Author Archives: Lisa

The Collen Women and their strong influence on Orangeism

The Collen Women and their strong influence on Orangeism

The Collen family have their roots firmly in the building, construction and development of Portadown.

The Collen family have been involved in the building trade since 1810.  Collen Brothers opened their doors for business in 1867 in Carleton Street, Portadown. John Collen took the lead in establishing the new family company along with his brothers Richard, Joseph and David.  Collen brothers managed to secure a wide variety of contracts not only in Portadown but also throughout Ulster.

The Collen Brothers built Carleton Street Orange Hall.  The outside facade of the hall holds a strong resemblance to the Blacker family residence that was Carrickblacker House.  The firm became the main contractor for public works in the town.  The company expanded well beyond its native region, extending its reach to Dublin in the early 1870’s.

 

Carrickblacker House

Carleton Street Orange Hall

 

Strong Unionist Links

John Collen acquired a local residence at Killycomain House which became the family home. He was an important figure in the town and a prominent Methodist. He was appointed Justice of the Peace for Portadown and emerged as a leading member of the local Unionist Party. He was a member of the General Committee of the North Armagh Unionist Association during the first decade of the twentieth century.

He was selected to represent Portadown Urban District Council as a member of Armagh County Council.  He remained a member of the Council for over two decades until his retirement due to ill health in 1920.  John Collen was also appointed as Deputy Lieutenant for the County in December 1906, retaining the post until his death in 1921.  He also served as high sheriff of Armagh in 1911, attending the coronation of King George V.

The Collen woman and Orangeism in Portadown

Perhaps it was the influence of their father’s strong unionist views, but it was two of John Collen’s Daughters that paved the way for the Women’s Loyal Orange Institution in Portadown.  Louisa and Jessie Collen were prominent Orangewomen of Portadown.  The Association of Loyal Orange Women of Ireland, Armagh No.3 District, Portadown was formed on 21st May 1923.  There were three District Lodges functioning at this time.

The Officers were:

  • District Mistress Sister Mrs. McDonald
  • Deputy District Mistress Sister Jessie Collen
  • District Chaplain Sister Miss McDonald
  • District Secretary Sister Mrs J Logan
  • District Treasurer Sister Miss Dougan

Louisa Shillington (nee Collen)

Louisa Collen married David Graham Shillington in 1895.  The Shillington family were also very important in the development of Portadown.  David Graham Shillington was a proud Unionist, Methodist and Military man.  He served as District Master of Portadown LOL No.1 from 1926 until 1944.

Louisa was influential in the development of Women’s Orangeism and Unionism in Portadown.  Sister Shillington held office in WLOL 62, a lodge based in Carleton Street Orange Hall and still going strong to this day.  The Lodge was the first to be formed in Portadown on 21st May 1921.  Louisa was also President of the Women’s Unionist Association Portadown Branch.

Louisa Shillington (Nee Collen)
Image courtesy of Shillington Family records

Jessie Collen

Jessie Collen was the youngest daughter of John and Mary Collen.  Sister Collen was the first Worshipful Mistress of WLOL 101, based at Edenderry Orange Hall in the town.  According to newspaper records it was her Sister Louisa Shillington that officially opened Edenderry Orange Hall.  The Lodge was formed on 8th May 1923.  Sister Collen was also the first Deputy District Mistress of Armagh No.3 District, Portadown.

Records show that Jessie was influential in representing Women’s Orangeism at many different parades and events.  One notable event that Sister Collen attended was the visit of their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of York to Northern Ireland in 1924 along with Sisters Mrs McDonald and Miss Shaw.  There is no mention of representation from the men of Portadown District LOL No.1.  But both organisations of the Orange Institution of Portadown worked very closely together, so it is thought that the Sisters in attendance were a representation of the Portadown Orange Institution as a whole.

Working Together

Through obvious family links a strong working relationship was developed between both the men’s orange institution and the women’s orange institution in Portadown. The District Officers of the Women’s Association would have paraded at the front along with the District Officers of Portadown District LOL No.1.  According to Newspaper records they shared out attendances at events and often would have had joint church services and parades.  The effects of this strong relationship built in the 1920’s is still present today.

A lasting Memorial to Jessie Collen

Jessie Collen died on New Year’s Eve in 1931.  She had been living at 5 Deramore Park , Belfast located in the Malone area in the South of the city.  But she passed away at the residence of her eldest brother, Thomas John Collen esquire, at 20 Bethia Road Bournemouth, England.  It is thought that she was only in her late fifties when she died.

