Programme of Events

Meetings & Events

Due to COVID-19 restrictions all the meetings are now Zoom.  If you need guidance to join using Zoom please use the “Contact Us” form on the website  and state  your contact details and we’ll be in touch asap.


Our meetings are normally held on 3rd Tuesday of the month in:

Sandel Centre, 6 Knocklynn Road, Coleraine,  BT52 1WT 

@ 7.30 pm  unless otherwise stated. There are no meetings in July, August nor December.

Visitors are very welcome at all our meetings.

Admission for non-member is £3.00. This includes tea/coffee and biscuits after the meeting.

Event Information

15 October 2019 – Geoff Warke on The Girl from Theatre Street

Before Geoff gave his talk vice-chairman Mike Jones told us that Dunboe Gardens are to be refurbished also the Bruce family vault. Geoff spoke of Benjie Bruce the 4th son of Sir Hervey Jukes Lloyd Bruce, 4th Baronet of Downhill, who spent much of his early life in Downhill House. He became a British diplomat

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21 May 2019 – John Moore on Portrush, the Coming of the Railway

Over 50 people, members and visitors, attended John’s illustrated talk. In 1848 the railway line came from Belfast to Ballymena and by 1853 there was a line from Derry to Coleraine’s Waterside Station. Portrush was becoming a popular holiday resort and the railway reached there from Coleraine’s Northbrook Station in 1855.Over the years the station

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16 April 2019 – Ken McCormack on the Bruces of Downhill

Over 50 people (visitors and members) attended our much loved speaker Ken and his talk on the Bruces of Downhill Castle.   The House was built in the late 18th century by the Earl Bishop and was occupied by 4 generations of the Bruce family some of whom were eccentric. It was destroyed by fire

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19 February 2019 – Billy Bones on Coleraine Pantomimes

In January 2018 our member Billy Bones gave a talk on Pantomime in Coleraine, however, it was a dreadful night with snow and ice so the attendance was low. Billy very kindly agreed to re-do his presentation. He explained that pantomime originated in ancient Rome, sometimes with a single male performer. Billy “fell in love”

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19 March 2019- AGM, Dinner and Quiz

This will be held in the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine starting promptly at 6pm with the meal at 6.30pm. The after-dinner quiz will be conducted by John and Dorothy Moore. Guests are welcome. See NEWS section for report.

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15 January 2019 – Jeremy Lewis on the Riverside Theatre

Jeremy, who had been house manager of the theatre, gave a most interesting and entertaining account of its history. An enthusiastic member of the Steering Group formed (1972 -76) to found the theatre was the vice-chancellor’s wife – Mrs Burgess. Peter Morrow was the architect of the “new style” building which could seat 400 people.

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20 November 2018 – Geoff Warke on the Princess and the Spinning Wheel

(THIS WAS A CHANGE TO THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME) This was a fascinating story linking Castlerock to Princess Alexandra, wife of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). In 1876 Elizabeth Jane Greer of Springvale, Castlerock, married a famous author of schoolboy stories Talbot Baines Reed of London. In 1885 the Prince & Princess visited Ireland

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15 May 2018 – Alison McCaughan on the 1718 Migration

Alison explained the reasons for the 1718 migration from the Dunboe area to America also the conditions they met on arrival. Presbyterians and Roman Catholics felt persecuted by the Church of Ireland to which they had to pay tithes. Poor harvests and famine were an incentive to the taking of a brave decision to sail

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16 October 2018 – Geoff Warke on Portrush Mining District

This was a very well attended talk by members and visitors. Geoff, who worked for the Geological Survey for many years, commenced his talk with an overview of bauxite, coal, iron ore, lignite and salt mining in N.Ireland. There are historical references to lignite working near Old Ballywillan Church from 1875 until 1920. Iron ore

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18 September 2018 – Norman Thorpe on Coastal Defences

A good attendance for the first meeting of the season heard Norman Thorpe of the Shackleton Aviation & Space Museum, give an illustrated talk on RAF Ballykelly which was opened in June 1941. (It was 1 of 5 airfields in the area – Eglinton, Maydown, Mullaghmore and Limavady). Liberators, leased from the U.S.A., were flown

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