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Northern Ireland Snapshots | Local history and famous landmarks in the 1940s, 50s and 60s

About this collection

In the 1960s, BBC Northern Ireland ran a series of short reports from their 'roving reporter' that featured actor and presenter James Boyce and others touring the highways and byways of the region. With his eye for the quirky and his gifted way with words, Boyce brought to light the histories of well-known landmarks and uncovered unusual events and local folklore.

These items were never transmitted outside Northern Ireland, but a selection is now brought together in this collection along with a gallery of nostalgic images of people and places from the 1940s.

Northern Ireland Snapshots Collection

 'I buy anything', written on shop sign.

Roving Reporter

Smithfield Market

BROADCAST c. 1959
4 MINUTES

A tour around Belfast's 'palace of variety'.

Three teenage girls in school uniform sitting on a bench.

Roving Reporter

Bessbrook Loo

BROADCAST c. 1960
2 MINUTES

New amenities bring relief to Bessbrook.

Killyleagh Castle in County Down.

Roving Reporter

Killyleagh Dispute

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

The story of the wicked Lady Alice and the castle she tried to steal.

James Boyce.

Roving Reporter

Pat Cassidy's Kitchen

RECORDED c. 1960
4 MINUTES

One hundred years' worth of domestic appliances gathered in one kitchen.

An arch window in Bun na Mairge ruins.

Roving Reporter

Bun na Mairge

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

A visit to the melancholic Bonamargy Friary and graveyard.

James Boyce on horseback holding a rifle.

Roving Reporter

Ballycastle Museum

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

Treasures from around the world on display in Ballycastle.

James Boyce in hat and coat pouring milk from a cup

Roving Reporter

Cappagh Fairy Rath

RECORDED c. 1960
2 MINUTES

Are there fairies on the hillside?

A snowy hillside with a folly at the top.

Roving Reporter

Brackenridge Folly

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

The unsavoury tale of a disgruntled social outcast.

An old typewriter.

Roving Reporter

Nicholls Auction Room

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

'Chance encounters with old, forgotten things' at the auction house on Chichester Street.

A stone celtic cross.

Roving Reporter

Belfast Old Museum

RECORDED c. 1960
2 MINUTES

The lending library that once housed a mummy.

A leaning broken-down fridge.

Roving Reporter

Waringfield Hospital

RECORDED c. 1960
2 MINUTES

Wartime hospital sold off brick by brick.

A statue of King William III.

Roving Reporter

King William

RECORDED c. 1960
4 MINUTES

What was King Billy's favourite drink?

A woman wearing a headscarf.

Roving Reporter

Sandy Row Christmas Lights

RECORDED c. 1960
1 MINUTE

The well-known Belfast thoroughfare prepares for Christmas.

An old man wearing a cloth cap.

Roving Reporter

Annacloy Fairythorn

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

Death and despair await those who interfere with an auspicious tree.

Silhouette of a man from behind.

Roving Reporter

Downpatrick Prison

RECORDED c. 1960
4 MINUTES

Grizzly tales of executions at Downpatrick jail.

James Boyce.

Roving Reporter

Pogues Entry

RECORDED c. 1960
3 MINUTES

The Antrim home of writer Alexander Irvine is restored.

A date enscribed on a stone.

Roving Reporter

Tullyhogue Fort

RECORDED c. 1960
4 MINUTES

How an ancient site near Cookstown is connected with the Stone of Scone and Dean Swift.

Luke Kelly.

Roving Reporter

Clones Fleadh

RECORDED c. 1964
5 MINUTES

The music festival is in full swing on a sunny day in Clones.

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