In 1937, six years after Sister Collen’s death, Edenderry Women’s LOL 101 was officially renamed ‘The Jessie Collen Memorial Women’s LOL 101’ as a lasting tribute to the memory of its first Worshipful Mistress.  Under the auspices of the lodge, a small function took place in Edenderry Orange Hall on 14th April 1937 to mark the occasion.  There were a number of visitor’s present including D.M. Bro Major David Graham Shillington, Sister Louisa Shillington (nee Collen) D.M of WLOL 62 and Br R.J Magowan W.M of Edenderry Temperance and Benefit LOL No.322.

Jessie Collen is buried in the Collen family plot at Seagoe Cemetery.

Jessie Collen Memorial WLOL 101

 

Sources:

Collen 200 years of Building and Civil Engineering in Ireland, John Walsh

Portadown Times articles 1923-1937

Portadown District LOL No.1 2005 County Demonstration booklet

NAI, Census of Ireland 1901 and 1911, Household return for John Collen

 

 

Apprentice Boys of Derry Exhibition

Apprentice Boys of Derry Exhibition

Apprentice Boys of Derry Exhibition

A new Exhibition has arrived at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre.  The pop up exhibition explores the history of the formation of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.  The Exhibition is kindly on loan from the Siege Museum, based in Londonderry.

The Siege Museum

The Siege Museum was officially opened in March 2016 and is dedicated to commemorating the history of the Siege of Londonderry 1688-89 and the cultural heritage of the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry. There is tours available of the Siege Museum.  It contains three modern galleries which are packed with exciting stories of endurance, defiance, adventure and the legendary bravery of the 13 young apprentice boys!

Apprentice Boys Portadown

Carleton Street Orange Hall is home to the Apprentice Boys of Derry Portadown Branch Club.  The exhibition is a chance to explore memorabilia of the Apprentice Boys and also discover the history behind their formation. Along the way there is also the opportunity to explore the history of the Siege of Londonderry.

Opening Times

The Exhibition is open at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre for the month of March.  It is open Monday to Thursday 9:00-16:15, Friday 9:00-13:15 and Tuesday evening 19:30-20:30. This is a family friendly exhibition with activities for the kids also available. Exhibition booklets are also available, free of charge.

Tours of Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre

Our usual daily tours of the Orange Hall are also available during the exhibition. Guided tours or audio tours are both available.  This tour is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the history and heritage of Orangeism in Portadown.  Carleton Street Orange Hall has been at the heart of Portadown since 1875.  For more information contact shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk or call the office on 028 38332010.

New Exhibition at Carleton Street Orange Hall

New Exhibition at Carleton Street Orange Hall

Portadown Heritage Tours are hosting the Memorials to Sacrifice Exhibition at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre for the month of February.

The Memorials to Sacrifice Exhibition highlights Orange Halls, throughout Northern Ireland, that were built as memorials in the aftermath of the Great War.  ‘Memorials to Sacrifice’ is the latest initiative by the Museum of Orange Heritage marking the centenary of the Armistice, and the contribution of members of the Orange Institution on the front line.

Why the Exhibition is so important to Carleton Street Orange Hall.

Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre has its own story to tell about it’s place in the Great War and the many Orangemen of Portadown District who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who came home again.

Carleton Street Orange Hall is home to the Ex-Servicemen’s Lodge and Preceptory of Portadown District.  The Lodge was formed in 1946 after the Second World War and the Preceptory was formed a couple of years later in 1949.  Its members were made up of First and Second World War Veterans.  This year Portadown Ex-Servicemen’s RBP 326 will celebrate its 70th Anniversary.

The reasons these Memorial halls were built after the war reflect the same meaning behind the formation of the Ex-Servicemen’s Lodge.  It was a place ex-soldiers could socialise, reminisce and have a brotherhood after the armed forces.

 

History behind the Exhibition

It is estimated upwards of 20 halls owned or primarily used by Orange Lodges were erected as memorials to Orangemen who paid the supreme sacrifice during the First World War.  Such properties remain actively used by the Institution at locations across Northern Ireland, including Randalstown, Muckamore, Tullylish, Templepatrick, Dungannon and Ballymacarrett in East Belfast.

Accompanying Booklet

There is an accompanying booklet with the exhibition which can be purchased.  The Booklet states;

“The War Memorial Orange Halls were not just erected to provide a meeting place for Lodges and Preceptories, they also provided a place where Ex-Servicemen could meet to socialise and to reminisce.  They also provided a place in which the core values of the Orange Order could be presented to members of the local community”.

