THE first printing of the popular book ‘Down Town: 120 years of Downpatrick’s shops in photographs’ has been such a success that it has been re-launched by some the key drivers behind the Peace III funded project. Colin McKee and Fergus Kelly, past and new Presidents of the Downpatrick Lions Club, Patrick Cassidy, Chairman of Downpatrick Business Forum, and Mike King, Curator of Down County Museum attended a meeting at the Lakeside Inn with guests to celebrate the event.
The first 5000 copies of the book were snapped up within a month of the launch in late March, with many copies being sent off to relatives in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The book includes 50 pages of photographs old and new of shops in the town, and is the result of a year’s work gathering images and information from many generous contributors.
The Museum is also working on a second volume, which will include photographs of Downpatrick shops, businesses and factories that were not available for the first volume. Staff at the Museum are seeking more photographs to ensure that former and current businesses are not missed out, and would be pleased to copy photographs and return them afterwards.
Photographs can also be taken of staff outside their current premises, to bring the story up-to-date.
The second book will be launched just before St Patrick’s Day 2012, and will include photographs of items from Downpatrick shops in the Museum’s collections. Many of these items will then be put on display in a Down County Museum exhibition to open in the summer of 2012.
Down County Museum, the Downpatrick Lions Club and Downpatrick Business Forum wish to thank everyone who has contributed to the present ‘Down Town’ book. Another 5000 copies have been printed, and these are now available free from Down County Museum.
The project has been financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the North Down, Ards and Down Council cluster.