Bushmills Through the Wars

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An exhibition dedicated to honour and remember those who had a part to play in World War One and Two amongst others, has taken place in Bushmills.

The ‘Bushmills Through the Wars’ display featured artefacts and historic photographs, as well as detailed information on those who lost their lives in the Causeway Coast area.

The exhibit was run by Glenda Rodgers, a local historian who has been interested in World War Two, following the deaths of family members.

“I have always been interested in the Second World War as my father lost his cousin Robert Glenn, as well as an uncle on a submarine,” Glenda told The Ballymoney Times this week.

“As a result, there were always artefacts in the house from both men and that got me extremely interested in World War Two,” Glenda added.

“I went on my first battlefield tour in 1989 and subsequently I have visited war graves all over the world.

“Therefore, with all the information and artefacts that I have gathered over the years, I decided to have an exhibition and it’s now finished its ninth year.”

With visitors coming to the Dunluce Parish Hall from all over the world, Glenda has thanked and praised those who contributed to this year’s exhibition.

“It would be hard to create a display of this magnitude without the help of so many people.

“We have other exhibitors who showcase their memorabilia such as John Pattison who has a strong interest in Home Rule.

“Vince Cooke is the American contribution to the Second World War and he brings over a jeep which is hugely popular amongst visitors.

“Also, Kevin Heggarty provides a WW2 RAF officer’s car which is in excellent condition,” Glenda told the Times.

“For the first time this year, we had the portraits of the two McNaughton’s at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the great coat belonging to one of them officers.

“Added to that, we had medals, photographs and personal papers donated from local people.

“The exhibition has got bigger over the years and the use of social media has made it easier for us to advertise.

“I would like to thank local shops in Bushmills for their excellent advertising, in particular Sam’s Video Shop, The French Rooms and Save the Children.

“Also, Brian Fillis has helped me immensely by using his World War Two tank to gather interest.”

The exhibition throughout the years has raised money for charities and this year was no different as the admission costs from the public was used to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal, Alzheimer’s charity and YEI – which helps to support families in the South Sudan.

Glenda went on to explain: “All monies from the exhibition are given to charities as it helps those who are in a more vulnerable position than us.

“I think it is important that help is given to these people and it makes the exhibition all worthwhile when the money raised can play a huge part in improving the lives of others.

“The money collected from the door, raffle tickets and the forget-me not tea rooms wouldn’t have been done without a great team and I am grateful for their hard work.

“Also, I must thank the members of the Dunluce Parish who have given me everything that I have needed.”

The exhibition raised £6,000 for charities last year and they hope to top that amount this time around.

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