The halls were often built by the brethren or by Ex-Servicemen and often had facilities-for example, washrooms, toilets, central heating, electricity- that were still absent in many residential properties.

 

Commenting on the exhibition, museum curator Jonathan Mattison said “We are delighted to launch this educational national travelling exhibition and informative booklet, which underlines the extent and contribution of Orangeism to the Great War, and its lasting legacy for local communities.

Opening Times

The exhibition will be on show in the Heritage Centre of Carleton Street Orange Hall for the month of February.  It will be open Monday-Thursday 9:15am until 4:15pm and Friday 9:15am until 1:15pm.  For visitors who can’t make it during the day, it was also be open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7:30pm until 8:30pm.

Everyone Welcome!

For parents and guardians, there is also a Kids activity corner available with lots of  fun activities relating to the Great War.  This will keep the kids busy allowing the parents and guardians time to enjoy the exhibition.

 

Exhibition Information provided by Museum of Orange Heritage. 

Raise Money for your Lodge, Preceptory or Band

Raise Money for your Lodge, Preceptory or Band

Need help organising an event to raise funds for your organisation?

Organising an event can take a lot of time and effort on top of everyday jobs and family life.  Portadown Heritage Tours offer FREE help to any local Loyal Orders or Bands who would like to put on an event to raise money for their organisation.

How Can We Help Raise Money?

With most Loyal Order Organisations only meeting once a month, this can prove difficult when it comes to finalising plans, we are here to make the process a lot easier.  We can take you through the process of planning the event.  There is a wide range of events to choose from with small event ideas right through to larger ones.  We can help in a range of ways, from something as small as producing fundraising sheets to following up on bookings for larger events.  This is a FREE service we offer, so all money raised will go to your organisation.

Event Ideas and Organising

We offer a range of services to help organise your event.  These services include event ideas, idea consultation with your organisation, free design and print of marketing material, social media marketing campaign, full organisation of the event, voluntary services to help run the event and even something as simple as producing fund-raising sheets.

Fundraising information packs are available from the Portadown Heritage Tours Office.  Within these packs there are a range of event ideas, so even if you don’t need our help directly they can still offer some assistance for ideas.

Contact us

If you would like a pack then you can contact the office on 028 38332010, email shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk or search ‘Portadown Heritage Tours’ on Facebook and send us a private message.

Our priority will be Lodges etc within Portadown District, but if your Lodge etc is within County Armagh then we will also certainly help.

 

Remembering the Holocaust: An experience of visiting Auschwitz

Remembering the Holocaust: An experience of visiting Auschwitz

Today marks Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Holocaust

 

Between 1941 and 1945, six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.  Their attempt to murder all the Jews in Europe, shook the foundation of civilisation.  From the time they assumed power in Germany in 1933, the Nazis used propaganda, persecution and legislation to deny humans and civil rights to German Jews.  Antisemitism was used as their foundation.

With the Outbreak of World War Two in 1939 Germany invaded Poland, subjecting around Two Million Polish Jews to violence and forced labour.  Thousands of Jews were murdered in the first few months of the occupation.  Polish Jews were confined to particular neighbourhoods that came to be known as ‘Ghettos’, were living conditions were inhumane and another attempt by the Nazis to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews.

In 1941, the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews began, a plan known by the Nazis as ‘The Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’.  Death squads called Einsatzgruppen spread through Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, killing Jews by firing squad.  By the end of 1941 the first extermination camp had been established.  This gave the Nazis their method to continue murdering on a mass scale between 1941 and 1945.

Nazi Persecution

The Nazis targeted anyone they believed threatened their ideal of a ‘pure Aryan race’.  The Nazis believed Aryan people were superior to all others.  Their devotion to racial purity and their opposition to racial mixing partly explains their hatred towards not just Jews but also Roma and Sinti people and also Black people and Slavic people.  The Nazis wanted to improve the genetic makeup of the population and persecuted people they deemed to be disabled (mentally and physically), gay people, political opponents, primarily communists, trade unionists and social democrats, as well as those religious beliefs that conflicted with Nazi ideology, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Visiting Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau

As you come to the famous archway, entering the concentration camp, you are met with the famous words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’- Work will set you free.  Upon entering the camp, straightaway you are met with a deadly silence.  There could be hundreds of visitors in the camp at any one time but the silence is prominent.  The guide will talk you through the history and slaughter via headsets and take you into each of the buildings which display evidence of the horrors.

