Memories were kindled and now burn bright within Bessbrook following the launch of the Bessbrook Model Village project last week in Bessbrook Town Hall.
This Heritage Lottery funded project is managed by Newry Mourne and Down District Council and 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 at the event 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 event will be a ‘Show and Tell’ evening taking place on Tuesday 4 July at 7.30pm in Bessbrook Town Hall.
According to project archivists the cupboards, attics and stores of the people of Bessbrook are full of hidden historical artefacts. Residents, past and present are invited to bring items that may be of historical significance along and have them analysed by museum curators.
Photographs and scans of your items will be taken and added to our Living History database, which will be available online. Already the project has brought to light the original deeds of the Mill written in ink on velum. Old photographs, Mill items, letters or certificates and anything else of significance is welcome.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, said: “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.
“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”.