The next meeting of Armagh & District History Group will be held on Wednesday 13th February at 7:00 p.m. in the Irish and Local Studies Library. The meeting will begin with our A.G.M. and it will be followed by a talk by one of our own members Richard Burns.
Richard’s topic will be “DNA my family tree and me”. He took a DNA test last February at the Back To Our Past event in the Titanic Centre and will talk about his experience ahead of this year’s event in the Waterfront on the 15th & 16th February
Our next talk will be on Wednesday, 14th November in the Irish and Local Studies Library at 7:00 p.m.
The talk is by one of our own members, Eric Villiers and his topic is “Armagh: A Blue Plaque in Every Street?”
“The premise of the talk is that if buildings, places and spaces could talk they would tell you great stories about heroes and villains that most people have never heard: about important events and famous people who have been neglected by history or forgotten altogether.
It is only a slight exaggeration to suggest that there’s a building on every city centre street that could justify a blue plaque or a memorial of some kind”.
Our programme resumes on Wednesday, 12th September in the Irish and Local Studies Library at 7:00 p.m.
Our speaker this month is one of our own members, Stephen Day and the topic will be “The Old Railway Network in Armagh and the Future of the Armagh-Portadown Line”. Stephen will talk about the layout of the old railway network in and around Armagh and there will be an opportunity for a discussion on the prospects of a future Armagh-Portadown railway line.
As the Robinson Library is hosting a talk on the evening the History Group normally meets we have decided to forego organising a meeting this month and accept the Robinson Library’s kind invitation to join them.
The talk is by Professor Michael Burton, Director of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and is part of the celebration of 50 years since the Planetarium was first opened.
Our April meeting will be on 11th April at 7:00 p.m. in the Irish and Local Studies Library.
The speaker will be Dr Myrtle Hill and the title of her talk will be ‘Seeking justice in a changing world: the life, times and example of Mary Ann McCracken’.
Born in Belfast in 1770, her father was Captain John McCracken, a Ulster Scot Presbyterian and a prominent shipowner; her mother Ann Joy, came from a French Protestant Huguenot family, which made its money in the linen trade and founded the Belfast News Letter. Mary Ann’s liberal and far-sighted parents sent her to David Manson’s progressive co-educational school, where ‘young ladies’ received the same education as the boys.
She was the sister of Henry Joy McCracken one of the founding members of the United Irishmen Society who was executed in Belfast in 1798. After Henry’s execution in 1798, she and her sister Margaret opened a muslin manufacturing business at 27 Waring Street, Belfast.
She died in 1866 at the age of 96 years, and is buried in Clifton Street cemetery
Our February Meeting will be on Wednesday, 14th March at 7:00 p.m.
The speaker this month will be Roddy Hegarty, Director of the Cardinal O’Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive, and his topic will be Irish Postal History.
Like many aspects of our everyday life the Post Office and the delivery of mail is something that almost occurs unnoticed, so seldom do we give it a thought. However, this sophisticated system of collections and deliveries ensures that life for many people and businesses goes on uninterrupted. We often only miss the service when it is suspended. This talk retraces the stages through which the modern postal system has evolved and will seek to explain the various contributions that were made throughout its history that brought us to where we are today.
The post box used to illustrate this page is a cast-iron wall box of the V R Type, located at Dromod Station, Co Leitrim.