THE following impression of Lisburn is taken from the book entitled
"Ireland Illustrated", by Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall. They visited the town
around the mid-nineteenth century.
Lisburn is a pretty and flourishing town on the Antrim side of the
river Lagan. It consists principally of one long street, at the eastern
side of which is the picturesque and interesting church, containing two
very remarkable monuments; one to the memory of Lieut. Dobbs, who was
killed in an engagement off the coast with the famous Paul Jones, the
other to that of the great and good Jeremy Taylor, sometime Bishop of Down
and Connor, who died here in the year 1667.
There is probably no town in Ireland where the happy effects of English
taste and industry are more conspicuous than at Lisburn. From the Drum
Bridge and the banks of the Lagan, on one side, to the shores of Lough
Neagh, on the other, the people are almost exclusively the descendants of
English settlers. Those in the immediate neighbourhood of the town were
chiefly Welsh, but great numbers arrived from the northern shires, and
from the neighbourhood of the Bristol Channel. It is interesting to trace
their annals from existing facts; which may be easily done, even were they
not duly recorded.
In the village of Lambeg, situated only a few perches from the Belfast
road, the old English games and pastimes were regularly celebrated on
Easter Monday within the last twenty years. The English language is,
perhaps, spoken more purely by the populace in this district, than by the
same class in any other part of Ireland. The names of places are modern:
as Soldiers-town, English-town, and Half-town, Stoneyford, etc., etc.; and
the people of all ranks have, for their stations, high ideas of domestic
comfort. The neatness of the cottages, and the good taste displayed in
many of the farms, are little, if at all, inferior to aught that we find
in England; and the tourist who visits Lough Neagh, passing through
Ballinderry, will consider it to have been justly designated "the garden
of the north".
The original pursuits of the adventures of the Plantation, have been
transmitted from father to son; those who settled from the cider counties
having invariably an orchard of some extent attached to their dwellings.
The multitude of pretty little villages scattered over the landscape, each
announcing itself by the tapering spire of a church, would almost beguile
the traveller into believing that he is passing through a rural district
in one of the midland counties of England.
News room over 100 years old
The idea of forming a News Room was first introduced to Lisburn in
January 1836, and a committee was formed of which Mr. William Graham was
chairman, John Millar, treasurer and Hugh McCall, secretary. The original
subscribers numbered 84.
|An aerial view of
Lagan valley Hospital
photograph shows the Bridge Street area which is scheduled for
re-development by the Borough Council.
NOVEL IDEAS IN MEALS VAN
THE Lisburn Community Service Council was formed in 1957 with Alderman
Mrs. S. Crothers as foundation chairman. She has filled that office each
year since then, presiding over a very active band of members.
The Meals-on-Wheels Service of the Community Council, the fruit of much
earnest deliberation and hard work, was inaugurated in December 1960 when
the special van was dedicated and first out on the road.
This van was designed and built by a local firm of caravan builders and
includes many novel ideas, the cost being over £1,500. More than half of
this amount was collected in public subscriptions, the balance being a
grant from the Antrim County Welfare Committee.
The service is run to provide hot mid-day meals, at a small nominal
charge, for elderly and handicapped persons in the Lisburn area. The
well-equipped van, the first of its kind in Ireland, delivers 100 meals on
average each week.
The meals are cooked in a local restaurant, served and delivered
voluntarily by some lady members of the council. Lisburn depot Ulster
Transport Authority bus drivers and conductors take care of the driving,
having voluntarily drawn up a rota dove-tailing with their off-duty
Welsey five times in Lisburn
John Wesley, founder of the Methodists visited Lisburn at least five times
in his lifetime.
His journals recall the visits vividly, and in an extract from one
dated 1769 he writes: "The wind was still piercing cold, yet it did not
hinder a multitude of people from attending at the Linen Hall, an open
square so termed as are all the Linen Halls in Ireland."
In his 1771 journal Wesley wrote, on Monday July 1: "I preached at
Kilwarlin, where a few weeks ago Thomas Mott died in peace. In the evening
I preached in the Linen Hall at Lisburn, to a numerous congregation."
LOCAL PRODUCT IS SAVING LIVES
PROBABLY few people are aware of the growing value to the Province in
general of the rendering, or animal byproducts industry. It is slightly
less than 40 years since the industry was first established on the
outskirts of Lisburn, in that time it has increasingly became an integral
part of the agricultural economy of Ulster and is making a substantial
contribution to the Province's export trade.
