Down County Museum will mark the Decade of Centenaries with an interpretation of the life of those who lived and worked in Ballykinlar Camp during the first half of the 20th century.
The Ballykinler Hut project, which received funding from the EU PEACE IV Programme, will have a particular focus on the period 1914-21 and will be open to the public by September 2019.
The museum will work with partners from Queen’s University’s Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA), Living Legacies 1914-18, and the Public Engagement Centre, and will provide opportunities for developing connections between individuals and groups of different backgrounds, on a cross border basis.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Mark Murnin welcomed the project and said: “The Council is very excited to be working with the CDDA at Queen’s University Belfast to create a shared community resource and archive.
“The reconstructed 1900’s-period, timber ‘Armstrong Hut’, which was taken from Ballykinlar Camp in 2012, will be a focal point for the community engagement element of the project, and will enable local people to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of those who lived within the Ballykinlar Camp, telling the stories of its occupants throughout its many periods of use.
“I believe strongly that looking at the myths and perceptions of the way people lived and worked, in Ballykinlar Camp, will offer a unique understanding on the way our past links to our future and helps us to use this understanding going forward.
“PEACE-funded projects in the past have helped us to forge strong local partnerships; I am sure that this new initiative will do the same.”
The Ballykinlar History Hut will be a repository for much of the collected narratives, photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and keepsakes. It will provide a physical connection to the past, and a vivid picture of what life would have been like for soldiers, internees and refugees. The project will engage with local people, digitise 2,000 artefacts and create a virtual experience at the museum.
If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact the Heritage Manager at Down County Museum.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / or telephone: 028 4461 5218.