New heritage audio trail for Portrush

Coleraine Probus President Jim Archer greets John McNally with club members John Graham (L) and Malcolm Hinds (R)
Coleraine Probus President Jim Archer greets John McNally with club members John Graham (L) and Malcolm Hinds (R)

Coleraine Probus Club opened their 2017 series of talks, when they welcomed John McNally from the Portrush Heritage Group (PHG).

Originally started in 2012 as a development from hosting the ‘Irish Open’, the PHG has grown and established itself as a prime source for promoting the historical and unique aspects of Northern Ireland’s most popular holiday town.

John told members that the main reason for his visit to the club was to publicise the latest idea from the PHG for residents and visitors, an audio ‘Heritage Trail’.

This will be operational later in 2017, initially having ten heritage points, expanding to 12 and more as time and funds permit.

People wishing to follow the audio trail will be able to rent or buy a small listening device, which is automatically activated when the user is close to one of the Heritage Points and gives a commentary of the historical significance of that point.

The Heritage Trail Points can be visited in any order.

One of the most popular stopping points is expected to be opposite The Skerries as this is where Tavish Dhu (or Black Tavish) the pirate leader and his band set out from to plunder local shipping.

The exploits of this character have given rise to one of Portrush’s most popular summer events - ‘Pirates Off Portrush’ - organised by the heritage group.

John McNally finished his talk with a word about the PHGs next project, a 3D virtual tour of the town that combines current views and how it would look at various times in history and it is hoped funding could be made available for this, thanks to ‘The Open’.