The impact of industry on the development of communities across Ards and North Down is explored in a series of new booklets launched recently at North Down Museum.

Eight booklets has been produced during the course of North Down Museum’s Industrial and Commercial Heritage of Ards and North Down project. The aim of the project is to provide local heritage interest groups with skills and resources to undertake and collate research for archive and publication whilst exploring the rich industrial and commercial heritage of the area.

As part of the initiative, training was provided to the participating groups including oralhistory recording, audio and video recording, film-making and editing, digital marketing and social media techniques, digital scanning and archiving of images. Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, recording and digital storage equipment was supplied to all of the groups to enable future research as a legacy of this project.

The heritage groups participating in the project were Ards Historical Society, Ballywalter and District Historical Society, Comber Historical Society, Donaghadee Historical Society, Holywood U3A, North Down and Ards U3A and Bangor Historical Society (jointly) and PAST – Portaferry and Strangford Trust.

The booklets were produced as a result of their learning and explore the impact and development of local industries such as ice-cream, textiles, fishmongers, cotton and flax mills and factories such as Debretta, Wetherdair and Blaxnit Socks.

Museum Manager, Heather McGuicken, said a lot of hard work and effort went into the creation of the booklets. “We are delighted to showcase the new skills developed by those participating in the project,” she said.

“We would like to thank the external facilitators for providing training and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, without whom this project could not have taken place.” Copies of the booklets are available from each of the heritage groups.

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