Standing room only at old-Carnlough film show

A CROWD of more than 110 people gathered for a reminiscence event held in the Londonderry Arms Hotel recently as part of the Memories of Carnlough project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Members of Carnlough Vintage Society and staff from Larne Borough Council were overwhelmed at the obvious local enthusiasm for the project and as the room filled with visitors, the excitement built for the premiere viewing of Eddie Goodwin’s film.

Tony Magill, chairman of the Vintage Society, welcomed everyone to the event especially as they had come out on a night with terrible weather. Thanks were expressed to Eddie Goodwin for allowing his film to be a part of this project and to the Londonderry Arms for providing the venue and the refreshments.

As the film started, those running the event couldn’t help but feel the importance of this project as the laughter and shrieks of enjoyment from the room were audible throughout the showing. The film stirred memories for all in the room, both for those who were able to watch themselves in their younger years getting up to all sorts of summer antics in Carnlough and for those who were able to recall happy memories, by viewing those who sadly are no longer with us.

The film lasted around 50 minutes, at the end of which there was a rousing round of applause from people who had laughed, gasped and even shed a tear as they remembered Carnlough for the fantastic fun that was experienced there during the 60s and 70s.

As the crowd filtered out of the room and enjoyed the wonderful spread put on by the staff in the Londonderry Arms, the air above the tables was filled with happy stories relived and triggered by this film. Those present remarked on how enjoyable the evening had been so far and how they felt that this was a really worthwhile project and how it was great to see Carnlough being giving the recognition for the wonderful place that it was - and still is.

After refreshments, everyone returned to the room to listen to a fantastic talk by local historian John Montgomery who educated listeners with an entertaining history lecture on the Londonderry family and their importance to the area.

As the talk finished people left the room but not the hotel, the evening continued on, with many people filling the bar areas of the Londonderry Arms Hotel, reminiscing about their times in Carnlough until the early hours of the morning.

Tony Magill said: “We were overwhelmed by the turn out on the 17th November and we cannot wait to begin the next phase of this project. Everyone working on the project believes it is so worthwhile and such an asset for Carnlough.”

The Vintage Society would like to express thanks to both Eddie Goodwin and John Montgomery for making this evening so enjoyable.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £25,000 to Larne Borough Council Heritage Service to work in conjunction with Carnlough Vintage Society to preserve, conserve and interpret the hidden heritage from the area that will be unlocked by the study of a private collection of photographs from Carnlough that has been donated to Larne Museum and Arts Centre. So far these photographs have prompted people from Carnlough and beyond to come forward to share their memories. The project is set to continue for another 2 years and it is hoped that this will bring a huge amount of attention to the fabulous heritage of Carnlough.

If you feel that you would like to be a part of this project please contact Larne Museum and Arts Centre on 028 2827 9482.