Tonight Thursday Loughries held their first event in the Mini Ulster Scots Festival - funded solely by Ards Borough Council.
Over the past 5 years since the formation of Loughries Society we have explored a number of history events - Local history, Ulster Scots History like Sir Thomas Smith, Hamilton Montgomery, Covenanters, Robert The Bruce, World War I -tonight it was the Somme and the 36th Ulster Division.
Jack Greenald, writer and historian: gave a talk, assisted by PowerPoint, on the Local (Newtownards) 13th Battalion of the UVF / 36 Ulster Division, focusing on the local men who fought and ultimately died at the Somme and other theatres of battle during WWI. Once again an excellent and informative talk from Jack.
Philip Orr, author and historian: gave a talk again assisted by PowerPoint - using many images from his brilliant book 'Road to the Somme'. At times the talk was very moving but informative and particularly realistic, as he took a fictional character 'Billy' from Newtownards through the pre war years, home rule crisis, formation of the UVF, 36th Ulster Division, training, uniform, transportation to Europe, battle, trenches, realities of warfare and his subsequent return home.
Loughries room was packed to capacity with our friends and members of the Society, who were quite and respectful of our speakers, the audience listened intently to the stories and the various thought provoking information being bestowed to them by two very competent speakers.
Tea, coffee, and biscuits were provided by the Society following the talks - with most folk staying 45minutes to an hour chatting about the evening and the subject matter - the Somme.
Great night - looking forward to Saturday now and the eagerly awaited 'A Forenoon Aroon the Ards' tourist trail.
Photo's of tonight's events to follow.