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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Celebrating industrial heritage in Mid and East Antrim

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is gearing up to celebrate the borough’s industrial heritage.

From the 23 – 29 May, Council will run a series of special heritage and industrial themed events to mark the occasion, with Whitehead Railway Museum joining in with their own programme.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor William McCaughey said:

“Council museums care for a number of local artefacts from our industrial past and we are inviting you to celebrate with us how Mid and East Antrim has been shaped by industry.

“Our borough has a rich industrial history with the echoes of our industrial past all around us in our rural landscape, and in our towns and villages. From the tales of iron ore miners in the Glens and limestone quarrying at Carnlough and Glenarm to the multi-nationals such as ICI, Courtaulds and Michelin, they are woven into our sense of place and something that should be celebrated.”

The local salt mines exhibition will run at Carrickfergus Museum as part of Industrial Heritage Week 2022. With the help of Irish Salt Mining Co. Ltd, Kilroot, this exhibition highlights the history of this local industry, exploring developments in technology and final use. There is also some stunning photography of the cavernous tunnels 400 metres beneath the earth as well as many other items from both the museum collection and on loan from ISME on display.

A unique presentation of photographs of the Aluminium Works in Larne is open to all on Saturday 21 May from 11am – 11.45pm, and again from 1pm – 1.45pm. The collection depicts the development of the site from 1895 to the 1930s.

This is a free event, but please contact Larne Museum & Arts Centre to book:

A special Red Hills half-day tourof the iron ore mines around Cargan and Glenravel will be held on Friday 27 May from 10am by local historian and mines expert, Kevin O’Hagan.

A minibus will leave from and return to Houston’s Mill car park, Broughshane. Prior booking is required, with a cost of £5.00 payable on the day.

‘Tales Shaped by Industry’ interactive story telling for families will take place at The Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall from 11.15am to 12.15pm on Saturday 28 May for 7–11 year olds.

Storyteller Karen Edwards will be telling tales inspired by local industries. This event is being presented with Carnlough Community Association.

To book for the events please contact:

There will also be evocative memories of the days of steam at Whitehead Railway Museum. On Monday 23 and Wednesday 25 May the museum will be launching two online video shorts showing behind in the scenes at their engineering workshops.

A special Steam and Jazz mainline train, starting and finishing at Belfast on Friday 27 May will visit Whitehead, and on Saturday 28 May there will be steam train rides at the museum. For more details of all events, check out the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland website at:


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