Past Events

MHS Perpetual Trophy Quiz

IMG_0457The Maghera Historical Society Perpetual Trophy Quiz took place last Thursday 27th April, in Walsh’s Hotel. Joint winners on the night were tables 6 and 7. Sinead Kelly, Eugene Kelly, Brian Kielt, Peter Convery on table 6 and Emma Stewart, George Stewart, Noel Stewart and Matthew Stewart on table 7. Congratulations to the winners!!! James Armour stood in on the night for regular Quizmaster Peter Etherson and presented the trophy to Sinead Kelly and Emma Stewart representing their team.


Past Events

The Price of a Loaf: Denver Boyd

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On Wednesday 12th of April 2017, Denver Boyd gave a talk on ‘The Price of a Loaf’ which was a brief explanation of the origin in circulation from 1780 to 1837. The opportunity was afforded for the audience to handle the types of coinage in circulation to give them an idea of what they might have encountered if they had been in the South Derry area 200 years ago and, of coredurse, the purchasing power of that coinage was discussed. At the end of the talk various members of the audience expressed how interesting they found the talk and many questions were asked and answered. of coinage, a precis of Irish coinage up to the 1780s and a more in depth discussion of the official coinage and the token coins in circulation from 1780 to 1837. The opportunity was afforded for the audience to handle the types of coinage in circulation to give them an idea of what they might have encountered if they had been in the South Derry area 200 years ago and, of coredurse, the purchasing power of that coinage was discussed. At the end of the talk various members of the audience expressed how interesting they found the talk and many questions were asked and answered.

Past Events

Tale of an Ancient Town

Joseph McCoy brought the history, stories and legends of Maghera alive in his fascinating talk: Tale of an Ancient Town.



Upcoming Events

 HISTORY OF MAGHERA: Tale of an Ancient Town. By: Joe McCoy

 Wednesday 12th April 2017 8.00pm Heritage and Cultural Centre Admission £5 Members £3

Joe McCoy is passionate about Maghera and the long and colourful history of his home town. In this talk he shares his knowledge of Maghera’s past going back to the earliest years of the settlement.

THE PRICE OF A LOAF: Cost of living in the 19th Century. By: Denver Boyd

Thursday 20th April 2017 8.00pm Heritage and Cultural Centre Admission £5 Members £3

In this fascinating and informative talk Denver Boyd looks at the difference in the cost of everyday objects and necessities in the 19th century and how they compare with what we pay today – What was the real cost of living in those times?


Thursday 27th April 2017 8.00pm Walsh’s Hotel £5 per person

With the MHS Perpetual Trophy at stake heavy competition is expected at the Annual Quiz Night! Peter Etherson will once again act as quizmaster – putting us through our paces and testing  our knowledge.  Who will rise to the challenge and be crowned Quiz Champions of the year?


Saturday 29th 2017 Registration in the Heritage & Cultural Centre @ 10.30am. Walk starts @ 11.00am

We are asking you to join us in our sponsored walk to Swatragh and back to help fund the work of the Heritage & Cultural Centre. Our aim here in the Centre is to promote and protect the heritage and culture of Maghera and the surrounding  districts. Everyone is welcome to take part and hopefully support us while enjoying a healthy and enjoyable walk. Call in to the Centre, Tuesday to Saturday, between 10.00am and 4.00pm to collect a sponsorship form.




Past Events

MHS Quiz on 30th March

Quiz 1Another enjoyable and challenging Quiz in our monthly series was held in Walsh’s Hotel on the 30th March by the Maghera Historical Society. Once again Peter Etherson set the questions to tax our knowledge. Next month’s Quiz will be the competition for the MHS annual trophy so we look forward to welcoming a large and competitive audience.

Congratulations to our winners:

1st: Anne Brennan, Eugene Brennan, Claire McKendry, Frank McKendry, Veronica McKendry.

2nd: Mary Heaney, Dan Heaney, Geraldine O’Kane, Gerry O’Kane, Matthew O’Kane

3rd: Colm Bradley, Brian Kielt, Brian Devlin, Brendan O’Connor

Past Events

Farming Down the Years

RAYMOND POSTERA wonderful evening of memories and information was enjoyed by a large audience in the Heritage & Cultural Centre with the showing, by Brendan Convery, of the film ‘Farming Down the Years’. this film was made by John Thompson and followed the cycle of the corn crop from sowing to harvesting as it was done in the era before combines. Local farmer Raymond McNamee allowed the work to be carried on over a year. His brother, Michael McNamee, together with Tommie Doherty worked on the film. Both men have sadly passed away since and the evening was held in their memory.

