Carrickfergus has showcased its heritage attractions to a party of influential visitors from all over the island of Ireland.
Members of the Federation of Local History Societies from the south and its northern counterpart, the Federation for Ulster Local Studies, joined together for a shared visit.
Both federations represent the interests of local history, archaeological and heritage societies. A total of 63 historians from 25 societies and drawn from 14 counties were involved in the programme.
The itinerary started with a trip to the Somme Heritage Centre, near Newtownards and a guided tour. After this the group explored Mount Stewart house and its famous gardens.
Later, the party attended a dinner at Belfast Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus, which “provided an ideal base for the visitors during their stay”.
They also enjoyed an illustrated talk by Shirin Murphy, Collections Access officer, Carrickfergus Museum.
They would like to thank the town of Carrickfergus and its inhabitants for the warm welcome they receivedFederations
In a statement, the federations added: “Sunday morning started with a guided tour of the Carrickfergus Castle in the hands of an excellent guide.
“This was followed by the unexpected pleasure of watching the air display performed by the famous Red Arrows in the skies above and around the castle.
“Industrial heritage was the theme as the group visited Flame Gasworks and took a trip down memory lane to the bygone era of coal gas energy. They were given a very warm welcome by Helen Rankin, chairperson of Carrickfergus and District Historical Society, on behalf of the historical society and the Flame Gasworks.”
After a welcome lunch in ‘Ownies, the trip concluded with a visit and guided tour of the medieval Church of St. Nicholas’.
On behalf of the history federations, John Hulme, FULS and Larry Breen, FLHS, expressed their sincere thanks for the opportunity to visit so many interesting places and to meet so many friendly people.
“They would like to particularly thank the town of Carrickfergus and its inhabitants for the warm welcome they received and the great hospitality they were shown during their stay.”
Carrickfergus Historical Society’s winter season will commence on September 30.