The rendering industry was established in Ulster by Mr. R. Clement
Wilson, whose company Robert Wilson and Sons (Ulster) Ltd., operate one of
the world's most modern rendering plants at Lisburn. At the same time when
the industry first began, animal casualties and hundreds of tons of
inedible animal offal were regarded simply as waste material. Disposal of
this constituted a serious problem for the hygiene authorities.
The rendering industry has changed all that. The "waste" now forms the
industry's basic raw material and the hygiene and disposal problems have
vanished. What is more important, the rendering industry can turn these
raw materials into a tremendous variety of products which are of direct
benefit not only to the farmer but to the economy of the Province as a
The farmer benefits because the rendering industry's main product is
meat and bone meal, and apart from this the rendering plant produces a
host of other important by-products such as hides, technical tallow and
Perhaps the most unusual product manufactured at Robert Wilson's
Lisburn plant is Nicerol - a special type of fire-fighting foam developed to
combat oil and petrol fires. Substantial quantities of this product are
exported every year from the Lisburn factory to all corners of the world
and it has been instrumental in saving countless lives and millions of
pounds worth of property.
Civic Week Programme
FRIDAY, JUNE 26-At 6.30 p.m. the Linen Thread Company Ltd. will
entertain the Mayor, Alderman and Councillors and other guests in the
Assembly Rooms and present the Mayoral badge and chain of office,
SATURDAY, JUNE 27-A number of other gifts will be presented at a
Civic Dinner in the Assembly Rooms. These will include a chain of office
for the Deputy Mayor and robes for the Mayor, Aldermen, Councillors, Town.
Clerk and mace-bearer.
SUNDAY, JUNE 28 - Special Civic Services in all local churches.
TUESDAY, JUNE 30-Civic Service in Lisburn Cathedral which will be
attended by His Excellency, Lord Wakehurst Governor of Northern Ireland.
7.20 p.m.-His Excellency will arrive outside the Assembly Rooms,
having driven up Bridge Street from the motor way. After he has been
received by the Mayor and Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs. James Howard) he
will inspect a guard of honour furnished by the local company of the 6th
Bn. Royal Ulster Rifles (T.A.) and Band. The Mayor will then present the
Town Clerk (Mr. R. C. Newell) and members of the Borough Council
7.48 p.m.-Processions into the Cathedral will commence and the
churchwardens will conduct the Aldermen and Coun cillors to their seats.
Proceeded by the mace-bearer, the Mayor and Governor's party will be
received at the Cathedral gates by the Dean of Connor (Very Rev. R.
Adams). The Mayor will be conducted to his seat by his chaplain, the Rev.
H. Cromie and they will be followed by the Governor, accompanied by the
Dean. After a fanfare has been sounded and the National Anthem sung, the
procession of choir and clergy will enter the Cathedral and the service
9.00 p.m.-Service ends, and the Mayor conducts Lord Wakehurst
and his party to the Assembly Rooms where
informal presentations will be made during a reception.
10.00 p.m.-The Governor and his party leave for Hillsborough.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1-This will be Youth Night and a parade,
organised by the Lisburn and District Association of Youth Organisations
will proceed to Wallace Park where a display will be staged.
7.15 p.m.-Parade assembles at the Grain Market and adjacent car park
at Smithfield Square.
7.45 p.m.-Accompanied by 12 bands the parade of 2,000 members of
youth organisations will proceed by Market Place, Bow Street, Market
Square (where the Mayor, Alderman James Howard will take the salute),
Castle Street, Seymour Street and Belfast Road to Wallace Park. The
programme in Wallace Park will consist of a band item by the Boys'
Brigade, rhythmic clubs (Girls' Brigade); gymnastics (Church Lads'
Brigade); physical education (Girls' Life Brigade), Irish dancing (Girl
Guides) and camp fire (Boy Scouts).
THURSDAY, JULY 2-There will be a Combined Services Display in
7.30 P.m.-Band of Ist Battalion Devonshire and Dorset Regiment,
followed by a helicopter display and the ceremony of Beating Retreat by
the band of the Junior Soldiers Company of North Irish Brigade Depot.
8.30 p.m.-Display by Civil Defence and Fire Authority personnel
illustrating the works carried out by these services
after a nuclear explosion. A commentary will be given by Senior Welfare
officer, Miss M. E. Dornan, Civil Defence, Lisburn.
FRIDAY JULY 3 - Grand Carnival Dance in the Top Hat Ballroom,
will climax the week of celebration.