ON this the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s coronation a historic moment in the town’s history is to be celebrated with exhibitions, re-enactment, recollection, absorbing nostalgia, and family fun with key events on Saturday 6th July.
Speaking ahead of the celebratory events, Mayor, John Finlay, said: “our celebration of the Queen’s visit to Ballymoney during her coronation tour of the Province in 1953 will be full of our living history, something to cherish and enjoy as we also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.”
On 3rd July 1953, as part of the Royal Couple’s Coronation Tour of Northern Ireland, the Royal Train stopped at Ballymoney Railway Station and Her Majesty, the Queen, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh stepped out to be greeted by thousands of North Antrim People. Children screamed their welcome and adults waved and cheered in a packed Station Yard. Mrs Grace Leslie, Leslie Hill, presented the Ballymoney Urban Council’s gift of “The Queen’s Book” to Her Majesty. This traced the Queen’s links back to the ancient Kings of Dalriada.
The Queen & The Toon Exhibition
A display of photos and memorabilia to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ballymoney on 3 July 1953 is on display in the History Resource Area of Ballymoney Museum.
Town Celebrates with Family Fun
Join us on Saturday for Coronation party at the Diamond with Royal Guards Balloon modelers and face painting. Enjoy music with lots of fun games and spot prizes.
Insight into security for Royal couples visit
An exhibition by local military historian, Peter Thompson, to be staged in the Town Hall’s Cramsie Room, gives an interesting insight into the security operation for the Royal couples visit to Ballymoney. The men of the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) were charged with responsibility for security for this area of North Antrim. The unique exhibition of USC memorabilia opens at 12.00 noon on Thursday 4th July, closing 4pm continuing from 10 am – 4 pm on Friday and Saturday. Here you can see uniforms and equipment used by the USC from the 1920’s to their stand down in 1970. A recently discovered original letter sent by the District Commandant H. McCarton, 60 years ago, detailing the security measures to the local USC Platoons, will be on display, plus many more items bound to stir the memories of USC veterans.
Share your memories
Speaking about the unique events Historian Peter Thompson said: “I would invite people involved in the security operation or who were on the platform to welcome the Royal couple to come along to the exhibition and share their memories.”
Recapturing the atmosphere of the day.
Well known local historian S Alex Blair will be on hand at the exhibition on Saturday afternoon, 6th July, at 3 pm to recall the detail of the visit and re-capture something of the atmosphere of that historic day. He will be aided by archive film footage of the occasion by local filmmaker Charlie McAfee.
In the vicinity of the Railway Station at Seymour Street on Saturday 6th July at 1.00 pm the USC Historical Platoon will re-enact their role on the day the Queen came to town and including a 1950’s rifle inspection in the “Paints & Components” yard (kindly granted).
Historic letter revealed
The letter to the North Antrim Platoon’s, from District Commandant H. McCarton sixty years ago, which has only recently came to light , states “We feel honored that we have been given the important task of ensuring that Our Queen has a peaceful journey when visiting Northern Ireland in July”. The “B” men as they were then known were positioned as back up in various Police Stations, they guarded bridges, roads and railway crossings.
For details of all events www.visitballymoney.com