1912: Harry Ferguson’s racing car attracts Cookstown crowd
10 Years Ago
May 30 2002
MAGHERA teenagers Enda Young and Brendan Quinn won three prizes in an international engineering competition for their bird scarer invention.
The device, called SID, is used to deter birds from nestling on overhead cables.
Parents of children attending Knockloughrim Primary School held talks to ‘air their concerns’ about the future of the school. They claimed the North Eastern Education and Library Board planned to cut the teaching staff from five to three.
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass claimed that he and his wife were ejected from an Ulster Unionist Party fundraiser in Moneymore. The First Minister David Trimble was reportedly given a ‘cold reception’ by anti-Agreement supporters at the barbecue in the grounds of Springhill.
Environment Minister Dermot Nesbitt is to take “active steps to change the law” following the furore which erupted over the demolition in Belfast of one of poet Seamus Heaney’s former homes.
Derry prepared to embark on another Ulster Championship quest when they renew acquaintances with Antrim.
Deaths: May 21 – Patrick Coyle, Molesworth Road, Cookstown; May 28 – Thomas Oliver McReynolds, Tamlaghtmore Road, Stewartstown; May 29 – Philip George Scott, formerly of Moneymore Road, Cookstown.
25 Years Ago
June 4 1987
THE average sale price of houses in Mid Ulster area for the first quarter of 1987 was above the average sale price for Northern Ireland.
This was £32,173, compared to the Province average of £29,978.
Thieves broke into the rear of SH Watterson’s shop at Market Street, Magherafelt, and stole around £7,000 in garments used for outdoor pursuits.
A company searching for gold in the Sperrins believes it may have made the “most significant” find to date in the area.
The Frank Carson Classic Golf Tournament at Moyola Park attracted a large number of celebrity players and spectators.
Melvin and Gareth Talbot were both in sparkling form in last week’s NICF 25-mile time trial championships on the Ballynure course. They both did 58 minute rides with Gareth adding the junior title to his phenomenal list of triumphs this season.
Deaths: May 23 – Thomas James (Tommy) Higgins, Queen’s Avenue, Magherafelt; May 25 – Thomas Orr, Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt; May 26 – Eileen Quinn.
50 Years Ago
June 2 1962
COOKSTOWN will be able to obtain a water supply from Lough Fea in the very near future if there is a shortage in the town. The supply will be chlorinated but not filtered.
The view that the 11-plus qualifying test for admission to grammar schools tended to create a snag-conscious mentality among children was expressed by County Derry Education Committee at their monthly meeting.
A Swift held up the proceedings at Cookstown Quarter Sessions for a time on Friday afternoon. During the hearing of a case the bird entered the court by a ventilator in the roof and commenced flying around the room.
Among a British Antarctic survey team of scientists and technicians who returned to England last week after spending up to two years at research bases on the South Polar continent, was Mr Joseph Anthony Quinn (24), of Legilly, Dungannon, who worked on the survey as a wireless operator-mechanic.
James Douglas (75), of Drumderg, Draperstown, died in the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Magherafelt, after he was admitted suffering injuries sustained when his bicycle was in collision with a car.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians from Antrim and Derry, supported by contingents from Armagh, Tyrone and Down, made their annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady at Moneyglass on Sunday.
The Bridie Gallagher Show came to Cookstown Town Hall. The supporting cast included Pat McGuigan, British Champion Harmonica Champion; Frank McIlroy UTV Fiddle and Flute; Tommy Moran, Teatime with Tommy; John Davey, Ulster’s No 1 comic; Eddie Tighue, King of the Ivories, and Two Shamrocks, Taps and Tempo.
Eighteen-year-old Sean Devlin, of New Row, Castledawson, was being hailed as one of Ulster’s most promising goalkeepers for years. A pupil at Magherafelt Technical School he has already gained two Youth International caps against Scotland and England and the experts predict that there are more soccer honours in store for him.
Deaths: May 23 – Hugh Dobson, Claggan, Cookstown; May 27 – Jane Lawrence, Derrygarve Park, Castledawson.
75 Years Ago
May 29 1937
TWO broadcast items during the week dealt with topics of local interest. One was a description of Springhill Estate, Moneymore, by Mrs Lenox-Conyngham, and the the other a talk on Sons of Foyle College, by Mr W.S. Ferguson, one of the College masters, whose grandfather was the last minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church at Grange, Cookstown.
Pomeroy Girls’ School choir, under Mrs Devlin, PET, secured first place in the School Unison Choir competition at the County Tyrone Feis, and were awarded the silver cup.
The 12-sided “threepenny bit” came into circulation in British coinage. Previously the small silver coin had been in use.
Rev Edward Campbell, CP, seventh son of Mrs Mary Campbell and the late Mr Michael Campbell, of Mabuoy, and brother of Mr Patrick Campbell, PET, of Killeenan, was ordained to the priesthood at the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin.
A plain Celtic cross of black polished granite, standing ten feet high, was erected over the grave of Very Rev John O’Nolan, PP, VF, in the grounds adjoining the National Memorial Church of Our Lady of Lourdes at Moneyglass. Canon O’Nolan selected the spot himself and supervised the making of his own grave some months before his death.
Deaths: May 20 – Mrs Phoebe Glendinning, Gortavilly, Sandholes; May 23 – Thomas Hamilton Morrison, Cuntycracken, Mountjoy, Coalisland.
100 Years Ago
June 2 1912
The principal business at Cookstown Petty Sessions was dealing with 15 hiring fair drunks.
The Great Northern Railway management announced the restoration of the market train leaving Cookstown at 10.45am on Saturdays. Messrs Sinclair, the Belfast pork curers, had threatened to cease attending the market owing to the delay in getting carases away since the train was stopped.
Keen disappointment was felt in Cookstown one day during the week at the compulsory abandonment of a speed exhibition of a racing motor car. The police hinted that any excessive speed would be dealt with in the usual legal way, and so Mr Harry Ferguson, of Belfast, drove the car, a Vauxhall (one of three to take part in a speed endurance race in Normandy) to Cookstown on the invitation of Mr T. MacGregor Greer, of Tullylagan, himself a keen motorist. The car was soon surrounded by a large crowd. In the evening on a straight stretch of road near the town the car was put through its paces, Mr MacGregor Greer taking turns at the wheel, and many of those present got “a spin.”
Equally disappointed were football enthusiasts when it became known that the deciding match for the South Derry Championship between Cookstown and Derryloran Clubs was not to take place. This was the result of rupture in the IFA and the formation of a new organisation.
Deaths: William J. McIvor, Drumballyhugh; Patrick O’Tierney, formerly of Cookstown, at Glasnevin, Dublin; Patrick Keilt, Dunamoney, aged 72, and David Nedwell, Rockbrook, Magherafelt, aged 79.
IF you have an old photograph that you would like published, please contact Stanley Campbell, 14 Rainey Street, Magherafelt; telephone, 02879631780 or email [email protected]