'The Rhymers' by John Clifford

When days are chilly, drab and drear, and Christmas time is drawing near,The long foresupper does provide contentment roun' a snug fireside.A kindly neighbour danders in, a friendly yarn or two to spin;The sturdy weans are washed and fed, will soon be safe and snug in bed. The barns, the byres, the stable doors are safely closed wi' bolts...

Christmas in the front line

Christmas in the front line
There swept across the country one of the fiercest blizzards France, or for that matter, Northern Europe had ever experienced and in a few hours, drifts of up to six and eight feet deep had formed. Our section was fortunate in finding shelter in a dug-out in an old British front-line trench, named Inniskilling Trench, and here we huddled while...

When Ballyclare was Paper Town

Ballyclare was the home of papermaking in Ireland for over 200 years, the Paper Mill employing 800 workers at its peak before its closure in 1951.

When Ballyclare was Paper Town
For two centuries Ballyclare was the home of papermaking in Ireland. The original mill gave its name to Millvale, where it stood near the river and close to the Ballynure Road, at the point as it turned and climbed steeply. In the early eighteenth century it was owned by Sir Robert Adair, who sold it to Francis Joy, publisher of our oldest...

Join us for a Summer Walk?

Check out our Summer Walks Programme for July and August 2018.

Join us for a Summer Walk?
After last month's wonderful walk up the Wee Collin, our popular Summer Walks programme continues through July and August as follows:  TUESDAY 12th JUNE 2018 Six Mile at Muckamore led by John Kerr   TUESDAY 10th JULY 2018 Tobergill led by Sandy Sherrard   TUESDAY 14th AUGUST 2018 St Nicholas’s Church, Carrickfergus led by Ron...

The Fair

Memories of the Ballyclare May Fair by local author Janette McKendry shared in her book 'Ballyclare Remembered'

The Fair
If you joined us at the 'Archie Reid Cinematic Revival' in The Picture House at Ballyclare Town Hall on Saturday 19 May, you'd have heard local author Janette McKendry read a wonderful recollection of some of her memories of Ballyclare May Fair from her book 'Ballyclare Remembered'. Such magical reminiscences so well captured. For those who were...

The Man from Craig-Linnie

The life & times of Ballyclare's most celebrated writer Archibald McIlroy.

The Man from Craig-Linnie
Archibald McIlroy was born at ‘Fluther Loanin’, the local name for a small lane situated on the Mill Road, previously Templepatrick Road, until the Paper Mill was transferred to this site from Millvale on 22 September 1859. Now the site is occupied by the modern homes of Millview Drive. He was one of four children, two of whom, a brother...

Ollar Lodge Ballyclare

Sir Charles Brett, a former President of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, identified Ollar Lodge as building of architectural merit.

Ollar Lodge Ballyclare
Ollar Lodge is really a terrace of two-storey houses under a single roof. In his manuscript history Robert Grange describes what he had discovered about its origin: “ About the beginning of 1800 Thomas Alexander who owned the Fore Braes, Howe Fold and the other land in Le-Ballyclare, lived in Ollar Lodge in Main Street, just south of the...

The Magic of Baird's Pleasure Garden

A wee window into Ballyclare’s biggest tourist attraction in the 19th century

The Magic of Baird's Pleasure Garden
Bassett’s Guide to County Antrim, published in 1888, has an eloquent description of this attraction which RT Baird had added to his hotel. It was across Main Street from Ollar Lodge and included a collection of antiquities among which was ’Corney Crymbel’s Stone’, pike heads from the 1798 and artifacts from prehistory. There were caves...

The Making of 'Other Days Around Me'

Archie Reid recounts how the book came to be written and the experience of making the film version.

The Making of 'Other Days Around Me'
“Other Days Around Me” records life in our area at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Archie Reid recounts how the book came to be written and the experience of making the film version with Florence Mary McDowell. When she was five years old Mary’s father moved the family from Derry to a new home near Doagh where he...

Images from the Past

Archie Reid reveals how a combination of ancient and modern technology uncovered a record of Ballyclare in the 19th century.

Images from the Past
Andrew Gill, who lives in Lancashire, has for a number of years collected Victorian Magic Lantern slides, which he screens with authentic equipment to fascinated modern audiences. He bought a set of slides which had the description “Ballyclare May Fair”. Since he had no knowledge of where Ballyclare was he used the contemporary source of...

Ballyclare May Fair

(taken from his book “Ballyclare” by Archie R. Reid)

Ballyclare May Fair
On the 16th December 1756 George II granted to the Earl of Donegal the right to hold two fairs yearly, at the Town and Lands of Ballyclare yielding therefore yearly to us the sum of thirteen shillings and four pence for the said fairs . . . . to be paid forever. At first the Fairs were markets for animals and goods but as they grew to four in a...

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