Colditz: Escapes and Escapades
With the help of a magnificent model of the infamous Castle, Richard Parkinson spoke about life for the POWs and their attempts to escape from Oflag IVC.
Life, Loves and Legacy of Robert Burns
The September talk was sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency as part of their autumn series. The speaker was Laura Spence and her topic was Robert Burns.
North Down Museum Postcard Collection
Leanne Briggs of the North Down Museum gave the Bangor Night talk on the Museum’s postcard collection.
Fred Crawford - Carson's Gunrunner
Keith Haines is the author of the book ‘Fred Crawford, Carson’s gunrunner’. Crawford’s life and career have been ignored, despite the important role he played in Ulster history in the early twentieth century.
The Houses of East Belfast
The talk by author Aidan Campbell was about some of the big houses of east Belfast and was illustrated by old photographs.
The Princess Victoria Disaster
Stephen Cameron, author of the book Death in the North Channel on the Princess Victoria disaster which occurred on 31 January 1953.
The first British woman to swim the English Channel also made four unsuccessful attempts to cross the North Channel.
Mark Thompson grew up with stories of the Scottish Covenanters in his home on the Ards Peninsula - many of the covenanters fled persecution by coming to Ulster.
Scrabo Tower and the Londonderrys
Tom Beggs, local historian, on the Londonderry Memorial otherwise known as Scrabo Tower, and the family who lived at Mount Stewart.
The Life of Emma Duffin
Trevor Parkhill , local author, keeper of history at the Ulster Museum, PRONI, on the life of Belfast born Emma Duffin, a VAD nurse during the Great War.
Home, Politics and War
This talk by Rebecca Ashton-Gordon, the project officer at the North Down Museum, was based on an exhibition at the museum.
Northern Ireland in the 1950s
The inequality which faced women in that decade; teddy boys; music was altering; changes in social attitudes were taking place.
A Life in the Day of an Industrial Archaeologist
Dr Fred Hamond on a subject that covers a wide range of topics such as mining, milling, electricity, canals and communications.
Kith and Kin: The Continuing Legacy of the Scotch Irish in America
Alister McReynolds about a number of people of Scotch Irish descent who had been prominent in American life. Although often seen as part of the story of the American frontier, there was more to their lives than fighting and killing.
1798 rebellion in County Down
Linda McKenna from Down Museum talked about the 1798 rebellion in County Down, referring to exhibits there such as uniforms and weapons from the time.
The Archaeology of Thiepval Wood
Colonel Charles Bennett outlined the events of the First World War involving the Irish divisions and the 36th Ulster division in particular.
Circe's Garden, Mount Stewart
Neil Porteous on the development of the gardens at Mount Stewart by Edith, Lady Londonderry.
The Life and Times of Richard Hayward
Paul Clements gave a talk on Richard Hayward, the subject of his biography Romancing Ireland .
The History of the Copeland Islands
Harry Allen began by explaining that the islands were one of 31 townlands in the parish of Bangor.
The History of Costumes
Madeleine McAllister from the Down County Museum used paintings and photographs from its collections as illustrations.
The Londonderry Family of Mount Stewart
John Grace on the Stewarts who came to Ulster in the early 1600s when land in Donegal was granted to them.
The Belfast and County Down Railway
Ian Sinclair and Len Ball on the Belfast to Bangor line, and the various stations on the BCDR network.
A light-hearted look at Ulster-Scots and Ulster-Scots Speakers
Liam Logan, who has written books and broadcast on the subject, takes a light-hearted look at Ulster Scots.
Airships over Ulster
Guy Warner on airships over the North Channel during World War 1. A member of the Ulster Aviation Society, he has written a number of books about aviation.
The Life of CS Lewis
Sandy Smith has written a book on CS Lewis and the places in Ireland connected with him.
Lesson in schooldays of Bangor past opens Historical Society’s season
The opening meeting of the 2014-2015 season was held in the new Bangor Grammar School building. The talk on the school’s first hundred years was given by Trevor Gray, a former pupil.
The Workhouse in 19th century Ulster
Dr Georgina Laragy of Queen’s University is researching the period 1800 to 1973 with particular reference to the plight of the poor in Belfast.
Palace Barracks, Holywood
Robin Masefield of the Bayburn Historical Society is currently researching the history of Palace Barracks in Holywood.
Swimming the North Channel
Brian Meharg had accompanied many of the more recent attempts in the total of 95 swims starting from various places such as Donaghadee, Orlock and Islandmagee.
The Hills of Hillsborough
Jason Diamond's talk was on the Hills of Hillsborough who became Marquises of Downshire.
