A Successful Orange Heritage Week 2018 in Portadown

A Successful Orange Heritage Week 2018 in Portadown

We Brought Orange Heritage Home to the Orange Citadel!

Futures Bright for Orange Heritage

Orange Heritage Week saw the release of our audio tours, using i-Beacon technology, the first of its kind in any tourist building in Northern Ireland.

 

The kids treasure trail was a big success and proved that Orange Heritage Week can be enjoyed by all ages.  The kids were given free rain of the hall and they throughly enjoyed their time exploring it and discovering a little bit of history along the way.  They enjoyed finding the treasure and their party afterwards with juice and treats.

Release of our Exhibitions

We had three Exhibitions open during Orange Heritage Week.  These included Portadown Orangemen on the Western Front, Orange & Industry and Drumcree: 20 Years on.  The exhibitions displayed local history and its connections to Orange Heritage within the town. Love it or hate it, theres no doubt about it, Orange Heritage runs deep into the history of Portadown.  The exhibitions took a while to get through, with visitors coming back over a couple of days to explore them.

 

Band Performances & Public Talks

We would like to say a big thank you to Star of David Accordion band for their open concert they performed on the Monday night.  It showcased the week nicely, highlighting the importance of music throughout Orange Heritage.  Also a big thank you to Historian Robert Wallace for his two very interesting talks on ‘The Williamite Wars in the European Context’ and ‘The Palaces of William and Mary’.  Both proved a very good insight into the beginnings of the Orange Culture and history.  Link Below for a short video of the bands performance.

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Spooky Times Ahead..

We have Ghost Tours running throughout October! To kick those of we had our first Ghost Tour of the season during Orange Heritage Week.  This proved very popular and we hope everyone had a good time, there was a few laughs along the way as well as the scary bits!

Finishing on a high!

To finish the festival off we had our MacMillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning! We are happy to announce we raised a total of £295.  We are delighted with the total and we have our visitors support to thank for that.

 

Its a Thank You from us!

We would like to thank everyone who supported us for our festival of events for Orange Heritage Week.  To all our visitors who attended your support is very much appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Orange Heritage Week 2018 21st – 28th September

Orange Heritage Week 2018 21st – 28th September

 Orange Heritage Week 2018 – Celebrating Orange Heritage in the Orange Citadel

 

Portadown Heritage Tours are pleased to announce the launch of their new festival of events ‘Celebrating Orange Heritage in the Orange Citadel’ for Orange Heritage Week from 21st – 28th September 2018.  Portadown is known as the Orange Citadel because of its rich Orange Heritage and the formation of the first organised Orange District which set the precedent for all future Districts and Grand Lodge.  Orange Heritage Week was launched in 2017 by The Grand Lodge of Ireland as an opportunity for all communities to learn and celebrate Orange Heritage throughout the Country.  It covers Diamond Day to Covenant Day.

Portadown Heritage Tours are hosting lots of events throughout the festival suitable for the whole community.

 Friday 21st September

There will be two audio tours of Carleton Street Orange Hall.  The hall has recently been fitted with iBeacon technology for audio tours which is the first of its kind in any tourist building in Northern Ireland.  The Technology works through The Portadown Heritage Tours App which is available to download on Android and Apple devices.  The audio tours are available at 14:30 and 19:00, iPads are provided for the Audio Tour, but booking is essential.

Saturday 22nd September

There will be a Kids Treasure Trail at Carleton Street Orange Hall at 14:00.  This is suitable for ages five and above, but younger children are more than welcome to come and join the fun.  This particular event is proving to be very popular, so booking is essential.

Monday 24th September – Friday 28th September,

Will see the launch of our three exhibitions in Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre.  Exhibitions are open 10:00-15:00 , they include Drumcree: 20 years on, Portadown Orangemen on the Western Front and also Orange & Industry.  Also, between 19:00 and 20:00, Star of David Accordion Band will be hosting an open concert and from 20:15 there will be a talk by Robert Wallace, Historian and WDM of Portadown Royal Black, on the ‘Williamite wars in the European Context’.  There is no booking required for these events.

Tuesday 25th September

Robert Wallace will be back to give another talk this time on ‘The Houses of Orange’, which will look at the palaces of William and Mary.  This talk begins at 20:15 and no booking is required.