People who are intending to visit have asked me what do they prepare themselves most for seeing? Honestly, all of it.  Within the buildings you’ll witness everything from a pile of human hair to a pile of everyday kitchen utensils, and I can’t describe in words just how big those piles are, there are hundreds of thousands of items in each pile.  The victims being brought to these camps took all the possessions they could- they had no idea what they were being brought too.

The one thing that gave me an absolutely sick feeling to my stomach was the thousands of suitcases and luggage.  The victims had been told to write their names and addresses on their luggage, so it could be returned to them.  At that point you realise the severity of the mental games that these people were put under.  By being instructed to do something so small would have enlightened hope into many of them.  Each possession and belonging in those buildings is all that is left of those people and their story.

At the end of the tour you are brought through one of the gas chambers and also a room where the ovens are.  The atmosphere of the chamber and that room cannot be described in words.  The feelings and emotions that hit you when walking through are felt differently by everyone.

Birkenau camp is no different.  When you walk along the train tracks and stand in the place were peoples fates were decided there and then, your mind will struggle to take it all in.

At the top of the camp is the remnants of where the gas chambers were ( the Nazis tried to blow them up as they left), the guide will tell stories of escape attempts and the absolute bravery showed by people at different attempts to over power the Nazis.

When you walk through the buildings you will see the sleeping arrangements and hear of the conditions that the victims had to live in.  Inside those buildings you will see names scratched into the walls and wood.

These camps are somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their life.  It is an experience that cannot be fully explained in words. Even when you come home, it is a place that will drift into your thoughts daily and weekly.  I certainly didn’t feel the full impact of the visit until I was home. The only time I have experienced a feeling close to it, was visiting the Western Front in France and Belgium.

The guides who take you around are fantastic and treat each tour with an absolute respect, each of them have their own family story to tell of the persecution of the Nazis or family that was murdered in the concentration camps.

They make the whole experience very personal and convey the feelings of the victims. For many years after the camps first opened to visitors after the war, it was survivors of the concentration camp that brought them around and told their story.  I was blown away by this, to find the strength to do that and come back to a place were you were mentally and physically tortured everyday.  But the determination to get their story across was greater.

Of course now the guides are generations after them, but you can see the same philosophy is still very much in place.  As a tour guide, personally, I cannot imagine what it must be like to tell the story of these camps daily to visitors.

Krakow Walking Tour and Schindler’s Factory

If you are based in Krakow while staying in Poland, then I highly recommend doing the walking tour which takes in the Jewish Quarter.  It is a brilliant opportunity to hear what life was like pre war days and also an opportunity to see inside some beautiful synagogues.

Memorial in the Jewish Quarter to the Jews murdered.

It is also an opportunity to see what was the Jewish Ghetto and the guide will provide a historical background into the timeline which led to the Ghetto.  Within the tour you will hear the the personal stories about the inhumane conditions of the Ghetto.  You can also see the ‘Krakow Chairs’.  These are located in the Ghetto Heroes square, there are 33 memorial chairs of iron and bronze.  The chairs symbolise the tragedy of the Polish Jews in Krakow who were imprisoned in the Krakow Ghetto.

Schindler’s Factory, is a must see as well.  I recommend watching the film before you go. A visit to the factory really helps to bring together the whole history surrounding the Nazis and the Holocaust victims.  The Museum is really well led out and you can literally walk a timeline of events that is brought together clearly during your visit.

Significance of the Saunderson’s and the Orange Institution

Significance of the Saunderson’s and the Orange Institution

Helena de Moleyns was the daughter of Thomas Townsend Aremberg de Moleyns, 3rd Baron Ventry, and married Colonel Edward Saunderson on 22nd June 1865.  They had four sons and one daughter.

Helena Emily de Moleyns who was born in 1842, was a significant figure within the The Orange Women’s Association.

In 1887, following the first Home Rule Crisis, an association of Loyal Orangewomen was established in Ireland by the Hon Helena de Moleyns.

The association was formed when a number of women with strong unionist views formed themselves into a body to work together for the promotion of Protestantism and the defence of the Union.

The Association was authorised by the Grand Lodge of Ireland in December 1887 and it flourished for a short time but eventually ceased to function. The Orange Women’s Association was revived in 1911.

Helena Emily Saunderson (nee de Moleyns) died on 17th January 1926.

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Colonel Edward Saunderson : Prominent Irish Unionist Politician

Saunderson was born at Castle Saunderson in County Cavan and inherited his father’s Cavan estates following his death in 1857.  He led the Irish Unionist Party between 1891 and 1906.  Saunderson was first elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as the Palmerstonian Liberal member for Cavan in 1865.  In 1868, he became a Conservative.

