‘When the Queen Came’ explores the time Queen Elizabeth II visited Ballymoney, Coleraine and Downhill on her coronation tour of Northern Ireland in 1953. The story is based on questions posed by young pupils from Ballymoney Nursery School and Eglinton Community Preschool to residents of Cramsie Court in Ballymoney during an intergenerational project funded by Northern Ireland Museums Council.
Featuring a heart-warming foreword by Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry Mrs Alison Millar, the book was written by Vicky McFarland of Tale Time and illustrated by Kirah Gamble.
Welcoming its publication, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Ivor Wallace said: “Our Borough has been very fortunate to welcome The Queen on a number of occasions, and many of our residents have fond memories of these occasions.
“Bringing the nursery pupils and Cramsie Court residents together in this innovative way allowed them to share their stories and rekindle their recollections, and now we have this beautiful storybook to mark this time. I want to thank all those involved for their participation, and I am very pleased that we now have this unique book as a lasting reminder both of our place in the coronation tour and how we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee here in Causeway Coast and Glens.”
The official launch of ‘When the Queen Came’ took place recently in Coleraine Town Hall, where beautiful Jubilee-inspired bunting is now on display alongside the ‘Community and Crown’ exhibition. The decorated bunting was made by over 300 primary school pupils from 15 schools during a series of workshops held in Bushmills Community Centre. Pupils learned about the Queen’s visit in 1953 and had the chance to play 1950s games and dress-up before enjoying a trip on the Causeway tram, replicating the journey the Queen’s train journey through the Borough.
Free copies of ‘When the Queen Came’ can be obtained from Ballycastle Visitor Information, Ballycastle Museum, Ballymoney Visitor Information, Ballymoney Museum, Coleraine Visitor Information, Coleraine Museum in Coleraine Town Hall and Limavady Visitor Information. Alternatively, a digital version can be downloaded from www.niarchive.org/resources.
The bunting display and Jubilee exhibition at Coleraine Town Hall will remain open until Saturday, August 27. For information about Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Platinum Jubilee programme go to www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/platinumjubilee