October 20th 2018 was an eagerly anticipated date for nineteen members booked on the Ronnie Special to Pogue's Entry in Antrim town. Donated by author Dr Alexander Irvine in memory of his mother, this 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.
Listening to our guide Bill McBride in Pogue's Entry
Our guide and master storyteller/craftsman Billy McBride brought to life the incredible tale of Alexander's transition from illiterate odd job boy via a stint at mining to a marine career followed by becoming a multi lingual evangelistic preacher, prolific author, Union organiser, social reformer and later serving at Prime Minister Lloyd George's request as Chief Morale Officer to the troops in the Great War trenches. Alexander died in Hollywood, California, in 1941 and his ashes were brought home to be buried with his parents in Antrim parish churchyard. The poignant motto on the headstone reflects the three concluding words of My Lady in the Chimney Corner, Love is Enough.
The Lady of the Chimney Corner!
After an amazing display of how to make hand made paper, Billy let us go on to our lunch stop at Clotworthy House where a buffet of delicious sandwiches and yummy scones was laid out in the Conservatory. An autumnal stroll around the gardens of Antrim Castle finished off a wonderful half day tour and we were back at Bangor seafront just before 2pm. Many thanks to Ronnie and Adrianne for arranging another enjoyable and informative visit.