Strangford historical society launches annual magazine

Strangford historical society launches annual magazine

5 December 2018

THE Strangford-based Inverbrena Local History Group has launched the latest edition of its annual magazine just in time for Christmas.

Memories From Inverbrena: Strangford 2018 features a selection of memories, stories and photographs of people and places within the locality, preserved for future generations.

This year’s magazine is different to its predecessors in that it has been produced in full colour.

Highlights include an article by James Elliott, entitled ‘Rowing In Strangford’, in which he explains how the Strangford Coastal Rowing Club came to be formed, the involvement of members of the local community, as well as community groups, and the great enjoyment to be derived from rowing, whether for competition or simply for pleasure.

In her article on Strangford Presbyterian Church, Melanie Hamill has put pen to paper to provide an invaluable record of her loving transformation of this listed building from its former state of disrepair and neglect to its current splendid condition.

Melanie discusses the various challenges she and her husband confronted along the way, as well as recording the craftsmen, builders and tradesmen who contributed to this first stage of its successful reclamation.

In 2017 Strangford Motor Works, one of the village’s long established and highly respected businesses, closed its doors for the last time when its proprietors, Pat Hynds and Raymond Shields, retired after providing a vehicle service centre to the village and surrounding district for five decades.

Michael McConville has written an article entitled, ‘The Garage: A Tribute’, recording a little of the history of this business for posterity.

Eamon McMullan, from Newcastle, uses his wonderful gift for storytelling in recounting the joyful story of ‘Luap and the Black Islands Bridge’, an intriguing mixture of fact and of fiction.

In ‘A Ballyculter Family In America’, Michael Howland, from Ardglass, reminds us of a news item which featured in the Down Recorder of September 3, 1892, recalling a family reunion of the Seed family in America.

In his article Michael includes an interesting deion of the origins of the USA Seed family and their treacherous journey from Ballyculter to Lawrence County.

George Cox, from West Sussex, in ‘Killard Point: A Personal Recollection’, reminisces about his time working on Killard Point in the 1960s when, as a single, rather shy and somewhat naive 21 year-old, he received his first posting away from home as a civilian air traffic control assistant.

Axy McMullan recalls his memories as a young man, when he set sail for New Zealand to work on dairy farms in the 1950s. In ‘From Ballynarry to New Zealand and Back’, Axy recalls his memories of good times spent there with his friend and neighbour, Patrick Polley.

This year’s magazine includes a contribution from Maire Nic Mhaolain, who investigates the origins and meanings of Kilclief place names, including Ballynarry and Killard.

Maire also refers the interested reader to information which can be accessed online at   as well as at the dedicated Northern Ireland website

Robert Duffy recalls a day in July 1998 when the children of St Joseph’s Primary School in Strangford, alongside volunteers from the local community, hosted a group of children from Belarus, who had been affected by the nuclear disaster which occurred in Chernobyl in 1987.

In ‘Children of Belarus’, he records the activities of that day and acknowledges the generosity of local businesses and village inhabitants.

‘The Crossing’, an article by Linda Paupst, from Ontario, records the 1925 journey across the Atlantic to Dundas, Canada, by the Denvir family from Drumroe, near Strangford, giving us a valuable insight into the experiences of those who emigrated at the time.

It recounts the family’s dilemma when, on arriving at Grosse Ile, they were separated and some members were quarantined for two weeks.

On their release from quarantine the older children, along with some younger siblings, had to follow in the footsteps of their mother, who — through necessity — had left two weeks previously to make the journey to Dundas.

Memories From Inverbrena: Strangford 2018 may be purchased from Kevin Og’s shop in Strangford, priced £12, or by contacting the Inverbrena Local History Group directly: Website address:

New members are invited to join the group. Monthly meetings take place on the third Friday of each month at Inverbrena Hall, Strangford, beginning at 8pm.

A spokeswoman said: “We invite you to join us to reminisce on people and times gone by. If you are unable to commit to our monthly meetings please don’t hesitate to contact us should you wish to contribute articles or photographs to our future publications as we would be delighted to hear from you.