Portaferry & Strangford Building Preservation Trust - Portaferry Townscape Heritage Initiative

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.

Public Meeting 6 Feb 2014

Over thirty people attended Portaferry and Strangford Trust's public meeting which was held in the Market House in Portaferry. Apologies were received from ten more interested parties who had other commitments. These included vice-chair, Gary Laverty.

The other vice-chair, James Elliott, welcomed everyone and introduced the Chair, Eleanor, Lady Brown who explained what a Building Preservation Trust is. She pointed out that such a Trust will complement the Townscape Heritage Initiative and aims to rescue one or more buildings on the 'At Risk' register.

Allison Murphy, secretary, explained what exactly Portaferry and Strangford Trust is and outlined the aims of the organisation, one of which is to eventually establish a maritime centre in the area. She noted that the Trust has representatives from Portaferry Regeneration Ltd, Portaferry Sailing Club, Strangford Sailing Club, Upper Ards Historical Society, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership and Portaferry Community Collective.

James Elliott then explained about the upcoming events which will showcase the great maritime past of Portaferry and Strangford. The first of these will be a talk by Dr. Nick Wells on 'Wave and Tidal Power in Strangford Lough Through the Ages.' It will be held in Exploris on 28th February. A 'pop-up' exhibition will take place in the disused candle shop (former Cape Country) from March 15th – 30th. It will be entitled 'Sailors and Sailing Ships, Shipbuilders and Sea Captains.'

A questionnaire was distributed to gather opinion on the next steps and garner people's ideas on what could be added to the programme. Many offers of assistance were received.

After questions had been taken there was time for an informal chat over tea and coffee. There was great enthusiasm from all those who were present.

One questionnaire concluded with 'Congratulations on what is proposed and what has been achieved to date.'