Articles on Local History
The Curious Case of Tom McMahon, the Bangor Rower
Recently there has been publicity locally for the intrepid Donegal man Henry O’Donnell, who is attempting to swim round Ireland for charity.
I considered buying a turnip this week. It was very round and quite big and conjured up memories of my childhood Hallowe’ens in North Belfast.
Bangor Hotels of the late 19th century (4)
Today a public house stands in Quay Street next to the Tower House. It dates back to about 1860 when it housed the Abercorn Hotel .
Make Presidents Great Again
The Democrats' donkey appellation originated with our own Irish-rooted 7th President and founder of the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, dubbed a 'Jackass' by his 1828 campaign opponents.
Bangor Hotels of the late 19th century (3)
The Stag's Head stood at the bottom of High Street at the corner with Bridge Street.
The Long Hole (or Big Hole)
A very recent planning application seeks to make the biggest change to this Bangor feature in its history.
Do I look Irish in This?
I discovered recently that men sporting a soup strainer were persona non grata in 15th century Dublin.
Ballyholme Showgrounds circa 1928
Perhaps the most striking thing about this wonderful aerial view of Ballyholme is that relatively little has changed in almost 100 years!
The Temple as a banqueting house
In the 18th century, Mount Stewart gained its own socially distant banqueting house, about 15 minutes’ stroll from the mansion house.
Bangor Hotels of the late 19th century (2)
The Beehive Hotel stood at the corner of Main Street and Mill Row.
North Down Museum's Heritage Project: the work of Bangor Heritage Group
North Down Museum has a fascinating exhibition of panels and a film illustrating some of the rich commercial and industrial heritage of the North Down and Ards Council area.
Bangor Hotels of the late 19th century (1)
The Steamboat Hotel stood on the seaside of Quay Street in an area then known as The Parade.
Bangor Harbour: alive with marine wildlife
Harbours by their nature attract a myriad of marine wildlife and Bangor is no exception.
Conlig and Whitespots Lead Mines
Enthusiasts for local history will be interested to know that this fascinating location is to become much more accessible.
HMT Lancastria (and other connections)
The 80th anniversary of the sinking of the Cunard liner, HMT Lancastria , reckoned to be Britain's worst ever maritime disaster, falls on the 17th June 2020.
Ahoy the Beagle!
HMS Beagle has been located in the Essex mudflats. What's the local historical connection with this ship?
Bangor Memories in the Northern Ireland War Memorial
The Northern Ireland War Memorial's oral history projects seek to capture the memories and stories of those local people who fought and lived through the Second World War in Northern Ireland and include a number of stories local to Bangor.
The Glen Yard
Walk past the foot of Strickland’s Glen towards Carnalea and you will clearly see the remains of a slipway beside which Arthur Clapham carried on boat-building from the 1930s till about 1960.
Shipbuilding at Ballyholme
Betty Armstrong looks at the history of boatbuilding ventures in Ballyholme.
Captain STS Lecky, Master Mariner, Commander RNR, FRAS, FRGS
The life and times of an Ulsterman whose name became extremely well known among seafarers, both naval and merchant, around the world.
Sounds of a Belfast Childhood
John Betjeman once said "Childhood is measured out by sounds, smells and sights before the dark age of reason grows" .
The unlikely event
A remarkable chain of coincidences.
The random thoughts of a walker.
Remembrance Day Reminiscences
As the 75th anniversary of VE Day approaches, I thought I would tell you about attending Remembrance Day services in two very different places.
Certain wartime habits are in my genes, like saving bits of string and brown paper bags, and thinking that half an ounce of butter is much too extravagant to put on two slices of toast.
Captain William Brown of Bangor and a Mystery of the Sea
Prompted by the news in The Times of 30 August 2019, that the wreck of the paddle steamer Lelia has been found off North Wales and granted protected status on the advice of Historic England …
Sir Thomas Wilson: Pillar of Ulster Society - and Bootlegger!
Sir Thomas Wilson (1863-1930) was the first Mayor of Bangor after it was created a Borough in 1927, and the first Freeman of the Borough.
Visit to Pogue's Entry, Antrim
Donated by author Dr Alexander Irvine in memory of his mother, the little Irish two room cottage enabled the town to celebrate his own life and times as well as that of his poverty stricken mixed marriage family.
Cockle Row, Groomsport - beachcomber's delight!
The little beach in front of these ancient cottages seems at first glance like any other shingly patch of sand. But closer inspection reveals a curious thing.
Killymoon and the Stone Circles
Ellen Elder reports on the Spring Outing to Kilymoon and Beaghmore.
Northern Ireland and Tierra del Fuego
Captain Mahood of Portavogie and the crew of the River Lagan were shipwrecked on uninhabited Staten Island for six weeks; and then there is Captain Robert Fitzroy of the Beagle.
How First Bangor nearly lost its tree …
Perhaps the best known landmark in Bangor Town Centre, for visitors and residents alike, is “the church with the big tree” on Main Street. The tree was planted around 1843 by First Presbyterian Church Bangor’s longest serving minister, Rev Hugh Woods.
Ulster Sayings that mean something to me - so they do!
Ellen Elder takes a look back at some of the more amusing Ulster Sayings from her youth.
Bangor Christian Heritage Trail and Mobile App
Ards and North Down Borough Council, with support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, are promoting the recently established “Bangor Christian Heritage Walking Trail and Mobile App”.
9th Century Bells Exhibition
An exhibition in North Down Museum from 20 May to 28 June is bringing together three important early Christian bells - the Bangor Bell (above), the Lough Lene Bell and the Cashel Bell - for first time since they were cast over 1,200 years ago!
What can you tell us?
Can you tell us more about this mystery photograph supplied by Nick Wolsey?
An idea whose time had come …
The introduction of British Summer Time in 1916 seemed simple enough - however it proved slightly more complicated in Bangor!
Local Heroes of the Great War
During the Great War, the civilian population, in the absence of home radio, was receiving the bulk of its information about the conflict from local daily and weekly papers.
A History of Bangor
A timeline of the town's history since 500 BC, when Bronze age settlers were living in the area, up until the present day