Saunderson lost his seat to the Home Rule League Candidates at the 1874 general election.  In 1885 he stood again for the Parliament and was elected as a Conservative for the North Armagh Constituency.

By this time, he had become a prominent figure in the Orange Order and in the Unionist Political Movement.  In March 1893, Saunderson was one of the signatories of the manifesto of the Ulster Defence Union, launched to organise  resistance to the Second Home Rule Bill of 1893.  He also served as Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Cavan, and was High Sheriff of Cavan in 1859. Saunderson entered the Cavan militia (4th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers) in 1862, and was made a major in 1875.  He became a Colonel in 1886 and was in command of the battalion from 1891 to 1893. Brother Saunderson served as the County Grand Master of Belfast from 1901 to 1903.

Saunderson became known for his speeches in the House of Commons.

“No man who comes to Belfast will laugh at the Ulster Loyalists. When all is said and done, whether or not the House of Lords rejects this Bill, I say in the name of my people I reject it. You may occupy the House of Commons for years to come with academic debates about the merits of this Home Rule Bill but I say in their name I reject it …. Home Rule may pass this House but it will never pass the bridge at Portadown”.

He died of pneumonia in 1906 and a statue, subscribed for by the public, was unveiled at Portadown in 1910

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portadown Community Remembers 100 Years On

Portadown Community Remembers 100 Years On

The community of Portadown have come together to mark the Centenary of the 1st World War.

The end of October and the start of November has seen lots of events by the community of Portadown.  They have come together to mark the end of the Great War 100 years on.  Events have took place in Churches, Community Halls and Orange Halls throughout the town.  The rededication of the towns War Memorial has led the way.

Carleton Street Orange Hall

At Carleton Street Orange Hall Portadown Heritage Tours took a different approach. We have displayed an outside exhibition of flags of the countries of the the British Commonwealth along with Poppies and silhouettes of Soldiers in the windows.  Lights were added to give a night time feature.  On Sunday 11th November at 5:30pm there will be a short act of remembrance outside the hall.  The Last Post will be played by a Bugler from the top window. Then a silence will follow and the Pipers Lament.  We welcome everyone to join us.

Carleton Street Orange Hall

An excellent exhibition was also displayed inside the hall and hosted by RBP 25.  On Friday 2nd November the Dance Hall was transformed into a pop up museum by Lisbellaw and South Fermanagh World War One Society.  They were displaying lots of items of great significance from trenches and uniforms to badges and medical equipment.  An act of Remembrance and a wreath laying ceremony was also held in the Bell Room on the night by Portadown Royal Black District Chapter No.5.

Display in the Dance Hall at Carleton Street

Edenderry Orange Hall

Edenderry Community Development Association hosted a great evening in Edenderry Orange Hall on Friday 2nd November.  There was a World War 1 display, Children’s entertainment, war-time songs and a tea party.  The evening also included the presentation of ‘There But Not There Tommy’s to Seagoe Church Of Ireland, Edenderry 1st Presbyterian Church and Edenderry Memorial Methodist Church.

The evening was an absolute credit to the organisers and volunteers of Edenderry Community Development Association and was very well supported.  As a community group they have organised and gained funding for some excellent events throughout the years and continue to work very hard for their local area.

Members of Portadown Ex Servicemen’s LOL 608 and RBP 326 with members of the wartime re-enactment group who supplied the 1st World War display at Edenderry Orange Hall.

An evening enjoyed by everyone at Edenderry Orange Hall

It was a family gathering for the Partridge’s and Branyan’s at Edenderry on the night.

St Colomba’s Parish Church

St Columba’s Church have also held a series of events throughout the week to mark the Centenary of the 1st World War. A community day was held on Saturday 3rd November.  This was followed by a ‘Reflections Musical Evening’ then on Tuesday 6th, ‘Keep the home fires burning’ fashion show and entertainment also on Wednesday 7th, an ‘Air and Graces Musical Evening’ on Thursday 8th November at 7:30pm.  This will include music by Ballymoughan Purple Guards and Flute Band Church. Local WWI Historian Richard Edgar is also Speaking.

The Exhibition at the Church is open to Saturday 10th November at 5pm.  It is well worth a visit.  There has been lot of hard work and organising that has went into the exhibition and events. Well done to all involved.

A very unique part of the Exhibition in St Columba’s Church, Portadown.

Remaining events at St Columba’s Church

Thomas Street Methodist Church

Thomas Street Methodist Church are hosting a series of events ‘A Time to Remember and Reflect’.  The Church will be open for prayer and reflection on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th November, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. There are displays of memorabilia which will be in place around the Church to aid your Remembrance and Reflection.

