JENNIFER Cunningham, the chairperson of the Coleraine Historical Society, has presented the Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley, with a selection of documents and artefacts, originally donated to the Historical Society by Campbell Owens in 1997.
Mr Owens, who was from Belfast, donated the items to the Society as its contents related to the Coleraine area, particularly to the Air Raid Precautions (A.R.P.), the Civil Defence and other voluntary organisations active throughout the borough during World War 2.
Items in the box include “Civil Defence - Part–time vehicle running logs”; documents recording plans for a First Aid Civil Defence exercise in Garvagh,; papers giving details of a medical exercise to be held on the Strand Road, Coleraine, to provide training and experience in working with victims of chemical warfare and nerve gas; and documents referring to the Coleraine War Hospital Supply Depot, based at Eagle House, Kingsgate Street.
These latter records documented the supply of boxes to prisoners of war and the organising of local ladies to knit garments for members of the service.
Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley, thanked Jennifer and the members of the Society, saying: “It is fantastic to be able to add material such as this to the Coleraine Museum collection.
“These items give us an insight into what life was like for those living in the Borough during this time and it is important that this material is preserved for the future.”
The museum contains items donated from the 6 Light AA Battery RA (The Coleraine Battery) which follows the lives of the men in the Battery and their time at war. The new donation adds an interesting dimension to the collection.
Sarah Carson, Collections Access Officer for Coleraine Museum, said: “I would like to thank Jennifer and the members of the Coleraine Historical Society for taking such good care of Mr Owens’ family records which help to create a fuller picture of how the war affected people in Coleraine.”