Displaying copies of the Places That
Time Forgot booklet are (from left):
Newcastle Chamber of Commerce president Peter Law; Eric Tommasini,
Down Councils town
centres manager; Camilla Fitzpatrick, sustainable tourism manager
with the Mourne Heritage Trust,
and Mourne Observer editor Terence Bowman, who wrote the text for
the local history project.
NEWCASTLE Chamber of Commerces unique Places
That Time Forgot project was officially launched at the towns
Slieve Donard Hotel last Thursday morning.
The aim of the initiative is to highlight some of the areas around
the town and district that have a locally significant history, but
through time their exact meaning and location may have become distorted
and indeed eventually lost.
In addition to erecting 12 information signs at various places around
Newcastle, Bryansford, Castlewellan and Dundrum, the Chamber has
also produced an accompanying 20-page illustrated booklet, which
is available free of charge to the general public.
The project was the brainchild of Newcastle Chamber president Peter
Law, who had no difficulty enlisting the support of fellow businesspeople
and a number of funding agencies.
Mr Law sought the services of Mourne Observer editor Terence Bowman,
who readily agreed to co-ordinate the research, write the text for
the booklet and hunt down the various photographs and other illustrations.
Assisted by Chamber secretary Eileen Bannon, it took him some five
months to put together the 10 chapters (covering 12 different locations)
and complete the project.
During the course of the research, Mr Bowman enjoyed the enthusiastic
support of a sizeable number of local citizens and historians, some
of who were directly connected to the names featured on the Places
That Time Forgot signs. There was also valuable assistance from
the Local Studies Section at Library Headquarters in Ballynahinch.
Many of those contributors joined Chamber of Commerce members and
representatives of the various funding bodies at Thursdays
Mr Law thanked all those involved in bringing the project to fruition,
especially those who had made available their own family recollections,
old photographs and other valuable information.
He commended the Mourne Heritage Trust for their vital sponsorship,
without which the project would not have been possible; Down District
Council for its help and financial contribution; the Department
of the Environment for placing the signs, and the Mourne Observer
for producing the booklet and a summarising leaflet.
Mr Law also thanked his colleague Mrs Bannon for her role in the
research and administration, and writer Terence Bowman for putting
together such an excellent local history for the Newcastle area.
In many ways, he said, we have only scratched
the surface of the many places and memories of old Newcastle. Hopefully,
we will all benefit from this opportunity to remember some important
aspects of our distinctive local heritage.
Responding, Mr Bowman said it had been a privilege for him to give
something back to the town, which had welcomed him into its midst
back in 1976.
He thanked the many individuals who had shared not only their memories
of times long past, but who had also, in many cases, provided their
own family photographs and other memorabilia to support the project.
Mr Bowman also urged anyone with additional information, or, indeed,
anyone who wished to correct any of the details in the booklet,
to get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce as it would be their
desire to update it, with further Places That Time Forgot in the
Mr Eric Tommasini, Down Councils town centres manager for
Downpatrick, Ballynahinch and Newcastle, commended the Chamber of
Commerce on their initiative, which he hoped would act as a catalyst
for similar projects around the district, whereby important aspects
of local history would be preserved.
He said the Council was very pleased to be involved in the Places
That Time Forgot project and he congratulated all those involved
in any way.
The concluding speaker was Ms Camilla Fitzpatrick, sustainable tourism
manager with the Mourne Heritage Trust. She explained that the project
had been assisted by the Trust as part of the Natural Resource Rural
Tourism Initiative, under the Peace and Reconciliation Programme.
She too commended the Chamber on putting forward such a worthwhile
undertaking and seeing it through to a very satisfactory conclusion.
Places that wont be forgotten
COMMEMORATIVE signs have been erected by Newcastle Chamber of Commerce
at the following significant locations in the district:
Railway Street, Newcastle / Station Road, Castlewellan
BOTH hark back to the days when an extensive rail system criss-crossed
the Co. Down countryside and linked local towns and villages to
numerous destinations throughout Ireland.
THE junction where Central Promenade meets Bryansford Road in Newcastle
was where the Italian Biagioni family ran their ice cream business
in the early years of the 20th Century.
THE narrow lane that connects the Shimna Road to Bryansford Gardens,
just past the Shimna Bridge.
THE pathway that once linked South Promenade (from beside Marios
Restaurant) to King Street. It led to No 63, one of the oldest houses
in the Harbour area. The rear garden was used by Catholic worshippers
prior to the construction of St. Marys Church.
THE earliest resident of Brook Cottage, on the Bryansford Road,
was William Beers, after whom the nearby bridge is named.
RICHARD Rowley (alias the poet Richard Valentine Williams) is remembered
through the Rowley Meadows housing development and the Rowley Path,
which runs along the southern boundary of the Islands Park.
The Priests Bridge
THE Rev. Hugh Hanna was Parish Priest in Newcastle and Bryansford
from 1845-85. The Priests Bridge can be found
at the sharp right-hand bend along the final countryside stretch
of the Tullybrannigan Road, where he resided.
Parnells Bridge, Tollymore Forest Park
THIS commemorates Sir John Parnell (1744-1801), who served as Chancellor
of the Irish Exchequer and also represented Bangor, Co. Down, in
the Irish Parliament while still in his teens.
The Cup and Saucer
THE Carnacaville Road junction, along the main Newcastle to Castlewellan
road, earned this name due to the hawthorn bushes that once grew
there. They were carefully sculpted in the shape of a large cup
THIS relates to the junction of the Tollymore Road with the Newcastle
to Castlewellan road. Various generations of the Kidds, blacksmiths
by profession, lived in the big house to the left.
The Dam Lane, Dundrum
THE dam in question, off Dundrums Main Street, dates back
to the late 1850s and provided a water source for a flour mill erected
by the fourth Marquis of Downshire.