Memories were kindled and now burn bright within Bessbrook Community following the launch of the Bessbrook Model village project in Bessbrook Townhall. This Heritage Lottery funded project, which is managed by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council aims to engage with the local community to better interpret Bessbrook’s heritage and build a picture of the village that will cross generations. Guests were treated to colourful stories from speakers Alf McCreary and Graham McAleer. Both men grew up in Bessbrook and worked in the mill and shared vivid memories of the village that shaped their lives.
The next fascinating event will be a Show and Tell evening taking place on Tuesday 4th July, at 7.30pm, in Bessbrook Townhall. The cupboards, attics and stores of the people of Bessbrook are, according to project archivists, crammed with historical artifacts disguised as junk so we are inviting residents, past and present, to bring items that may be of historical significance along and have them analysed by museum curators.
On the night we will be taking photographs and scans of your items and adding them to our Living History database, which will be available online. Already the project has bought to light the original deeds of the Mill written in ink on velum, so we have no idea what this show and tell will unearth. We’re interested in seeing your old photographs, mill items, letters or certificates and anything else you think might interest us!
“Bessbrook has a rich tapestry of history that is at risk of being lost in the digital age. That is why this project is so important. As a resident of the village, the launch night offered the opportunity to reminisce with old friends and the Show and Tell event promises to be equally enjoyable.” said Roisin Mulgrew, chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council,
The social history of a unique village is held in people’s memories and in their homes, this project aims to keep these memories alive and preserve them for future generations.