Historic Events planned for Castleblayney 400 Fair Day

September 16, 2013

As the 28th of September is coming closer, the committee of Castleblayney 400 Heritage along with Castleblayney Town Council are busy preparing lots of activities for the public to enjoy on the day.

We are very excited to announce that we have acquired a very historical display, which depicts the signing of the Ulster Covenant on 28th of September 1912, this will celebrate its 101 year anniversary on the day of our Fair Day.  The display will be available for viewing in the Library in Iontas from next week up until the end of September.                                                                                                                                            This archive of the Ulster Unionist Council, held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, contains just under half a million original signatures and addresses of the men, who on 28th September 1912, signed the Ulster Covenant, and of the woman who signed the parallel Declaration.  In total, the Covenant was signed by 237,368 men, and the Declaration by 234,046 women.

The Ulster Covenant was part of a response by Ulster Unionists to the efforts of successive Westminster governments to settle the running score of the ‘Irish Question’ by giving Ireland a limited measure of local autonomy known as ‘Home Rule’.

We are also pleased to announce a talk on ‘Local History’ by local politician and historian Gary Carville.  This talk will take place on Friday the 27th of September in the Glencarn Hotel.  More details on this next week.

There are also a number of events confirmed for the actual Fair Day on September 28th.  John Keenan from Lisdoonan is supplying lots of vintage machinery and other artifacts on the day for visitors to the town to enjoy.  He will be also showcasing his collection in the car park of St Mary’s Hospital for the patients and visitors to enjoy.

There will also be a group from Trim, Co Meath in the town on the day who will be holding workshops about ‘High Nelly’ bicycles and how to repair them.  They will also have a selection of spare parts available to purchase.  So go out to the shed and dust the cobwebs off that poor old bicycle and give it a new least of life.  You never know, you may also get a new lease of life when you throw your leg over the bar!!!

Angela Hanratty from Castleblayney College has been busy researching games that would have been enjoyed by young people circa 1900, and along with a selection of her students from the school, will be on hand on the day to demonstrate a wide selection of games and encourage the crowd to join in, this will create a excitement, as well as being educational for everyone.  At last Monday’s meeting she praised Deirdriu McQuaid from Monaghan County Library and Pauline Tilson, Education Officer from the County Museum who have been most helpful and are willing to loan us some games for this historic event.  A notice has also been sent out to local schools with information about the competition being run by our committee in association with the County Library.  The competition consists of composing a poem about the ‘Olden days’ for older students and an art competition for younger students.  The closing date is Friday the 20th and we are looking forward to seeing all the entries.

A group of people from Granemore, Co Armagh will be joining in the festivities on the day by organising a ‘Road Bowls’ competition starting a mile and a half outside the town, and making their way into the town, up through Lake View and back to the Castle gates for prize-giving.  Anybody interested in joining in, please be at the back of the Market House at 11:30 on Saturday morning.  (28th September)

We also wish to remind any budding bakers, jam-makers, knitters, carpenters and anyone else who makes or bakes to come along on the day and sell your wares.  If you feel that you wouldn’t have enough to justify a stall, then maybe you could join with another small enterprise and share a table.  All we ask is that your produce is hand-made or home-baked and that you dress up in old fashioned clothing on the day, just to enter into the spirit of things.  A limited amount of clothing can be loaned out on the day, but pre-booking is essential.  Contact Cathal on 086 0341654 or to book your place or for further details.

Also follow us on Facebook @ Castleblayney Four Hundred.