10 Years Ago
April 4 2002
A COOKSTOWN minister has branded a musical to be staged in the town’s Burnavon Centre next week as “blasphemous”.
Rev Robert Stewart of Cookstown Free Presbyterian Church said that consideration is being given to holding a protest outside the theatre in opposition to “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Two people have died following a road accident involving a motorcyclist and an elderly pedestrian near Portglenone. The pedestrian was Patrick Tohill (69), of Kilrea Road, Tyanee, and the motorcyclist was Alwyn James Rusell (31), of Killane Park, Ahoghill.
DUP Assemblyman Rev William McCrea led a delegation of unionist representatives from Magherfelt and Cookstown district council areas to meet health chiefs to discuss the future of the Mid-Ulster Hospital.
There was a good attendance at the Good Friday Way of the Cross in Cookstown. This was the 20th year of the walk, started by Fr John Hughes in 1982.
If Rainey Old Boys’ have serious ambitions of gaining promotion to Qualifying League Section One for next season then the time to stand up and be counted has arrived. Over the next few weeks the Old Boys face a series of league games that will make or break their season.
Deaths: March 26 – William John Bigger, Killycanavan Road, Ardboe; April 1 – Elizabeth (Lily) Weir, formerly of Kiltyclogher Road, Sandholes, Cookstown.
25 Years Ago
April 9 1987
THE closure of the casualty department at the Mid-Ulster Hospital last weekend has come in for strong criticism from DUP Mid-Ulster MP, the Rev Willliam McCrea who demanded assurances from the Northern Health Board that it never happens again.
There has been an explosion in the cat population in Mid-Ulster and USPCA officials fear that if steps are not taken to control unwanted kittens there will be a serious outbreak of disease.
Last year saw a record growth in mortgages with the Northern Bank being well on the way to lending its first £100,000,000 to home-owners throughout the Province.
Peter Bryson of the Town and Country Inn, Magherafelt, was the County Londonderry winner in the Bushmills Bar of the Year Awards for 1987. Mr Bryson was one of seven finalists to receive the special award, beating entries from all over Ulster.
A Magherafelt woman has won the All Ireland Mother’s Union Centenary tea towel design competition. Mrs Muriel Bell, from St Swithin’s Church, hit upon the idea for the design while leafing through the pages of the Book of Kells.
Ballinascreen runner Theresa Kidd was preparing to head off to South Korea for the World Marathon Cup competition.
Deaths: Joe Loughrey, Australia (formerly of Ballymaguiggan, Gracehill, Magherafelt); April 3 – Norah Stewart, Clooney Road, Tobermore.
50 Years Ago
April 7 1962
THE Cookstown juke-box controversary is to be decided by the County Court Judge for Tyrone at Cookstown Quarter Sessions next month.
The Council decided to defend at court the appeal by a local cafe proprietor, Mr James Quinn, against the Council’s decision banning the playing of a juke-box in his premises on Sundays.
The announcement by the Minister of Commerce, Mr J.L.O. Andrews, that a new 9,000 square foot factory is to be provided at Magherafelt for Mr James Burnside Ltd, shirt and pyjama manufacturers, was welcomed by Major James D. Chichester-Clark, MP for South Derry. It was expected to employ 76 workers, mostly women.
A move to prohibit smoking at meetings of Magherafelt Rural Council failed at the monthly meeting of the Council. The ban was proposed by Mr A. H. Henderson, who is a non-smoker. He described smokers as “potential murderers and potential suicide cases.”
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother flew to Northern Ireland on Tuesday afternoon to begin her five-day visit, arriving at the Royal Air Force Station at Aldergrove.
Flooding following Wednesday night’s snow caused a crack in one of the parapet walls of Drumraw Bridge on the main Cookstown – Dungannon road, about three miles from Cookstown, and a portion of the roadway collapsed, leaving room for single line traffic.
Deaths: April 5 – Lillie Banks, Larrycormick, Moneymore; April 5 – Elizabeth Fullerton, Drumnacross, Cookstown; April 5 - Elizabeth Hardy, Cookstown; April 1 – John Hawe, Tamnadace, Castledawson; April 2 – Thomas McCord Howard, “The Palms”, Drumconvis, Coagh; April 1 – Margaret Hunter, Molesworth Street, Cookstown; April 2 – Elizabeth Reid, Drumgormal; April 4 – Robert Thom, Toberlane, Cookstown.
75 Years Ago
April 3 1937
THE Easter holiday weekend was favoured with ideal Spring weather with plenty of sunshine.
A daring burglary was carried out at the residence of Rev Henry Boyle, PP, of Desertmartin, the thieves getting away with £450 in cash as well as valuable deposit receipts and securities totalling in all about £3,500.
At a special meeting of Dungannon Urban Council a rate of 10/7 in the £ was struck, an increase of 10d.
At the Balmoral Dog Show on Easter Monday, Mr John G. Gamble, of the famous Moyola Kennels, Magherafelt, won the open class in pointers with his young home-bred dog “Moyola Mascot.”
The cup for the best milk yielding cow in Bellaghy Milk Recording Association was won for the third time by a cow belonging to Mr John Brown, of Castledawson.
Mr T. C. Huey, of Belfast Bank, Cookstown, won the Gilchrist Cup Golf Competition played at Castlerock on Good Friday by beating the runner-up, Mr S. Carlisle, of Belfast Bank, Cookstown, three and two in the final.
Deaths: Thomas Clements, Kenilworth, England (formerly of Ballygruby, Moneymore); March 26 – Sarah Anne McGuckin, Oldtown Street, Cookstown.
100 Years Ago
April 8 1912
COOKSTOWN Urban Council struck a rate of 6/- in the £, a reduction of 2d.
Of the 323 pedigree bulls offered for sale at Balmoral Show 172 were from Mid-Ulster.
The death was announced of Mr D. S. Kelly, Clerk of Petty Sessions for Magherafelt and Maghera, at the age of 65.
Cookstown Young Men’s Christian and Literary Association held their 46th annual meeting, at which encouraging reports regarding membership and financial position were submitted by Mr John Glasgow, hon treasurer, and Mr Thomas Gibson, hon secretary. Mr George Ramsay, chairman, presided.
Because of the lack of funds, a proposal for improving the footpaths in Magherafelt at an estimated cost of £200 had to be deferred at the quarterly meeting of the Rural District Council.
Deaths: Sarah Nelson, Ballyforlea; John Bradley, Knockloughrim; Matilda Whann, Burn Road, Cookstown; Sarah Charles, Beltonanean; James Forsythe, Gortanewry.
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