Celebrating ‘Old Killowen’

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When local historian Ronnie Gamble set up a facebook page about ‘old killowen’ little did he know that hundreds of pictures and stories would be posted in a matter of months.

The page, which has over 500 members to date, has sparked histeria amongst proud Killowen folk from near and far.

Many have been hunting in attics and drawers in a bid to find old photographs to share with others on the page.

For others, old friendships have been rekindled - one user commented that he had to check the profiles of some of those who had been posting to find out their maiden names.

Another user pointed out that the page had helped to show ‘the good side of Killowen’, following recent events which may have put the area down.

Users from as far away as America and Canada have been posting pictures and memories of growing up in the well known area on the west side of the River Bann.

Ronnie explained: “I set up the page to help me research my books.

“My books are in ten volumes, focusing on a history of Killowen.

“Each volume focuses on a different subject, the first series looks at history and politics.

“I explore the social history of ‘old Killowen’ from the earliest available record to the early 1970’s when the population had experienced many social and environmental changes.

Ronnie says he has ‘fond memories of growing up in the tough environment of old Killowen’, and through the page he hopes to share experiences and memories.

Ronnie added: “I had no idea the page would take off, to be honest I set it up back in December and it kind of sat there for a while, then all of a sudden it just took off.

“I have really enjoyed looking at the old pictures and hearing all the old stories”, he added.

Ronnie wished to acknowledge those who have contributed material including Coleraine Museum, Coleraine Historical Society, Norman Maxwel, the late Dan MacLaughlin, Diana Kirkpatrick, Frances Curran, Laurence Crawford, Richard Doherty and Bob Curran.