10 Years Ago
March 21 2002
YOUNG thugs could have caused a massive explosion in Castledawson when they set fire to a car containing gas cyclinders.
Luckily, the Fire Service and police were alerted to the danger in the Parkview area and removed the cyclinders.
Magherafelt’s new £2 million library at the Bridewell opened its doors to the public. The building is four times the size of the old library at Queen’s Avenue.
Age Concern Cookstown launched its exciting new website and temporary premises at Molesworth Street.
Moneymore Young Farmers’ Club won an award for outstanding merit at the Arts Festival competition run by the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster.
Magherafelt was the venue for members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
Deaths: March 16 – Margaret Ellison, Curr Road, Desertmartin; March 17 – William Dickson McCord, Sandholes Road, Cookstown.
25 Years Ago
March 26 1987
A YOUNG South Derry couple died after their light aircraft crashed into a field near their home shortly after take-off.
Sean Scullion (34) and his wife Ann Marie (35) had just taken off from a private airstrip beside their home at Scribe Road, Bellaghy, when their motorised two seater glider mysteriously nosedived into a ploughed field.
There was a disturbance at the monthly meeting of Magherafelt District Council when a man in the public gallery became involved in a heated exchange with Sinn Fein Councillor John Davey.
A part-time UDR man ambushed near his home on the outskirts of Cookstown had escaped a similar murder bid about five years ago, it emerged.
Motorists appeared to be avoiding Cookstown’s new Pay and Display Parking areas which came into operation a week ago.
The Glenavon House Hotel, destroyed in a pre-Christmas bomb attack, is being rebuilt.
Marty Deane, from Belfast, was the winner of Magherafelt’s 10 mile road race in a time of 49 minutes 46 seconds. The local winner was Francis Purvis who finished 38th overall in 60 mins 59secs.
Deaths: March 22 – Benjamin Bigger, Ardboe Road, Stewartstown; March 11 – Brigid Dargan, William Street, Cookstown; March 23 – John McCullough, Station Road, Moneymore.
50 Years Ago
March 24 1962
THE increase of 3s 9d in the £ in the rates for Cookstown in the coming financial year was described as “alarming and the highest percentage increase of any town in Northern Ireland” by Mr John Henderson, chairman of the recently formed Cookstown Ratepayers’ Association.
The recently formed Ratepayers’ Association in Stewartstown are going ahead with their plans to attract small industry to the locality and their chairman, Mr George Forrest, MP, is to seek an interview with the Minister of Commerce, Mr John Andrews.
Is Cookstown big enough to support two cinemas? This is the question which is bound to be uppermost in the mind of Mr Thomas A. Quinn, who has purchased The Picture House – or what remains of it – at Fair Hill.
Two cows died in an outbreak of anthrax on a farm at Caraloon, about two miles from Magherafelt. Movement of cattle on the affected land has been restricted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Old rivals Derry and Down meet again on Sunday when they clash in the Dr Lagan Cup (NFC) final at Casement Park, Belfast.
Deaths: March 17 – Mary Moffett, Moveagh, Cookstown; March 17 – Matthew James Smyth, Glenmount Park, Dungannon.
75 Years Ago
March 20 1937
THE worst snow blizzard for many years swept the British Isles.
In Northern Ireland which shared the widespread disorganisation of traffic and damage to property, it was purported to be the worst storm since January 1881.
Hibernian demonstrations in celebration of St Patrick’s Day were held at Draperstown and Dungannon.
Cookstown Regional Education Committee accepted the tender of Mr S. Harbison, of Cullybackey, at £3,353, for the erection of a new school at Coagh.
A farm in Creagh containing 12 acres, the property of the Misses Ellis, was sold by Mr David Leslie, auctioneer, for £305, the purchaser being Mr Edward McGroogan.
Mr Walter W. Bole, of Pomeroy, was appointed as the new principal of Orritor PE School in succession to Mr W.E. Tosh, who resigned to take up a new appointment. Mrs Creighton, of Cookstown, was appointed assistant teacher in Tullyhogue School.
A goat belonging to Mr Brown Pierce, of Doluskey, Moneymore, gave birth to four kids, making her third set of “quads” in consecutive seasons, and her family record 15 kids in her four seasons.
Deaths: March 12 – Thomas Wright, Union Street, Cookstown; March 14 – Robert John Harbinson, Kansas Avenue, Belfast (formerly Gortigal, Stewartstown); March 14 – John Minnis, eldest son of the late Rev Alexander Minnis, Saltersland; March 15 – Adam Ferguson, Lisnahall, Ardtrea; March 16 – Henry Peden, Smith Street, Moneymore.
IF you have an old photograph that you would like published, please contact Stanley Campbell, 14 Rainey Street, Magherafelt; telephone, 02879631780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org