Walking Tour

A walking tour hosted by Randalstown Historical Society on Saturday 4 September attracted 15 participants. Secretary, Linda Houston took the group on a tour of the Heritage Tales plaques which were placed at locations around the town back in the spring.

The participants enjoyed hearing about the notable (and in some cases notorious!) characters and events associated with the town. All the information relating to the plaques can be accessed via the Heritage Tales section of the Randalstown Arches website.

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Waddell Family Visit to Randalstown

Randalstown Historical Society and Tidy Randalstown were delighted to meet members of the Waddell family on Tuesday 8 June. Jannine and Jon-Barrie Waddell, daughter and son of media pioneer Brian Waddell, together with other family members, visited the town to see the Heritage Tales plaque which now graces their father’s childhood home at 11-13 Main Street. They were accompanied by Brian’s sister and Historical Society member, Frankie McBrien.

Linda Houston and Helen Boyd welcomed them and took them on a short tour of a few of the town’s other attractions, including the Heritage Garden near the Grand Entrance and the Viaduct. Later, Frankie hosted everyone for morning coffee and scones.

The family expressed their appreciation for the recognition the Heritage Tales project had given to Brian Waddell and the role he played in pioneering and promoting film and television production in Northern Ireland. They welcomed the opportunity to renew their links with Randalstown and admired the work done by Tidy Randalstown to improve the town’s appearance and provide attractive planted areas.

You can find out more about Brian Waddell here, while the background to the Heritage Tales project and links to all the other tales can be found in the Heritage Tales section of the Randalstown Arches website.

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Follow the Trail of the Heritage Tales

Randalstown Historical Society is delighted to announce the completion of the Heritage Tales project, funded by Heritage Lottery and undertaken in conjunction with Tidy Randalstown and with technical assistance from Randalstown Arches Association.

Bronze plaques have been put in place at 15 points around the town giving a brief introduction to local stories of historical interest, while QR codes, positioned next to the plaques, take people to more detailed information contained on the Heritage Tales web pages which are hosted on Randalstown Arches website.

Tidy Randalstown took the lead on the project, submitting the bid and handling procurement and administration. Randalstown Historical Society researched and compiled the historical information.

We hope that the trail will provide added interest for locals and visitors alike as they wander around the town and it will complement the large interpretive boards that are already in place along Randalstown’s Heritage Trail.

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AGM Update

Thank you to all the members who responded to our AGM correspondence. Thirty-seven members expressed their support for the Executive Committee’s proposals with none opposing.

The 2020 Executive Committee will therefore remain in post for this year, the members being as follows:

Chair: Isobel Montgomery
Vice-Chair: Arthur Houston
Secretary: Linda Houston
Treasurer: Linda McGovern
Members: Bill Carson, Dr Brian Ford, Rev Canon Derek Kerr, Ergnat LcLaughlin, Dr Selbert Rainey

The Chairperson’s Report, Financial Statement and appointment of the Independent Examiner were also approved.

We still await news on the easing of the present COVID restrictions to allow us to make plans for future meetings.

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AGM By Correspondence

As Randalstown Historical Society can’t hold its AGM as it normally would in the month of January, members should be receiving the material through the post that would otherwise make up the business of such a meeting. The officers and committee have agreed to remain in post until January 2022, subject to members’ approval. The Chairperson’s Report and the annual accounts have also been circulated for approval. Members are encouraged to respond to the proposals so that the committee can feel confident of their support.

Plans to resume our programme of meetings continue in abeyance while we wait in hope of seeing an easing in the pandemic and a subsequent lifting of the various restrictions currently in force.

In the meantime, please continue to stay safe.

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Lady Moyra Campbell, C.V.O.

Members of Randalstown Historical Society will be greatly saddened to learn of the death of one of our founding members, Lady Moyra Campbell. Lady Moyra was a faithful attender at our meetings together with her husband Peter until failing health confined her to her home and eventually led to her admission to the Somme Nursing Home in Belfast. She was a great supporter of the society and always had questions or comments to make on the talks given at our meetings.

In 2012, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Lady Moyra kindly allowed the society to exhibit the dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, which she had worn when she was a Maid of Honour at the coronation. The exhibition raised money for some of Lady Moyra’s favourite charities in Ireland, the NSPCC/ISPCC, the NI Cancer Fund for Children and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin in Dublin.

The society sends its sincere condolences to her husband, Peter, sons Rory and Michael, and all the family circle.

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Update on 2020-21 Season

By now Randalstown Historical Society’s programme for meetings for the coming season would normally have been circulated and we would be looking forward to our first gathering. This year is different.

The committee has had a brief discussion by email and we have agreed that there will certainly be no meetings held for the remainder of 2020. We will keep our eye on the situation and try and take a view towards the end of the year on whether we can plan for some meetings in 2021. It will all depend on whether the regulations regarding COVID-19 ease to the extent that make our gatherings in ARCHES Hall seem practicable and, above all, safe.

I’ll post news of any further developments when that’s available. In the meantime I hope all members continue to stay safe and well.

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Brian Mawhinney MBE

Randalstown Historical Society has been very saddened to learn of the death of past Chairman, Brian Mawhinney on Tuesday 7 April.

Although Brian was best known for his involvement in scouting he was for many years a leading member of the Historical Society. He succeeded Christine Doherty, the founding Chair, in 1995 and held the position until 1997. He served a further term as Chair from 2001 to January 2004 and was always a source of wise counsel. He and his wife Betty continued as active members as long as their health permitted.

Brian had been in failing health for the last few years and had become increasingly frail. He died peacefully at home having been recently discharged from hospital.

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Update for Lockdown

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Tonight I should have been talking to you all about Lord Macartney, the man from Lissanoure who led Britain’s first embassy to China in the 18th Century. Instead we’re all doing what we can to keep ourselves safe from the … Continue reading

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November meeting

Randalstown Historical Society’s next meeting takes place on Thursday 7 November at 8.00 pm in Arches Community Hall. Sebastian Graham will be speaking on Mills Around Randalstown: Water Power to Steam Power. Existing and new members all welcome.

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