A Carrick museum is calling on anyone in the borough with connections to the gas industry to get in touch for a new video project.
FLAME Gasworks Museum, which will celebrate its 160th anniversary next year, is taking part in a video project funded by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Titled ‘Gas’ing about an old flame, the project aims to gather volunteers to share their stories and experiences on Northern Ireland’s gas industry over the years.
Sharon Mushtaq, development officer with FLAME Gasworks Preservation Society, explained: “We would be looking to interview people in the new year to share their experiences on the gas industry across Northern Ireland and create a kind of social history.
“It would be great to get in touch with people who would’ve had different jobs at gasworks, like stokers, drivers or managers.”
Carnmoney man Ivan Tennant, a volunteer at the museum, added: “We want to get as much down on record as we can. I’m sure people will have a lot of stories to tell; the stokers here would have worn wooden clogs because the floor underneath them would have gotten so hot. Then there was an old wives’ tale that if you brought any children who had whooping cough down to the purifiers, it would clear their cough up. It’s stories like that we’d like to hear.”
Facilitated through the NIEA’s Challenge Fund, the oral archive will be the latest in a series of developments at the site on Irish Quarter West.
Earlier this year, staff and volunteers at FLAME began work to collate an online photo archive, aiming to enhance the preservation of delicate documents and photographs and increase awareness of the museum.
The society is among the successful Challenge Fund projects receiving a share of £2.2million generated through the five pence levy on carrier bags introduced earlier this year.
The gasworks opened in 1855 and supplied the town with gas made from coal until 1967.
It was subsequently used to distribute gas piped from Belfast until its closure in 1987.
The facility was restored by the Gasworks Preservation Society and opened to the public as a visitor attraction in 2002.
FLAME is now one of only three preserved gasworks in Britain and Ireland.
To get in touch with the society, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.flamegasworks.co.uk or telephone 028 9336 9575.