Wednesday 26th September and Thursday 27th September

There will also be a Town Walking Tour leaving Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre at 19:00 on Wednesday 26th September and Thursday 27th September at 20:00 will see the return of our Ghost Tour.  Once again these are very popular events and booking is essential.  The Ghost Tours will be running twice a week during the month of October in the run up to Halloween.

Friday 28th September

Portadown Heritage Tours will also be hosting a Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee morning on Friday 28th September between 10:00 and 12:30 at Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre and everyone is welcome!

For bookings contact the Portadown Heritage Tours office on 38332010 or out of hours number 07928962608.  Also email shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or online www.portadownheritagetours.co.uk.  Portadown Heritage Tours is supported through PEACE IV funding.

 

 

Drumcree: 20 years on Film show and Exhibition

Drumcree: 20 years on Film show and Exhibition

Drumcree: 20 years on

Portadown Orange District LOL 1 in association with Portadown Heritage Tours and Carleton Street Heritage Centre are hosting an Exhibition and film show ‘Drumcree:  twenty years on’ to mark twenty years since the banning of the return parade from Drumcree.

Photo credit: Portadown Heritage Tours

Where did it all begin?

The July anniversary Church parade to Drumcree is the oldest Orange Church Parade in the world.  This fact alone gives a great sense of pride to Portadown Orange District.  The parade first took place in 1807 a mere decade after the formation of the Orange Institution in 1795 a few miles away in Loughgall, which is hosting the annual County Armagh twelfth Celebrations this year.

 

Changing Demographics

Demographic Changes to the traditionally known Portadown area of ‘The Walk’ including Parkmount and Victoria Terrace meant the parade was first stopped on its return journey in 1995 and by 1998 it was stopped completely. This period of time and the Siege of Drumcree years saw Portadown become headline news worldwide as thousands gathered on ‘the Hill’.

 

Routes and approaches

Portadown Orange District LOL 1 continue to have a protest every Sunday against the Parades Commission determination that they are banned.  Although Portadown District have tried numerous approaches to various organisations to have a talks process with residents of the area to resolve the issues surrounding the parade.  There has been a negative response to Portadown Districts efforts at mediation.

 

Everyone welcome to the exhibition and film show

The exhibition and film show will be the largest ever showcase of archives on display from the Drumcree years following the story through past, present and future.  This exhibition and film show is open to everyone as an opportunity to learn and explore the events of the Drumcree years and a chance for visitors to see the story first hand rather than the medias perception.

Photo Credit: Portadown Heritage Tours

The Exhibition and film show will start on Monday 2nd July and will run until Saturday 7th July.  It will be held in Carleton Street Heritage Centre located within Carleton Street Orange Hall.  It will be open each weeknight from 7pm-9pm and 2pm-4pm on Saturday.  Each night will see a different film on show these will include; Drumcree 1995, Drumcree 1996, Behind Orange Lines, Drumcree 1997, Drumcree 1998 and The Café on the Hill.  The exhibition room will also be open at the same time for visitors to explore the archives and items on display. Follow Portadown Heritage Tours on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest details.

Also search Portadown Orange District LOL 1 on Facebook and Twitter or check out the district website http://www.portadowndistrictlolno1.co.uk

Photo credit: Portadown Heritage Tours

 

The Catch

The Catch

Portadown has two buildings formerly used in connection with the once flourishing temperance movement.  One of these was the Temperance Hall, mainly used by the Rechabite movement which recruited children and young people.  The other building, now part of Sprotts Ltd Portadown in Edward Street, was the home of the ‘Catch-my-pal’ movement, which existed in the early 1900’s.

It closed in the 1930’s to become the Savoy Cinema, but the link with the past persisted, and the cinema was referred to by local filmgoers as ‘The Catch’, and that was the case until the closure of the cinema in the late 1950s.

The Catch-my-Pall organisation former a few years before the 1st World War by an Armagh Road Presbyterian minister, the Rev.Robert J Patterson, later to be known as ‘Catch-my-Pal’ Patterson, founder of the Protestant Total Abstinence Union.  The new organisation spread like wildfire throughout County Armagh and further afield.  Portadown was one of the liveliest in the province, and by 1910, it had 1,127 members.

