Maghera Roots Launch

The launch of Maghera Roots, the vintage farming project initiated and run by Maghera Heritage & Cultural Centre, took place on the 30th June at the Presbyterian Hall Maghera. We were delighted to welcome Barclay Bell, President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union to formally open the exhibition and Mukesh Sharma, Committee Member of the Heritage…

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The Arrival of the Tractor

The Arrival of the Tractor: The 1940s and ‘50s were a time of dramatic and far-reaching changes in farming in Northern Ireland in common with the rest of the western world. Traditional agricultural practices, some of which dated back to the dawn of time, were superseded by the arrival of the tractor, and the move…

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Lint/Flax Maghera Roots

Lint/Flax Maghera Roots: Ulster was the centre of the linen industry in Ireland going right back to the 17th century and throughout this time Irish linen was considered to be of a particularly high quality.  However, from the years of highest production in around the 1860s (83,815 Hectares in 1864) the industry went into a…

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Oats/Corn: Maghera Roots

Oats/Corn One of the greatest changes in farming over the last sixty years is the enormous decline in the acreage of oats (or corn, as oats referred to locally) and a corresponding increase in the amount of land under barley. As can be seen from the table above, comparing the figures for 1935 and 1945…

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Potatoes: Maghera Roots

Potatoes: Potatoes were introduced to Ireland in the sixteenth century and since then have become almost part of our identity. For many years, they were the staple diet of the people and the recurring shadows of the potato famines of the past still hold a strong emotional charge today. Because of the huge part the…

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Harry Armstrong

Biography: My name is Harry Armstrong.  I farm Parkhill Farm outside Maghera which has been in the family since 1867. My brothers and myself followed in the farming tradition – my two older brothers and myself all worked on the farm.  I started working full-time when I left school at eighteen in the late ’50s….

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Charlie Convery

Biography: I was born in the early 1940s and grew up helping on the farm. I was always interested in farming, even from an early age, and was glad to spend my life working in it. There were six children in the family and my twin brother and myself were the youngest. Because there are so many Converys we all…

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Elizabeth Shiels

Biography I was born on the 25th March 1925. The first six years of my life I had with my father and mother but sadly my mother died at the young age of thirty-six. My Aunt Maggie and Uncle Bob McKeown volunteered to take myself and my sister Molly – we remained in McKeowns for…

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James Armour

Biography Born in the late 40s into a family of five boys to my father Samuel and mother Margaret Armour (nee Clarke). Samuel and Margaret were married in in 1939. Clarke was the eldest, Uel next then myself followed by Maurice and Freddie. During my earlier years when I attended the Beagh school when on…

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Raymond McNamee:

Biography I am Raymond McNamee and I was born on the 23rd of January 1946, the eldest of four children, two boys and two girls. My father’s name was Joe and my mother’s name was Mary Annie (Lagan). I grew up on the family farm outside Maghera. The farm has been in the McNamee name…

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