Canal talk for Society


Geraldine Foley will give a talk on the, ‘Past, Present and Future of the Newry Canal’ to Banbridge Historical Society in the Old Town Hall on Thursday February 5 at 7 30pm.

Newry Canal is the first summit level canal to be built in Great Britain or Ireland. It was publicly funded, opened in 1742 and used to link the Tyrone coalfields, via Lough Neagh and the River Bann to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough.

The canal closed in 1936 and was officially abandoned in 1949.

Since then some restoration has taken place enabling the towpath to become part of the National Cycle Network and to be used as a long distance footpath. It has also become a haven for wild life.

Geraldine has been involved with the restoration process and in the development of a very interesting apps, which can be downloaded on a mobile phone. It tells travellers along the towpath about places of interest and what to look out for.

Last month, Plunkett Campbell, the author of ‘The Glory of Bygone Days, gave a very interesting talk to Banbridge Historical Society.

He discussed the development of Gilford Mill and how it was the affected by the First World War. He described the life of Hugh Dunbar and how he took good care of the workers he employed in Gilford Mill and how he eventually died from a heart attack while distributing alms.

Tullylish Historical Society, of which Plunkett is the Chair, has produced a fascinating D.V.D ‘A Pictorial Tour Along The Upper Bann Valley.’

The photographs are beautiful and they are enhanced by the gentle music. The DVD and Plunket’s book, are available for sale in the Old Town Hall. Banbridge

Visitors will be made very welcome.