On Friday 9th November, Wesley Hall in Portmore Street will be hosting an evening of music and song.  This will feature the SWING GALS and the Ormeau Concert Band. Talks by Richard Edgar and Denver Pearson.  Refreshments will be provided on the night.

 

Remembrance Day

The Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday 11th November will be leaving Thomas Street at 10:30am. It will proceed to Market Street, West Street and High Street.  Parade will return up Market Street and to the town’s war memorial for the wreath laying ceremony.  Thomas Street Methodist Church will host the civic Remembrance Service on Sunday at 11:45am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Successful Ghost Tours in Portadown

Successful Ghost Tours in Portadown

Ghost Tour Season a success

Ghost Tours of Portadown attracted over 120 visitors throughout the month of October.  The tour is all based around storytelling and old folklores of the town. All the stories that are told on the tour have historical records attached to them.  Those historical records are either documentation of witness accounts or Newspaper articles.

Outline of a Woman and Child sighted under the Bann Bridge in Portadown in 2017

Sightings

Although the tours are based on storytelling, there have been a few sightings along the way, particularly around the area of the Bann Bridge. Most of the sightings around the Bann Bridge can be traced back to the events of the 1641 Massacre, which is one of Portadown’s most horrific but forgotten events. Even for those who don’t believe in the paranormal, many have remarked the ‘eerie’ feeling that they have when standing under the bridge.

This year there was a sighting of an unexplained figure In one of the photographs that was taken of a group of visitors. Although, you could argue very well that it was some well placed leaves. Nevertheless it all adds to the Halloween season.  You can read the full story by clicking the link below.

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/can-you-spot-the-ghost-that-turned-up-for-this-picture-on-portadown-ghost-tour-1-8682592?fbclid=IwAR2jQYt9XhlJ-KyJcrDRlrv6ZqDaED_6K8p0xAYK6hBEsZ7eKRLyNUyow0U

Do we have an extra visitor in this picture?

Further Ghost Tour Events

Portadown Heritage Tours also had the pleasure of taking part in Portadown Integrated Primary School’s Halloween event. The community tour guides of Portadown Heritage Tours, guided groups of pupils and their parents around the playground.  The playground was very well decorated and the guides told ghost stories along the way.  It was a very Successful event with over 300 people attending.  The event was well organised by Portadown Integrated Primary School.  From the feedback received, everyone throughly enjoyed themselves.

Development of Ghost Tours

Portadown Heritage Tours will now be researching more local ghost stories and folklore to develop the tours even more for next season.  If any individuals or businesses within the Portadown Town area have any paranormal experiences they would like to share with us then please send an email to shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk.  If you tell us the story we will do the historical research to verify the story.

 

 

 

 

The Historical Significance of Portadown’s War Memorial

The Historical Significance of Portadown’s War Memorial

Portadown and District War Memorial was rededicated and names added on Sunday 28th September 2018.

The commemoration service saw the unveiling and rededication of the Portadown War Memorial with 101 names added.  It was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for County Armagh The Earl of Caledon KCVO JP.  The names were researched by local Historian Richard Edgar.  This service was similar to the service that had been held in the same place by our forefathers on 13th November 1925.

Standards of the RBL

Commemoration Parade

The Band of the Royal Irish Regiment

 

Meaning of the Portadown War Memorial.

The memorial consists of a bronze statue group representing an angel alighting on the battlefield.  The angel is about a place a wreath upon the head of a wounded soldier, denoting fortitude, courage and sacrifice to his country in still trying to carry on, despite his wounds.  The base on which the the angel is mounted is composed of sandbags and a fallen gas mask, descriptive of the battlefield.

The soldier on the memorial is at the moment of his death.  As he is falling the angel of victory is placing a crown of olive leaves on his head.  This represents victory in the face of danger.  The angel will then lift his soul, and those of all the Portadown fallen heavenward. The statues stand on on a pedestal of Irish granite, upon each side of which are the bronze panels containing the names of the fallen as well as a dedication panel on the front of the memorial.

St Marks Church and Top of Town War Memorial

The unveiling of the Town War Memorial in 1925

On Friday 13th November 1925, the Portadown War Memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant-General Sir Travers Clarke in the presence of the Northern Ireland Prime Minister Sir James Craig, the Lord Primate Most Rev. Dr D’Arcy, and an enormous crowd of residents of the town and district.  During the dedication a crowd assembled in Market Street directly in front of the memorial.