The Annesleys of Castlewellan
Terence Reeves-Smyth talked about the Annesley family whose main property was in Castlewellan, although they had other houses and lands in the area.
Northern Ireland in the 1950s
Peter Smyth described a decade in which there were no supermarkets, no cult of celebrity, no millionaire footballers and no regulations from EU - but there were slums, little central heating and gas lighting.
The Growth of Bangor
Sandra Millsopp's talk on the growth of Bangor since 1613 concluded the Society's series on Bangor 400.
The Archaeology of the New Towne of Bangor
The speaker was Dr. John O’Keeffe, the principal Inspector of Historic Monuments in NIEA.
Sir Thomas Smith’s Forgotten English Colony of the Ards and North Down
Mark Thompson has researched the Ards and produced a booklet on "Sir Thomas Smith’s Forgotten English Colony of the Ards and North Down in 1572".
The British Colonisation of County Down
Jonathan Bardon, the distinguished historian, began with the Normans led by John de Courcy who arrived in County Down in the late twelfth century.
Hats off to Magic
Richard Parkinson spoke on the history of magic and referred to various Irish magicians of the past.
Bangor in the 1970s and 1980s
Author Terence Bowman regarded the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s as vital decades in Bangor’s history when great changes occurred in the town.
Bangor The and Now
Adam Bell has over 800 postcards of the town and has compiled a book which shows many of these alongside the equivalent modern view.
The Hidden History of Belfast
Ruari O’Baoill from the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queen’s University used reconstruction drawings from the book to illustrate various phases of the city’s history.
The Archaeology of North Down
Archaeologist Leanne Briggs of the North Down Museum has been trying to track down artefacts from the local area.
The GIs in Ulster
Ronnie Hanna on the role of WWII American soldiers in Northern Ireland. This includes a film entitled "A Letter from Ulster".
Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive
Francis Jones on the archive which was set up in 2000 and contains about 60 hours of film.
Blue Plaques in Ulster
Doreen Corcoran of the Ulster History Circle gave the background to the erection of blue plaques, focussing on those erected in the North Down area.
The Secret Listeners of Gilnahirk
George Busby on the secret World War II listening station which was part of the Illicit Wireless Intercept Organization.
Belfast City Hall and its architecture
Dr Paul Larmour on the famous building which was opened by the Earl of Aberdeen in April 1906.
The Port of Belfast
Alf McCreary has recently written a book entitled “Titanic Port”, a history of the port of Belfast.
The Walled Garden of Bangor Castle
The AGM was addressed by Ian Beaney, the grounds maintenance manager for North Down Borough Council.
The Manchester Family
Jason Diamond gave a talk about the Manchester family, one of whose Irish seats was Tandragee Castle.
Ulster Superstitions and Folklore
Dr David Hume discussed various types of Ulster superstitions and explained how they may have arisen.
High Street in Belfast
Norman Weatherall spoke on the subject of High Street which is the second oldest street in Belfast having originally called Front Street.
Irish Polar Explorers
Noel Mitchel on the very considerable contribution which explorers from the island had made to knowledge of both the Arctic and Antarctic.
Books of Honour: World Wars I and II
Barry Niblock is endeavouring to commemorate those who died in the World Wars and who had connections with the council areas of North Down and Ards.
The Lagan Legacy
Charlie Warmington is a journalist who has been helping for several years on a project called The Lagan Legacy which will tell the story of the Lagan and the industries that developed on her banks.
Ian Wilson of the North Down Museum talked about the castle which was constructed in 1852 by Robert Edward Ward.
Bangor and Back for a Bob
Dr Steve Flanders gave an introduction to the history of the Belfast and County Down Railway
Belfast Before Belfast: The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Lagan Valley
Sinead McCartan, Head of Collections Research and Interpretation at National Museums Northern Ireland explained that this talk arose from work carried out during the closure of the Ulster Museum.
Bangor in the Sixties
Mourne Observer editor Terence Bowman was born and educated in Bangor but left the town in 1976. H ehas wriiten a book entitled “Bangor in the Sixties”.
The Inland Waterways of Ireland
Brian Cassells is involved with the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland which was founded sixty years ago.
The Roads of Ulster
Long-standing BHS member Jackson McCormick was a former Director of the Roads Service in Northern Ireland.
The Sharman Crawfords of Crawfordsburn
Peter Stark on the Sharman Crawford family. The Crawford family first came to Bangor in the early seventeenth century.
Farming Families in County Down 1930-1960
A large audience heard an excellent, well-illustrated talk on farming in Ulster during the period 1930-60 given by Dr Jonathan Bell. Dr Bell had worked at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum for 30 years.