Author Hugh to launch new book on Portrush

Former Editor and Journalist Hugh McGrattan, who was the special speaker at The Coleraine Histriisctol Society annual monthly meeting at Coleraine Guide Hall. With Hugh is Jennifer Cunningham.
Former Editor and Journalist Hugh McGrattan, who was the special speaker at The Coleraine Histriisctol Society annual monthly meeting at Coleraine Guide Hall. With Hugh is Jennifer Cunningham.

Former newspaper editor and author, Hugh McGrattan, will launch his new book at the next meeting of Portrush Heritage Group.

Although a number of books have been written on various aspects of Portrush, The Port on the Promontory is the first which has been devoted to a comprehensive history of the resort.

Portrush as a town or village has existed only since the early 1800s.

It developed rapidly from half a dozen tiny thatched cottages overlooking a natural inlet into a busy seaport with commercial links all over the world.

This largely remarkable change in fortune was due mainly to the construction of a large and modern harbour in the late 1820s followed by the arrival of the railway in 1855.

Hugh’s book traces 19th century developments within the growing town and describes the impact of increasing urbanisation on what had been an isolated peninsular townland in the Parish of Ballywillan.

The Heritage Evening takes place in the Ramada Hotel, Portrush, on Wednesday, October 7 from 7pm.

Also speaking during the evening will be Lyn Fawcett whose talk is entitled Fawcett’s Hotels and Tours.

Jack Fawcett, was one of Portrush’s early entrepreneurs.

His father Sam (Samuel Lindsay) Fawcett had developed Fawcett’s Hotels and Tours as a successful business before the Second World War with hotels in Antrim, Dunlambert and Portrush.

Jack took the Fawcett’s Royal Hotel over in 1956 when Sam died.

He developed it into a highly successful business up to the upsurge in the Troubles in 1967, from then it was a matter of retrenchment and survival.

The talk will focus on the strategic growth and retrenchment of the company.

It will be illustrated with a range of business memorabilia.

On 19th May 1588, the biggest invasion fleet the world has seen set sail from Lisbon, Portugal to attack England.

The Spanish Armada invasion was a disaster, delayed by storms and harassed by the English, the fleet was scattered and a

A number of ships perished on the North Antrim coast.

Most famous was La Girona which went down near Dunluce but others travelled along this coast as well.

The Armada disaster forms the basis of a tour along the coast led by Dr. Curran who will also touch upon Spanish gold and Oscar Wilde at Armoy, a mysterious stone at Derrykeighan, and a woman who lived in a cave at Waterfoot.

And learn how to properly cast a curse on someone you don’t like at Kilcrue!

What more could you ask for?

* A short business session calling for adoption of Chairman and Treasurer’s Reports andelection of new committee will also be held on the night.

Please note that numbers are restricted to 100 so we will work on a first come basis.

The event is free to Heritage Group Members (£10 Annual Subscription).

The non-members charge is £3.

Any queries please phone the Secretary on 07743 761596.

Come along and enjoy a great evening.