The building in which our Heritage and Culture Centre stands today originally belonged to Bradley and Company (N.I.) Ltd. The Bradleys were in the retail spirit trade as far back as 1846. In 1952 Bradley’s bottling factory was established at 11 Main Street .
Last year, we decided that we should pay tribute to the history and heritage of our building, so set about planning a mural for our outdoor space.
We approached Jim Bradley, a local business owner and great great grandson of the original founder of the company. Jim kindly sent us a copy of a newspaper clipping from an issue of the Mid Ulster Observer from the late ‘50s. Featured in the article is Jim’s father, managing director at the time, who can be seen in the far left of the image used for our mural.
Jim explained that his father, James, started as managing director of the company in 1949 and upped production in 1955 with his first import of Guinness in barrels from Dublin. The factory’s main outputs were bottling and retailing stout, however they later branched out into the supply of mineral water and wholesale of wine and spirits. The award winning products of Bradley and Company (N.I) Ltd. soon found their way to many homes throughout Derry, Antrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone during James’ period of directorship.
We are delighted with the outcome of our mural and believe it is a fitting tribute to the legacy of an innovative and enterprising company which had it’s roots in Maghera.
We cannot wait to welcome visitors to our outdoor area to view the mural themselves when our premises reopens in the future.
A special thanks to The Maghera Development Association for their funding which allowed us to commission this mural.
Thank you to Jim Bradley for passing on the newspaper cutting for our archives and for providing information for this article.
Many thanks to Conor McGinley who brought the image to life through his creative talents.