Its president was prominent Portadown Orangeman, Mr William Henry Wright, solicitor, chairman of Portadown Urban District Council.  The treasurer was Mr George Gregory, another member of the Urban Council.  The big demand was to provide recreation and games for the pals, and a top floor flat in a building in Woodhouse Street was secured for reading rooms, darts, snooker and other amusements.  The flat was not big enough to meet the expectations of the growing membership.

The branch secured its own premises in Edward Street, which was later converted into Portadown’s second cinema, The savoy.  The Temperance work was carried out at the same time as the films were being shown on the screen in the cinema.  The branch also had its own band- the first ro be formed by any branch, trained by Mr Tom Montgomery.

The Pals branch also held shooting competitions, and hey even and an unemployment bureau, for the benefit of employers needing workers, before the state established theirs.  The Pals paid a weekly subscription of 1 penny for these facilities.  Those joining the Temperance organisation were asked to give an undertaking that they would not drink alcohol, and would do their best to promote the Temperance movement,

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Belfast Lodge with Portadown Links

Belfast Lodge with Portadown Links

A Belfast Orange Lodge has a very close connection with Portadown, as its name would suggest, and most of the founding members came from County Armagh town and district.  The Lodge is Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336, and its warrant is held by Belfast District LOL No 2, sitting in Clifton Street Orange Hall.

It flourished in the early 1900’s when many linen workers from Portadown moved to Belfast to take up jobs in the huge linen mills in the North of the city.  Until fairly recently the lodge was in existence, but the huge movement of Protestant families  from the north and west Belfast resulted in a number of Orange Lodges declining in numbers and becoming dormant.  However, the warrant of the Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336 is still held by District No 2, and a number of former members transferred to other city lodges.

One side of the banner is a representation of the massacre of Protestants in the River Bann in Portadown during the Irish Rebellion of 1641.  In July 1960, a new banner was unveiled for the lodge at a ceremony in Clifton Street Orange Hall, Belfast, by the then Grand Master of Ireland, Senator Sir George Clark.  Sir George was accompanied by Lady Clark, and the chairman was Bro J. Coalville, WM of No 2 District, Belfast.

The banner was dedicated by the Rev.T.W.W. Jones and bouquets were presented to Lady Clark and Mrs Jones.  A vote of thanks to Sir George was proposed by Bro Major F.R.A. Hands, Deputy County Grand Master, and seconded by Bro V. Carson, deputy master of the Rising Sons of Portadown LOL No 1336.  Sir George noted that the:

“lodge bore the title of a town in Northern Ireland noted for its loyalty and Orangeism, and it reflected the fact that so many people from the town had settled in Belfast”.

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The Orange Cage – Fowlers Entry

The Orange Cage – Fowlers Entry

Until the extensive development of the West Street-Woodhouse Street area of Portadown in the mid-1960’s, a maze of streets linked these two main thoroughfares.  These included David, John and Mary Streets, homes to almost a hundred people, living in homes which mostly lacked the amenities now considered essential, such as indoor toilets, proper heating and small gardens.

However, as in all the tightly knit working class areas of Portadown, there was a great tradition of family and community ties, and this enabled people to cope with the sort of housing conditions that would now be completely unacceptable in our society.  Adjacent to these streets, now swallowed up by the Magowan Buildings shopping and housing complex, was Fowlers Entry, the famous ‘Orange Cage’ as it was known throughout the town.

The small street, of some 30 houses was situated almost opposite the Saunderson statue and the War Memorial.  Unlike its neighbouring streets, the ‘Orange Cage’ was a cul-de-sac.  Like the other streets it was a close knit community, with many families having their origins in the area going back many decades.  What made it different from the other streets which were mixed as far as the the religion of families were concerned, is that for most of its existence, the families in Fowlers Entry were almost exclusively Protestant.

Each year, Fowlers Entry was bedecked in Union Jacks and bunting, and as the Orangemen passed the War Memorial and prepared to turn right for their parade through he town centre, the spectacle of the Orange Cage and its display of total loyalty was eye-catching.  Youngsters from the street sounded out a rhythm on miniature Lambeg drums, and waved small flags as the Orangemen paraded past their street.

Like all the other streets in central Portadown, the famous little street called Fowlers Entry is now but a memory, and its families were scattered to the new housing estates like Redmanville, Brownstown and Clounagh Park.  But their loyalty never wavered long after the last house had been demolished, the former residents of Fowlers Entry were displaying the same sense of loyalty in their new surroundings.

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