The tale of the old Glenkeen drum recovered from a skip

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A battered old drum - believed to be 50 years old - and found in a skip in Portballintrae has been reconditioned and returned to a band in Garvagh.

The drum was handed over to Raymond McKeeman of Glenkeen Fife and Drum Band by William Houston who is chairman of the Ulster Scots Cultural and Historical Society.

The drum had been found by a builder from Maghera about seven years ago during a visit to the dump in Portballintrae.

William Houston told the Times: “The man saw it in the skip and as he had been a member of a band himself, he took it home

“I teach an Ulster Scots fiddle class in Claudy and one night this man’s mother mentioned that her son had this drum in his possession.

“That was how I got the drum and that was about two years ago.

“Its ropes were a bit grubby and had painted as had the skin of the drum which is a big no-no.”

William said he then contacted Mark Roxborough - aPortrush man who now lives in Claudy to ask him to recondition the drum.

“Mark totally refurbished the drum, the ropes and the skin. It took about two months to get the work done.”

“The Ulster Scots Cultural and Historical Society paid for all the work which was a substantial sum. “

William met Raymond McKeeman at last year’s Black Preceptory parade in Portrush to tell him about the long-lost drum. It was finally presented to the band in Ballymoney at a recent parade.