Three guards of honour were formed by men from the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and local ex-servicemen.  A choir under the conductorship of Mr W.F.Wood led the praise and the band of the 1st Seaforth Highlanders accompanied the choir.  There were also Girl Guides, Girls Life Brigade, Boys Brigade, Boys Life Brigade, Boy Scouts and the Orange Order.

First unveiling of town war memorial in 1925

 

Why names were not added at the time

For the younger generation to understand, what needs to be made clear is that there was no internet, TV news, radio or phones. Individuals relied on the local papers for news and appeals for names.  Literacy skills would have played big part in this, not everyone could read at this time.  The Royal British Legion point out quite clearly that no one was left off deliberately each individual had a unique story.

Names that were added

The Following 101 names from men and women of the 1st and 2nd World War were added on Sunday 28th October 2018.

  • Allen, Joesph 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Drumannon Annaghmore
  • Andrews, John Walker 150th Field Company Royal Engineers, Garvaghy Road
  • Bell, John George 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Eglish
  • Benson, Samuel U.S Army 9th Infantry Regiment 2nd Division, Tartaraghan
  • Berry, John 6th Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast ( Portadown Native)
  • Boyd, John 3rd Irish Guards, Coleraine (Portadown Native)
  • Black, Joesph 14th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Black, Joesph Henry  15th Royal Irish Riflles, Belfast (Portadown Native )
  • Buller, David 11th Highland Light Infantry, Glasgow (Portadown Native)
  • Campbell, James 7th Royal Irish Rifles, Thomas Street
  • Cinnamond, Benjamin, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Collen, William Stewart, 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusillers, Edenderry
  • Commack, Edward 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • Connor, John Royal Irish Fusiliers, Montague Street
  • Cooke, G Seaforth Highlanders, Portadown
  • Cooper, Alfred Henry 143rd Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, Portadown
  • Cordner, James Wilson (M.C) 17th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Cox, James Joesph Irish Guards, Belfast (Portadown Native, Corcrain)
  • Craig, James Royal Irish Fusillers, Portadown
  • Davidson, Thomas 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • Docherty, James 2nd Royal Scots, Scotland (Portadown Native)
  • Douglas, Willam John 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, William Street
  • Ensor, George Clark 7th Canadian Infantry, Ardress House
  • Fallon, Hugh 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Curran Street
  • Fitzpatrick, John 1st East Lancashire Regiment, Portadown
  • Finlay, James Millard 123rd Ordnance Depot Company US Army, Edenderry
  • Forde, Samuel James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Cloncarrish
  • Freeburn, David 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Gilpin, Isaac 2nd Durham Light Infantry, Florence Court
  • Gilpin, Robert 6th Northamptonshire Regiment, Annaghmore
  • Gilmour, Robert 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Timakeel
  • Gillespie, Francis Royal Irish Regiment, Railway Street
  • Hardy, John 5th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Portadown
  • Haughey, Patrick 9th Royal Munster Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Henderson, Thomas 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Hill, Leonard 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Hogarth, Herbert Plunket 7th Signal Company, Royal Engineers, High Street
  • Horner, David 2nd Kings Rifle Corps, Portadown
  • Hughes, Isaac 8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Irwin, William David 9th Royal Irish Rifles, Tarson, Kernan
  • Jackson, Arthur Saunderson 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Johnston, William 13th Royal Irish Rifles, Drumcree
  • Kennedy, Francis William Canadian Expeditionary Force, Cloncarrish
  • Keough, R 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Long, James 1st (Kings own) Royal Lancaster Regiment, Portadown
  • Magowan, Thomas 10th Cameroonians, Scottish Rifles, Eglish
  • Marley, Michael John 1st Royal Irish Rifles, West Street
  • Matchett, Robert John New Zealand Rifle Brigade, Birches
  • McCabe, Thomas 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, Portadown
  • McCann, Mathew Austrialian Infantry, Drumcree
  • McFarland, Thomas David 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, Annaghmore
  • McGuiness, Daniel 7th royal Irish Fusiliers, Belfast (Portadown Native)
  • McKenna, Joesph Michael 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Bann Street
  • McKeown, Charles 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • McReynolds, John Archibald 10th Royal Irish Rifles, Clonmakate
  • McVeigh, John Royal Garrison Artillery, Curran Street
  • Millar, George Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Portadown
  • Murray, Herbert Mayne 7th Canadian Machine Gun Corps, Ballinary House
  • Nunn, Harold Edwin 1st Norfolk Regiment, Woodhouse Street
  • O’Hanlon, Samuel 1st Royal Irish Regiment, Tartaraghan
  • Patton, John 3rd Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Proctor, Archibald, Machine Gun Corps, Harford Street
  • Rea, William 73rd Canadian Infantry, Balteagh
  • Ruddell, William Alexander 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Simpson, William James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Annaghmore
  • Spence, William 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Stevenson, Thomas John 26th Battalion Australian Infantry, Portadown
  • Stitt, Thomas1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Stratton, John H.M.S Natal Royal Navy, Park Road
  • Tate, Isobel Addey Serbian Relief Fund, Friends War Victims Relief Committee (attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps) High Street
  • Taylor, William (M.M.) 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Turley, Edward 2nd Royal Irish Regiment, Portadown
  • Uprichard, William 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Walsh, James 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Derrycoose, Annaghmore
  • Whittle, John 1st Royal Irish Rifles, Portadown
  • Willis, Alexander 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Derrycoose, Annaghmore
  • Woods, Samuel James 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Lower Seagoe
  • Woods, Thomas 8th Royal Irish Rifles, Annaghmore
  • Wright, Robert 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, Cranagill, Annaghmore

