Items in Category: History

The Second World War RAF Air Crash Disasters on The Collin Mountain

The Second World War RAF Air Crash Disasters on The Collin Mountain

Today we remember the 14 RAF airmen who were killed or injured during the Second World War in two tragic accidents on The Collin Mountain and take time to again thank local historian William Cobain for his tireless campaign to have a memorial erected at The Collin Mountain and in War Memorial Park, Ballyclare to recognise the ultimate...

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The Mysterious Disappearance of Ballyclare's German Artillery Guns

The Mysterious Disappearance of Ballyclare's German Artillery Guns

At the end of the Great War, King George V sent two German artillery guns to Ballyclare in recognition of the many men from the town and district who gave their lives for their country during the conflict.  The guns were said to have been captured at the Battle of Messines in June 1917, during which the men of Ballyclare mainly in C...

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East Antrim Harriers. 110 years and running.

East Antrim Harriers. 110 years and running.

In September 1907 a small group of Ballyclare-based runners who were members of Belfast Trinity Harriers decided to form their own club in the town. They met in a barn at the back of Baird’s public house on Main Street and chose the name East Antrim Harriers. Little did they know that from these humble beginnings they were forming...

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Parkgate Donkey Day 2016

Parkgate Donkey Day 2016

Always a very special day in the Ballyclare and District social calendar, this year's Parkgate Donkey Day will take place in the village on Saturday 3 September 2016 from 1pm. To get everyone in the mood, this was the highlight of the 2015 Day. And below we've included some photographs from 2015 and 2014. So many happy memories here.

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A History of Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band

A History of Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band

Ballyclare Victoria Flute Band was formed in early Spring 1919 around about the same time as Sammy Murray, Arthur McGuigan and Bob Grange were talking about setting up a football club at the Ballyclare branch of the Comrades of the Great War Association. When they started, no one in the band could play a flute but they set themselves a...

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The curious tale of the runaway barrage balloon that ended with a car up a tree.

The curious tale of the runaway barrage balloon that ended with a car up a tree.

Ever wondered why this motto is painted on the wall above the Grange Bar in Ballyclare? When Jack Grange, the publican of the Northern Bar (now The Grange) set off with his mum, sister and their two dogs in their little Morris car for a Sunday afternoon drive in November 1941, they could have not known what adventure was ahead of them as they...

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A History of Ballyclare Comrades Football Club

A History of Ballyclare Comrades Football Club

It was an afternoon, late in February 1919, just three months after the signing of the Armistice, when Sammy Murray and Arthur McGuigan, two disabled veterans of the First World War sat talking in a small room overlooking the Main Street in Ballyclare. The room was part of a small shop, rented for ten shillings each week as their headquarters by...

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If Bert McCormick can't get it, it can't be got.

If Bert McCormick can't get it, it can't be got.

As Bert McCormick celebrates his 40th year in business on Ballyclare Main Street, we thought it would be good to share this wonderful article written about the great man by Ciaran McCauley back in November 2012 for the East Antrim Gazette. It’s well worth a read. A fascinating man, an amazing career and a great Ballyclarian. Bert...

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An interview with Ernest Hall, serving Ballyclare since 1967

An interview with Ernest Hall, serving Ballyclare since 1967

Ernest Hall has kitted out the men of Ballyclare and beyond for over four decades, and has no plans to step back just yet, as he told the Ballyclare Gazette’s John Monaghan back in November 2012. It was a year synonymous with the Beatles and George Best’s stunning performance for Northern Ireland against Scotland, but for...

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The day Fred Dibnah brought down the Ballyclare Paper Mill chimney

The day Fred Dibnah brought down the Ballyclare Paper Mill chimney

It was just 10 minutes after noon on Monday 12 June 1989 that an era of Ballyclare’s illustrious industrial history was raised to the ground in smoke and a magnificent landmark disappeared from the town’s landscape forever. A crowd of over 200 people gathered that day to watch the demolition of the last remnants of the once-renowned...

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The Fighting Turks: Ballyclare's legendary boxing brothers

The Fighting Turks: Ballyclare's legendary boxing brothers

The story of Ballyclare’s Fighting Turks began in the sixties when two brothers, Henry (17) and Billy (15) Turkington joined an amateur boxing club in Doagh. The club was run by Coe McConnell in the basement of his home. Henry’s first fight was against a boxer from the Newsboys Club in Belfast, a fight he lost when the referee...

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Mark Twain's family tree rooted in Clements Hill, Ballyclare

Mark Twain's family tree rooted in Clements Hill, Ballyclare

Just off the Green Road in Ballyclare, before it reaches Calhame Corners is a lane known as The Back Walks, which leads down to the Ballynure Road. It crosses over the area of Clements Hill that has long been the home of a family who originally spelled their name Clemens. Some are buried in the old churchyard in Ballynure. In fact, the oldest...

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Prince Bira wins Ulster Trophy Race around Ballyrobert (1946)

Prince Bira wins Ulster Trophy Race around Ballyrobert (1946)

The first international road race in Britain after the Second World War took place around Ballyrobert on Saturday 10 August 1946. The circuit was only ever used for the International Ulster Trophy Race, which had taken place in Ballyrobert in 1937 and would be held again around the course in 1947, moving to Dundrod in 1948.  The Ballyclare...

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The Great Ballyclare Cunningham Monument Mystery

The Great Ballyclare Cunningham Monument Mystery

Until 1951 a tall monument stood in the town square in Ballyclare marking the affection of local people for a nineteenth century doctor called James Cunningham. You’ll have seen it in many of the old photographs of the town. The handsome fluted column was erected in 1854 to the memory of the doctor, who had practised in his native town...

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