Local people who made an impact - want to learn more?

Ballymoney Borough Arts Committee’s new winter programme opens on Wednesday 23 January with the first in a new series of local history talks by popular historian S Alex Blair.

This series features local people who made an impact and the first talk has as its subject one of the most extraordinary characters North Antrim ever produced – “Half Hanged” MacNaghten.

John MacNaghten was born at Benvarden and sentenced to death, for the murder of a young heiress, Mary Ann Knox of Prehen . When he was being hanged, the rope broke and instead of walking off a free man, he insisted a new rope should be obtained as he could not live to be known as “Half-Hanged” MacNaghten.

This stranger-than-fiction story which has been the subject of many books, documentaries and dramas, will provide a fascinating and highly entertaining opening to the new talk’s series.

On Wednesday 27 February, Mr Blair will look at North Antrim’s Impact on the USA and on 27 March the focus will be on Those Who Stayed at Home.

All talks take place at 8pm in Ballymoney Town Hall. Admission £2 includes refreshments.