2nd World War

  • Bell, George Wilfred  S.S Thornliebank (Glasgow) Merchant Navy, Portadown
  • Benson, John George Pioneer Corps, Portadown
  • Burke, Aubrey 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles, Portadown
  • Cole, Norman Royal Navy H.M.S Renown, Ballinagone
  • Gibson, James 12th Battery, 3 Searchlight Regiment Royal Artillery, Portadown
  • Hamill, James S.S Ville d’Arlon Merchant Navy, Portadown
  • Hazlett, Samuel Alexander Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Canada ( Native of Portadown)
  • Hewitt, Robert Ernest British Expeditionary Force, Lisniskey
  • Hutchinson, William Robert Toronto Scottish Regiment , Tarson
  • Kane, Samuel 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, Tarson
  • Kane, Vincent 8 Battery 4 Light A.A. Regiment, Park Road
  • Lutton, William John Kirkpatrick H.M.S Illustrious, Royal Navy, Montague Street
  • McCullough, David, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, West Street
  • McDonald, Peter Frank 195 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Portadown
  • McFadden, James 1st Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, Grange Portadown
  • McKnight, Frederick 5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Kernan
  • Morrison, John Pioneer Corps, Twinem Terrace, Knockmena
  • Pidgeon, Samuel 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Portadown
  • Robinson, Thomas Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force), Selshion
  • Summerville, William Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Union Street
  • Topping Jocelyn, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, Portadown
  • Whittle, James S.S Ville de Namur (Belgium), Canadian Merchant Navy, Selshion

Wreaths led on the day

Edward Saunderson and Town War Memorial

 

References  – “Portadown Heroes: A tribute to the men Commemorated on Portadown War Memorial” By James S Kane

“Portadown and District War Memorial Commemoration and Celebration Service” Booklet produced by ABC Council, Armed forces Covenant and RBL. 

 

Abandoned NI Exhibition at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre!

Abandoned NI Exhibition at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre!

New Exhibition on its way!

Portadown Heritage Tours is pleased to announce that they are hosting the next Exhibition by Abandoned NI.  The Exhibition is titled ‘Physical Absence’.

Abandoned NI

Abandoned NI is a local photographer who documents abandoned properties around the Island of Ireland.  This will be their second exhibition.  The opening night will include a talk and presentation discussing a recently documented house.  Within that house they found items dating back to the late 1800’s, this included letters, photographs, newspapers, coins, diaries, clothing and more.

They will also have an installation piece on display along with a selection of images from the home.  If you are a fan of social hidden history this is an exhibition not to be missed!

When and Where.

The Exhibition ‘Physical Absence’ will be held in the Heritage Centre of Carleton Street Orange Hall, Portadown.  The opening night; talk and presentation will be held on Friday 30th November at 7pm. Tickets are available from the link below:

https://billetto.co.uk/e/physical-absence-exhibition-opening-night-with-presentation-talk-tickets-304307

The Exhibition will be open Monday – Friday, 9:00am until 4:00pm, from 3rd December until 20th December.  Portadown Heritage Tours will also be opening the exhibition two nights a week from 7pm until 9pm.  It will be open the following nights in December; Monday 3rd, Thursday 6th, Monday 10th, Thursday 13th, Monday 17th and Thursday 20th.  Admission into the exhibition is free.

For more information you can contact the Portadown Heritage Tours office on 028 38332010 or email shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk.  For ticket purchases please use the link provided.

Everyone is welcome!