Queen’s award for Carrickfergus museum volunteers

The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Cheryl Johnston with volunteers from Flame Museum in Carrickfergus.
The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Cheryl Johnston with volunteers from Flame Museum in Carrickfergus.

The group behind Flame Gasworks Museum in Carrickfergus is to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2018.

Carrickfergus Gasworks Preservation Society runs Ireland’s sole surviving coal gasworks - one of only three left in the British Isles.

The gasworks opened in 1855 and supplied Carrickfergus with gas made from coal until 1967. It was subsequently used to distribute gas piped from Belfast until its closure in 1987.

The Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Cheryl Johnston said: “This award is fantastic for all the hard working volunteers behind this fascinating attraction. Their hard work and dedication has been recognised and it’s well deserved for the positive impact they’ve had on the local community.

“The group has helped to lovingly restore this unique museum which opened in 2002. I would urge residents and visitors to pop in and take a nostalgic and educational look at the extensive display of original gas appliances.

“I would also like to personally thank all the hard work of the volunteers and congratulate them in receiving this well-deserved accolade.”

Sharon Mushtaq, from Flame Museum, said: “Receiving this award represents a tremendous achievement for the 30 years our volunteers have dedicated to developing and preserving our unique Victorian Coal Gasworks. This reward is like the MBE for volunteer groups and feels very special indeed.

“All our volunteers feel immensely proud and we will certainly celebrate this achievement when the Lord Lieutenant, Joan Christie CVO OBE, will present the award. Two of our volunteers recently attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and this will certainly continue the royal celebrations.”