Programme of Events

Meetings & Events

2022

The programme of talks start on  18 January 2022.

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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.

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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 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 There are historical references to lignite working near Old Ballywillan Church from 1875 until 1920.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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20 February 2018 – Keith Leighton on The Bann Rowing Club

Keith gave an interesting talk on the oldest sporting club in Coleraine – the Bann Rowing Club founded in 1841. He spoke about 2 men who had made huge contributions – Tommy Glen, cox, and Bobby Platt, oarsman, cox and coach who received an M.B.E. in 2012. The boathouse was refurbished in 1992 and many

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16 January 2018 – William (Billy) Bones on Pantomimes

Thirty members and visitors braved a cold and snowy night to hear Billy Bones speak on his time in Coleraine pantomimes. He gave a short history of pantomime and explained some of the traditions e.g. “goodies” enter stage right and “baddies” enter stage left also audiences are encouraged to participate verbally in the drama. Billy

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17 October 2017 – Geoff Warke on Talbot Baines Reed

Talbot was born in London in 1852 and was a frequent visitor to Castlerock where he married Elizabeth Jane Greer in 1876. He also saved his cousin from drowning there. In addition to being in the type founding industry he became a writer of boys’ fiction and contributed to the Boy’s Own Paper and the

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17 June 2017 – Outing

We will visit Sinclair Seaman’s Church in Belfast, The Gasworks Museum in Carrickfergus and then the Moravian Village of Gracehill.  Lunch will be in the Chimney Corner. See News section for report and photographs.  

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16 May 2017 – Andrew Kane on the Town Book of Coleraine

In the early 19th century the original Town Book of Coleraine was compiled by John Claudius Beresford an  Irish Society agent. It was a detailed list of the town’s buildings, tenants and acres (agricultural holdings). Andrew’s book has made the original more “user friendly”. He has included information from several sources including the 1756 and

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