LAST Tuesday, the community of Dervock gathered like excited students, eagerly anticipating the results of a comprehensive demographic report that explained their very own generic evolution.
As one former school teacher Mr Alex Blair said: “It looks impressive and it is impressive. It is the most comprehensive account of Dervock and surrounding area that has been produced in 200 years.”
He was referring to the official launch of the book, simply called Dervock. The content of both items (book & brochure) is based on the material contained in the recently completed Cultural Heritage Audit of Dervock, developed in partnership with volunteers from the local community and a professional researcher, Mr. Jon Marshall. The project called ‘Dervock Discovered’ is funded by the HLF ‘Your Heritage and Young Roots’ small grants programme.
Frankie Cunningham Chairperson explained: “How much research, detailed study and painstaking clarification of issues have gone into the book, only the author knows. He has spent laborious hours, but he has never flagged and he has produced a work of exceptional merit.
“The debt of gratitude Dervock & surrounding area owes Jon Marshall is immense. He is to be warmly congratulated on this fine production which will stand the test of time and will become a definitive reference work for this and future productions.
“Dervock & District Community Association can be greatly proud.
The comprehensive heritage audit includes archaeological sites, historic buildings and artefacts in both public and private collections. It includes local folklore, myths and legends – also place names of Irish and Ulster Scots origin. I would like to thank all those who were involved in the series of small workshops dealing with heritage themes that are relevant to the area, which included traditional crafts, music, historical figures, languages and farming methods.
“The information collected from those workshops and subsequent visits was invaluable to the research – all those who contributed directly have been acknowledged in the new book ‘Dervock’. The book Dervock with accompanying brochure and DVD will act as a reference source that will encourage an outreach programme to local schools to promote learning about culture and identity.
“What other village can catalogue heritage as diverse as KK McArthur, the ancestral home of William McKinley (25th President of America), Lord McCartney, Ambassador to China and links to the 1798 Rebellion. These findings will provide a permanent base, a legacy which will be kept in museums, libraries, schools, local churches to ensure that artefacts, information and memories are preserved for future generations.
“I can honestly say that this project acted as the catalyst for other projects – e.g. Re-imaging Communities project (Arts Council), The establishment of a newly formed North Antrim Village Forum. Peace III - Programme 5a Community Dialogue & Exchange, Peace III – 7a Culture Connections. DARD – RDP new village plan, 2012 Olympic Games project re KK McArthur
“We are currently exploring the establishment of a historical horse fair (identified in culture audit/book). Also discussions are underway re themed festivals representing McKinley day, McArthur day and McCartney day (all historically linked to the village of Dervock).
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank Lynn Moffett, Co-ordinator at Ballymoney Community Resource Centre. Mr Keith Beattie - curator of Ballymoney Museum and Marion McDowell (Mosside Development Group). Also the professional manner that the management and staff of Mandos @ The North Irish Horse Inn performed in catering for those assembled for the launch of the book.
“Finally, I would like to thank Stella McDermott from the HLF . “
If anybody from the village would like a copy of the book ‘Dervock’ – please contact the ‘Community House’ 13 Travers Place, Dervock on 028 207 42568 or contact Frankie Cunningham on 07734888600.