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!

 

 

 

 

Carleton Street Orange Hall is not your average Orange Museum….

Carleton Street Orange Hall is not your average Orange Museum….

Thinking of a visit to Carleton Street Orange Hall? It’s not your average Orange Museum….

Is your Lodge or Organisation looking somewhere a bit different to visit? Well Portadown Heritage Tours can offer you that very opportunity!

Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre is a unique opportunity which just so happens to be right at home in the Orange Citadel.  The foundation stone for this iconic building was laid on the present site in 1873 and was opened in 1875.

Carleton Street Orange Hall

Tour Packages with a difference.

Portadown Heritage Tours host tour packages to this iconic Orange Hall.  The Hall is fitted with i-Beacon Technology the first of its kind in any tourist building in Northern Ireland, thanks to Ballymena based company Brilliant Trails. This technology means the hall is fully equipped with an audio tour which works through the Portadown Heritage Tours app. Each room within the Hall is named after an Orangeman of Portadown District who had a great influence in the development of Portadown as a town.

We provide visitors with an iPad to use for the duration of their visit. Visitors can take their time exploring the rooms while listening to the rooms historical significance.  If your not comfortable working technology, don’t worry! We have tour guides on hand to offer guidance during your visit.

Group and Lodge Packages available.

Friendly Tour Guides on hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During your visit..

Our Lodge and Group Packages include the Audio Tour of the Hall along with very tasty refreshments and a room to hold your meeting in.  Portadown Heritage Tours provide guides who are Community Tour Guides.  We are a unique organisation in this sense. We are all local people telling the local stories that make up Portadown’s history and heritage!   Although all the guides are trained to WorldHost Standard, we definitely like to have the ‘craic’ along the way.

Why we highly recommend a visit to Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre!

Orange Heritage is definitely making its mark on the local tourism scene throughout Northern Ireland.  But Carleton Street Orange Hall is not your normal Orange Museum!  The Orange Culture itself is very much alive and vibrant no matter what view you may have of it.  Therefore the approach that Portadown Heritage Tours have took towards our tours of the Hall is very simple.  We have opened the doors of this iconic Hall so that absolutely everyone can come and explore the Orange Culture first hand in an actual Orange Hall.

Every room is part of the Heritage Centre in its own right. There is artefacts and documents on display in every single room.  But those rooms are still actively used by all sorts of organisations of the Loyal Orders, Bands and Community Groups.  We have took the term ‘Living History’ to a whole new level.  Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre is by no means just an Orange Museum. This iconic Hall is a living history showcase of the Orange Families Culture; past, present and future.  The hall is an absolute must see within the Orange Heritage sites of County Armagh, make it your first stop!

Bell Room Photo credit: Tony Hendron

Whitten Room Photo Credit: Tony Hendron

Our Positive Reviews

Our Visitors book is busting with positive reviews. Visitors are genuinely blown away from the minute they step inside Carleton Street Orange Hall.  The first thing that will catch your attention is the iconic tilled floor of the hallway.  After that, room after room will surprise you.  We estimate an hour and a half for the tour of the hall, but you could easily get lost in its history for hours.

Thank you to you all for such an interesting afternoon.  The whole group absolutely loved it and we were all fascinated by different aspects of it.  The passion you all have for the history and culture of Portadown was evident and thank you for sharing it with us.

Ann

Book Now!

To Book a visit to Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre contact the Portadown Heritage Tours office on 028 38332010 or email shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk.  For Lodges and Organisations we can build and mould a tour package that suits the needs of your group.

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.

IMG_6339

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Peace IV

Peace IV

 

Portadown Heritage Tours has been awarded funding under the EU’S PEACE IV programme, managed by the special EU programme body.

A total of £71,285 has been awarded to the local community tourism initiative based at Carleton Street Orange Hall.  The funding was awarded for the employment of two full time workers for a period of 16 months with a possible extension, a Project Manager and an Administrative Assistant, both posts have been filled.

Portadown Heritage Tours was set up in August 2017 under the guidance of Ballymena based company, Brilliant Trails, after funding was awarded by the Heritage Lottery fund.

The local community tour guides are mainly made up of members of the Loyal Orders. The local organisation was developed to promote Portadown’s industrial history and Orange Heritage through tours and published content.  Tours currently on offer are the Portadown Town Walking Tour, Tour of Carleton Street Orange Hall & Heritage Centre and The Siege of Drumcree Tour. The organisation aims to promote cross community historical learning through the local tours, exhibitions and events.  As an organisation they are championing the teaching of local history in local schools across the whole community.

Bringing progress to Portadown

Chairman of Portadown Heritage Tours, Bill Partridge said, “I would like to express my thanks to the PEACE IV programme and ABC Council for their help.  As an organisation we are very enthusiastic for all our future plans for the town and how we can promote the local history and heritage through working with local community organisations.  Portadown is very lucky in the sense that we have a lot of hardworking community associations who we are keen to work with.  Also, our big aim is to get involved with the local schools to bring local history into the local education programme.  The funding from PEACE IV for two full time staff members has been absolutely vital towards our work and means we can grow and develop and move forwards with bringing community tourism to the local ABC Council area”.

How to contact us

Portadown Heritage Tours office is open Monday – Thursday 8:45am until 4:30pm and Friday 8:30am until 1:30pm.  The office can be contacted on 028 38332010 or there is an out of hours service available on 07928962608.  Any enquires can be emailed to shout@portadownheritagetours.co.ukand find us online at www.portadownheritagetours.co.uk.  Also search ‘Portadown Heritage Tours’ on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.

The special EU programmes body is responsible for managing two EU structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programme operates within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland. The PEACE IV Programme has a value of 270 million euro and aims to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.  For more Information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive office in Northern Ireland and the department of Rural and Community development in Ireland.

 

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.

 

 

Remembering the 1641 Rebellion

Remembering the 1641 Rebellion

Remembering the1641 Rebellion Talk

Portadown Heritage Tours and Carleton Street Heritage Centre will be hosting a talk ‘Remembering the 1641 Rebellion in Portadown’.  The talk will be presented by Dr Naomi McAreavey of University College Dublin in Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre.

 

1641 talk will be presented by Dr Naomi McArevey

                  

Dr McAreavey explains “The mass drowning of Protestants during the 1641 Rebellion has cast a long shadow over Portadown, but little is known about what actually happened in the River Bann that fateful winter.

 

In the talk I will return to the earliest recorded memories of the massacre found among the 1641 depositions to explore how the Portadown drownings were represented by eyewitnesses as well as through rumour and hearsay; by survivors and by the bereaved; by refugees speaking within weeks and months of the event, to those recalling the event over a decade later.

 

Identifying different memories of the atrocity and considering how they were shaped by time and circumstance, I will discuss how a range of deponents diversely remembered the Portadown atrocity, and illuminate the tensions, inconsistencies and contradictions in their memories.

 

In doing so, I will raise questions about what it means to remember the 1641 rebellion in Portadown.

Early drawing of the massacre of Portadown.

 

Portadown Heritage Tours are very pleased to welcome Dr McAreavey to Carleton Street Orange Hall & Heritage Centre and would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who would like to come along.  There is no admission fee and the talk will begin at 7:30pm on Wednesday 22ndAugust.  Come along and discover the history of the early years of Portadown during the rebellion.

Carleton Street Orange Hall and Heritage Centre

 

Further information is available from the Portadown Heritage Tours office. Telephone 07928962608 Email shout@portadownheritagetours.co.uk or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

 

Portadown Heritage Tours is supported by Peace 4 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