Latest News from Portaferry Townscape Heritage Initiative

Project Update 6-8 Church Street

6-8 Church St is in its finial stage of restoration and will be complete by 31st March 2015.

This project will be used as Self catering Accommodation in the Square Portaferry where it will offer luxury accommodation to visitors to the area creating economic benefit.


Project Update 15-16 The Strand

15-16 The Strand has started on site 1st Feb and will be complete by 31st Oct 2015.

The existing property as is sits is one large property and will be restored and converted into three family homes on the shore front overlooking Strangford Lough Narrows at the rear entrance of Exploris, this project will breath a new lease of life into this area of Portaferry.


Wave and Tidal Power in Strangford Lough Through the Ages

Portaferry and Strangford Trust's March event was a talk, in Exploris, by Dr Nick Wells, Technical Director, RPS Group. Nick has 25 years' experience in marine renewables. He also has academic links with the Queen's University Marine Lab in Portaferry. His talk 'Wave and Tidal Power in Strangford Lough Through the Ages' covered the principles behind, and the means by which energy has been generated in the Lough in the past millennium. This talk came immediately after his participation in the 'Renewable UK Wave and Tidal Energy Conference', described in its press release as the largest of its type in the world.

Over eighty people attended the talk and were fascinated by Dr. Wells' depth of knowledge. They also spent time perusing the exhibition about our maritime past which was on display and was provided by Portaferry's Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Congratulating PAST on hosting the event Councillor Joe Boyle said, 'The Exploris facility proved to be an excellent location and it clearly demonstrated to those in attendance that it was a venue in which talks and conferences could be incorporated and organised in splendid surroundings. I once again congratulate the organisers on such a successful event and look forward to many more.'

Fascinating evening of Titanic Tales

The Market House in Portaferry was packed on April 26th to hear all about Portaferry's links with the world's most famous ship, Titanic. The evening was hosted by the Portaferry and Strangford Trust and PRL's Townscape Heritage Initiative. The speakers were Una Reilly MBE, Titanic expert and co-founder of the Belfast Titanic Society, and Allison Murphy, author of Titanic Times.

The audience was fascinated to hear about Portaferry's shipbuilding history and local residents who all had links with Titanic's story. These included Filson Young, author of the first ever Titanic book, Rollickin' James Tomelty who painted on the famous ship and his son Joseph who acted in the best Titanic film, A Night to Remember. They also learned about a localresident's grandfather, Artie Frost, who was a member of Harland and Wolff's Guarantee group and perished on the ship in April 1912. Listeners discovered where a ticket for the great liner could be purchased, where people went to view the ship leaving Ireland and where wood that supported Titanic can still be found in Portaferry.

Finally Una Reilly revealed the details of a launch ticket which is to be auctioned this month and all about its Portaferry provenance. This ticket might also call into question the authenticity of a previous ticket which sold in New York for £37,000!

During refreshments which followed there was an exhibition of Titanic memorabilia to be perused and many questions asked and answered. Local MP, Jim Shannon, said that the whole event was absolutely fascinating and he looked forward to more.

Free Exhibition

Over the next three weekends there will be an exhibition entitled 'Sailors and Sailing Ships, Shipbuilders and Sea Captains' on display in the old candle shop, Castle Street, Portaferry.

This pop-up exhibition, in a disused space, will recall the great maritime past of the ports of both Portaferry and Strangford when ships built here sailed all over the world. As well as artefacts, models, photographs and paintings, there will be historical information and details of the residents of these ports over a hundred years ago. This exhibition has been organised by the Portaferry and Strangford Trust and assisted by the Townscape Heritage Initiative.

It will be open from 11am–5pm each Saturday and Sunday from March 15th to 30th as well as St. Patrick's Day, Monday March 17th. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Doors will open at 11am on Saturday, 15th March.