Old songs to be revived at gathering

Sun 06 Sept 2014

The festival organisers have asked the Society to perform a selection of old songs written by locals in the 1930s and 1940s.

The village had been a centre of songwriting and poetry composition and it was felt that there would be considerable interest if some of the old songs were revived, according to festival committee member Valerie Beattie.

“Ballycarry was a very vibrant village for the arts in the past, including through the work of local songwriters and poets, and also drama and musical groups,” she said.

“We felt that it would be good to try and revive old songs by writers such as Crawford Jenkins, William Calwell and William Hume, so we asked Larne Choral Society if they could select a few to perform,” she added.

The Choral Society are looking at a number of possibilities and are set to perform these on the afternoon of the Gathering, which is being held on Saturday, September 6th.

“As well as having musical groups and bands from outside coming to share their musical talent at the Gathering, we feel that Ballycarry has a rich cultural past and that this too should be reflected,” Mrs. Beattie said.

In addition to the local songs, there will also be a focus on the poet James Orr, through an evening focused on Orr and his work in Millar’s Bar this Friday (August 29) when Valerie Beattie, Robert McKee and David Hume will provide a dramatized look at the Bard’s life.

The light-hearted look at what Orr might say if he returned to Ballycarry starts at 8pm and admission is £5.00, payable at the door.

Following the Orr event there will be musical entertainment by John Dooris and others.

Major historical events with a local connection will also be the focus for a talk by distinguished academic Dr. John McCavitt on the Gathering Day itself.

He is due to speak around 12.30pm on General Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

The battle took place during the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States and Jackson pulled off a spectacular victory against one of the finest armies in Europe. Dr. McCavitt, an author and member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Ulster Scots, is an acknowledged expert on the period.

Jackson’s ancestors were from Ballyhill townland in Ballycarry, where family members continued to live into the early 20th century

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