again, opening in a new window!)