Portadown Heritage Tours are launching a new exhibition documenting the famous Blacker and Shillington Families of Portadown.
The Blacker family have their roots firmly engraved into the heritage and development of Portadown as a town. The Family is from Viking decent and the first of the Blacker Family settled in Portadown in 1660. It was from that point onwards that the family developed an influential historic link with Seagoe Parish Church, the development of the town and the Orange Institution.
We were able to complete a large part of the exhibition on the Blacker family, thanks to the research by local historian James Kane. The Blacker Family have a detailed history and comprising it down for the benefit of the exhibition was quite a task. James Kane published a book on the family in 1995 titled “For God and the King” – The Story of the Blackers of Carrickblacker. The book provided us with a detailed overview of the timeline and family tree of the Blacker Family.
The Shillington Family were important in the development of Portadown through the family business T A Shillington & Son. During the First World War, the family were influential in the war effort. Major David Graham Shillington led the way along with his son Tom and nephew Geoffrey. His nephew, Geoffrey St George Shillington Cather, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery on the Western Front. The Family was also influential in the Orange Institution in Portadown, particularly the women.
For the first time the development of the Women’s Orange Institution in Portadown will be documented through this exhibition. The exhibition will document the heritage of both families and how they came together in the First World War.
The ‘Shillington and Blacker Families of Portadown’ exhibition will launch in Edenderry Orange Hall on Wednesday 26th June at 7:30pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and light refreshments will be served. The exhibition will be going to other venues in the next few months before it becomes a permanent feature in Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre.
The Launch night is kindly being facilitated by Jessie Collen Memorial WLOL 101. The Collen family have close links with the Shillington family and the exhibition explores this link in great detail.
If any Lodges or groups would like to facilitate the exhibition in their halls, then please feel free to get in touch with our office.
This exhibition has been made possible through funding received by Portadown Heritage Tours from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
Portadown Heritage Tours is also supported by Peace IV funding.