Past Events

Cave Hill: Lecture by Cormac Hamill

Cave HillOn Thursday 16th March MHS members and guests were privileged to be treated to an unique insight into the geology, archaeology, botany and history of the Cave Hill This was delivered by Cormac Hamill, broadcaster and environmental campaigner. Cormac provided a comprehensive and entertaining exploration of the Cave Hill as he led us from the Basalt origins of the area to the present day hill with its five natural caves. In recent years, Cormac has been to the forefront in campaigning for the preservation of this natural treasure.

On our journey, we learned that man first appeared on the hill some 9000 years ago as the glaciers retreated. We heard how these early settlers made good use of the natural resources of the area, such as flint, to make instruments that aided their survival. The Celtic period, with its forts and souterrains, was also explored as were the 18th century politics of the Volunteers who trained on the hillside in preparation for anticipated French/American invasions.

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Cormac went on to talk about the Donegall family who were the original owners of Belfast Castle, which is situated high on the slopes of Cave Hill. The family’s influence on the city of Belfast and further afield was explored as were their fluctuating fortunes. A Maghera connection was also revealed.

Cormac’s talk was richly illustrated and he had brought with him rock samples and a flint artefact.He concluded with some excellent photography showing the spectacular views obtainable from the top of this historic and natural landmark which dominates Belfast.

Cormac has kindly offered to lead a walking tour of the Cave Hill.  Anyone who attended
the talk and wishes to take part should contact Peter Etherson at the Culture and Heritage Centre.

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Past Events

Poetry Evening in the Heritage and Cultural Centre

Organised by Raymond McNamee and compered by James Armour, the first poetry evening run by the Mghera Historical Society in the Heritage and Cultural Centre was a resounding success. Local poets read their work, old favourites were aired and the mood ranged from nostalgic and serious to humorous and witty. As it worked so well and everybody enjoyed it so much it has been decided to run a similar event in May so keep an eye out for the dIMG_2559ate.

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Poem Title                               Author                          Reciter


The Grassed Market;             Miller Kane           Raymond McNamee



The Lake Isle of Innishfree;  WB Yeats               Caroline O’Doherty

Digging                                  Seamus Heaney                  “

Mid- Term Break                   Seamus Heaney                   “



Mayogall Asses                      Miller Kane            Patricia Brodrick

Tamlaght O’Crilly                  Harry Armstrong                 “



The Moneysharvin Ball           Mick McAtamney    Peter Etherson

Donnellys Mill                         Mick McAtamney              “


Young Toms Creamery Can     Roy & Eliz Shiels     George Shiels

The Night The Auld Doll Died George Shiels                    “

Well Done My Son                    George Shiels                   “


Tom Gray’s Dream                  Retta Brown              Raymond McNamee

The Volunteer Organist           Gray & Lamb                           “


The Village where I was Born  Barney O’Kane         Joe McCoy

The Rowan Tree                                   “                              “


Drumnacannon bridge               Harry Armstrong      James Armour

The Arab Orange Lodge            Crawford Howard              “


The Cremation of Sam Magee   R W Service            Raymond McNamee

Fair Maiden                                PJ McMenamin                      “


Marquess of Queensbury Rules  Francie Kielt           Barney Kielt

Caskey’s Downfall                               “                               “


Green Eye of little Yellow God   Milton Hayes          Raymond McNamee

Me an Me Da                               WF Marshall           Raymond McNamee


The Master                                  Anne Brennan          Anne Brennan

Station Breakfast                                   “                                “


The Diagonal Steam Trap           Crawford Howard    Raymond McNamee

St Patrick & the Snakes                             “                               “


The Council & the Peacock        Francie Kielt             Barney Kielt

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Past Events

February Quiz Night

Once again Peter Etherson stepped up to the mark to deliver a quiz to test the limits of our general knowledge! In a close fought contest the winners were Ann Brennan, Carol and Matt Collier and Clare McKendry. As Jeremy Vine might say ………..Can nobody beat these Eggheads???? Try your skill at our next quiz coming up in March.Quiz 2

Past Events

St. Lurach. Patron saint of Maghera

The 17th of February is the feast day of St. Lurach, patron saint of Maghera. To mark the occasion Denver Boyd and Joseph McCoy gave a joint talk in the Heritage and Cultural Centre on the life of St. Lurach and the origins of the town itself – which grew up around the monastery founded by the saint. IMG_0917