Big thank you from

Take a step into the past at Ballymacash Flower Festival

St Mark's, BallymacashA Festival of Flowers at St Mark's, Ballymacash next month will also celebrate the history of the church which dates back to 1892.

The festival opens with a service at 3pm on Friday October 7 and continues until Sunday October 9, marking the completion of a recent renovation scheme in the old church.

Entitled 'Celebration,' the festival of flowers will be designed and co-ordinated by renowned flower artist, the Rev William McMillan and members of Ballymacash Flower Club.

The aim of the historical exhibition is to trace the development of the church and community in the Ballymacash area from the 17th century. It will show how a sparsely populated rural community developed into a burgeoning suburb of Lisburn City, and illustrate the development of St Mark's though a display of documents, photographs and artifacts. The story begins with the Rev Philip Johnson (1748-1833) who was Vicar of Daringly, a Magistrate for County Antrim, Captain of Ballymacash Light Infantry, Grand Chaplain of the Orange Order in County Antrim and founder of the original Ballymacash School. He was a prominent political figure in the years leading up to the 1798 Rebellion and his residence, Ballymacash House was the focus of various important activities in the locality up to the middle of the 20th century.

The exhibition includes profiles of elderly residents who had clear memories of life in the area at the time of the Great War, 19141918.

Early photographs include staff and pupils of Ballymacash School around 1912, a demonstration by the Ballymacash Unionist Club at Ballymacash House on August 31 1912 and a group of Orangemen assembled - for the opening of Ballymacash Orange Hall in 1906.

Another interesting section of the exhibition will include a feature on the Ballymacash Motorcycle race held after World War II known as the 'Lisburn 100.'

As well as the extensive display of photographs, the exhibition will include bound parish magazines dating back to the 1930s; old Sunday School registers and certificates; a copy of the minute-book kept by Ballymacash Unionist Club 19121920; ordnance survey maps showing the progress of urbanisation; extracts from early 19th century Orange Lodge records; a copy of Benjamin Workman's journal containing early 19th century references to the area and a collection of hundreds of newspaper cuttings relating to events in the area from the 18th century.


FESTIVAL times and admission charges are as follows:

Opening service: Friday 7th October at 3pm

Viewing from: Friday 7th October 4pm9pm; Saturday 8th October 10 am-9pm; Sunday 9th October 2pm-6pm

Teas, refreshments and light lunches are available throughout the festival.

Teas - Friday evening and Saturday morning £3, Lunch - Saturday £5, Teas - Saturday & Sunday afternoon £4. Children under 12 half price. Group catering by arrangement - please contact Ann Armstrong 02892586358

Local History talk on Ballymacash area (limited space) - Friday evening - 7pm; Saturday afternoon - 3pm.

Ulster Star