Sam Hanna Bell Remembered In Tribute At Down Museum

Tribute to Sam Hanna Bell in Down County Museum on April 6th was very well attended by a diverse audience which included several people who had been cast as extras in the film version of December Bride. It was an event replete with anniversaries. The novel had been first published in 1951 and was then out of print until Blackstaff Press published a new edition in 1974 and it has been available in several reprints ever since. [caption id="attachment_22874" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="'December Bride Day' at Down County Museum, 6th April Celebration of Book and Film 'December Bride' by Sam Hanna Bell Pictured from left, Mike King Curator at Down County Museum, Virginia Hardy, colleague of author, Maureen Hunter, 'Egg Lady' in film, Deirdre Haughian with copy of 1st edition signed by actors, Bet Mooney, actor in film, Anne Tannahill publisher of book, Maurice Hunter, 'Owen Dineen' in film, Ronnie Buchanan, friend of author."][/caption] Most of the credit for that is due to Anne Tannahill, retired managing director of Blackstaff, who was guest of honour at the event. She recounted her personal experiences of nursing the book through all the complex arrangements required to turn it into the film, which was then released in 1991, the year after Bell died. After lunch, the film was screened to an appreciative audience, some of whom had not seen it before and this gave rise to much animated discussion relating to the author, his novel and the film. The other anniversaries noted were Blackstaff Press’ 40th year in business and Down County Museum’s 30th. The event was organised by George Fleeton, in conjunction with Downe Independent Promotions. Two further events of this nature were noted: An Introduction to the Silent Cinema in the Ulster Folk Museum on May 9th and The Career of Maria Callas in the QUB School of Music on May 23rd. Information on both events is available from the Queen’s University Open Learning Office on 028 9097 3323.]]>