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The Glory of Bygone Days

 

On Thursday 4th October 2012, Plunkett Campbell launched his most recent publication "The Glory of Bygone Days" in Dunbarton Bowling Club Gilford.

Prior to the launch, Plunkett wasn't sure if many people would come - the seams of the Bowling Club were bursting with the crowd, such is the interest in this new book.

In this publication, the life and times of Gilford Mill (1841-1987) have been brought back to life by Plunkett. Full of stories and wonderful photographs, this will be a vaulable resource for schools and students as well as a trip down Memory Lane for the hundreds of Mill workers across the world.

 

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Joe Mahon, friend of Plunkett and presenter of the hugely popular programme "Lesser Spotted Ulster" had us all entralled with stories from across the Province.

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M.C. for the evening was Ken McElroy who did a marvellous job.



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Simon Mooney presenting the book to Plunkett
The book was published by Mooney Media Limited Banbridge.


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The Campbell brothers - Eamon, Plunkett and Sean.


 

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Plunkett's niece Marian with his daughter Maire, his wife, Marie and sister-in-law Mary Campbell


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Ken McElroy began by saying how fantastic it was to see such a huge gathering for the launch of Plunkett’s book. It was in 1841 that Hugh Dunbar built Gilford Mill and here we are, 170 years later, to welcome a much anticipated book by a highly respected and local historian and writer, Plunkett Campbell. Plunkett records in great detail the wonderful history of Gilford Mill, one of Ireland’s largest mills and the greatest of the 18 mills that once populated the Bann Valley. It is also very fitting that the launch is taking place in Dunbar Bowling Club, one of the most successful bowling clubs in Ireland. The club is named after Hugh Dunbar and the clubhouse stands in the grounds of the house built by him in 1843. The book will prove compulsive and informative reading by local schools and students of Irish Linen industry and it will certainly find a place on the bookshelves of Tullylish exiles all over the world.

 

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Ken then introduced Oliver Moore who sang a beautiful song about Gilford, written by Ken McElroy

Doctor Robert Logan then said a few words and was very pleased to offer his congratulations to Plunkett on the production of a lovely publication, beautifully presented book and paid tribute to Michael Maguire for the illustrations. Not only does Plunkett write about the “Glory” of the Mill but he doesn’t airbrush out the difficult times and it is very good to have those days remembered.  

Gilford owes itself to the fact there is a river and a ford and it was those two ingredients that made Gilford. It took men of vision and enterprise to use the qualities of communication and the qualities the river gave to create Gilford mill, which wasn’t just a local success – it was a provincial success, a national success, an international success. It was one of the greatest companies of Victoria Britain and produced the finest thread in the world. It is a great credit to Gilford and will be remembered for ever, from Hugh Dunbar at the top to the most humble worker in the mill.

Dr. Logan then went on to give his own version of Plunkett's 'history'.


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Dr. Robert Logan's 'history' of Plunkett was hilarious, proving that laughter is certainly the best medicine.



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Joe Mahon said the book was beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated and written by one who cares deeply about the truth of scholarship. It is a book to be proud of and we should be proud to have such a historian as Plunkett in out community.He addeed that he was delighted to be able to return the favour to Plunkett by launching the book as Plunkett had been an enormous help to him in three of the ''Lesser Spotted Ulster' programmes.

Joe then picked out some 'gems' from the book.





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Therese and Basil Hutton from Belfast

 

 

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Norman Kerr, Alwyn and Mrs Sinton with Esther Kerr

 

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Robert and Anne Cairns with Maynard McBurney in the background.


 

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L-R Franklin and Helen Graham, Jennifer Wilson, Noleen Wilson, Malcolm Chambers and George Wilson

 

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L-R John Priestley (Moyallen Primary School), Tony Murphy C.E.O. of the S.E.L.B., Gary Kennedy, Waringstown Primary School and Jim Reilly

 

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L-R Catherine McCooe, Principal of St. John's Primary School,Martin Goss and his wife Dr Mary Goss

 

 

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Sheila and Bill Monaghan with Noel and Bernadette Conlon

 

 

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Denise and Jim Anderson


 

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Noel and Bernadette Conlon with Paddy McCartan and Teresa Fitzpatrick

 

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Helen McElroy, Isabel Whiteside with Reggie and Ruth McBurney.

 

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L-R Pat Tumilty,  Garnet Chambers, Terry and Laura Moffett

 

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Sean O'Dowd with Martin Cullen

 

 

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John and Kathleen Cunningham with Helen McClenaghan, former C.E.O. of the S.E.L.B.

 

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Una Tucker and Nancy McMahon with Anne White and her son Brendan

 

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John and Marie Doyle with Kathleen Hassard

 

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Paddy McCartan and Teresa Fitzpatrick



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Vivian O'Dowd with Maire Gaffney.



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Lily Finnegan and Teresa Fitzpatrick

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Arthur Campbell, Brian Campbell, Myrtle and Mickey Maguire

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Gerard Agnew's hand!

 











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Margaret Johnston and Catherine McCooe having their books signed by the author

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Pat MacFlynn and Joe Jordan enjoying the craic with Oliver Moore and Ken McElroy

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Dr. David Davin with his son



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Michael Quinn with Mary and Kevin Quinn

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Frank O'Dowd with his nephew Gerry O'Dowd



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Maire Gaffney with Dr. Robert Logan, Christine and Sarah Wright and Sean O'Dowd


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Ronnie Beattie and friends

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Daphne Russell and Barry Thompson

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Harry Gaffney with his grand daughter

B21Sean and Muriel Campbell with their grandson Brendan White




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Alison Sweeney and Mary Gaillard from St. John's P.S. 

It was marvellous to see such a strng representation from all the local schools, St. Colman's Bann P.S., Craigavon School, St. John's P.S., Moyallon P.S. and Waringstown P.S. Present also was John O'Dowd, Minister for Education.

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Mary Campbell having her book signed by her brother-in-law!
B25Eamon and Sean Campbell

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Arthur Campbell (Dublin) with his uncles Eamon, Plunkett and Sean




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Joe Mahon with Pat McElroy

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Marie Campbell and Rosemary Doyle 


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Mairead Weir with Plunkett
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Joe Mahon and Plunkett's daughter-in-law Francis Campbell with Mairead Weir and Plunkett

In his speech, Plunkett said that people have come to realise if you want to understand today, you must research yesterday. The word HISTORY  contains the word -STORY - HIS STORY.

The 'Glory of Bygone Day's is a story that had to be told, not only for the present generation but for future generations. Our hope as a community is, as Seamus Heaney said, that our young people will have a sense of place, a sense of belonging and pride in the community and hopefully play a positive role to preserve this rich heritage.

Plunkett said he told the story with honesty and integrity - no gloss - as it happened, it is written. It has been said the God cannot alter the past, only those who write history! Plunkett said he did not attempt to do that.

"It is from all possible sources that I have twisted and spun together the strong threads of history presented here. I hope that when you read the book you'll have a greater understanding of those who formed the fabric of Gilford Mill".

Congratulations Plunkett!










 

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