Newtownabbey was the destination for Ballymoney Riada Probus Club’s traditional All Day Trip
before their summer break.
Travelling by train to Mossley West and back, in reserved seats, the members and friends began their trip into the past in The Museum at the Mill.
Museum Assistant, Alex presented an enjoyable and informative overview of the history of Mossley Mill (dating from 1790), up to its subsequent redevelopment by Newtownabbey Council, as the visitors were comfortably seated in the attractive Civic Square. The party then had time to explore the interactive museum exhibits, and to have any further questions answered by her.
Following lunch in the Yarns Bistro, within the modernised Mossley Mill complex, it was off by taxis to nearby Sentry Hill. This historic house and visitor centre is now also owned by Newtownabbey Council. Built as a home for the McKinney family, settlers from Scotland in the early 1700s, its contents still include the remarkable collections of descendent William McKinney, whose home this was since his birth in 1832.
In fact the farmhouse has been left entirely as it was, contents and all, including those of its last occupant, so that visitors get an authentic feel for what life was like in bygone days. A video (originally screened on UTV) and a guided tour of the house provided a very interesting insight into the life of William McKinney, a farmer all those years ago, as well as that of William’s grandson, Dr Joe McKinney Dundee, whose passions included training and breeding racehorses, and who lived at Sentry Hill from 1977 until his death in 1996. Dr Joe’s sons still maintain contact with Wesley Bonar, Sentry Hill Custodian, and are both delighted that members of the public can now benefit from this ‘gem’ of Newtownabbey.
With refreshments consumed and their taxis arrived, the Probus members returned in time to catch their train back to Ballymoney, after fine weather and an enjoyable day out together..