Press Releases


Shared past / Shared future

Talbot House in Ballyhalbert was the venue for the United Ulster History Forum’s Shared Past/Shared Future exhibition which was held from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th November. This exhibition was held as part of the Peninsula Shared History Project which is about exploring and developing understanding of history, culture and identity within a shared context looking at European, Irish and British history. This event was supported by Rural Community Network’s Rural Enabler Programme which is funded under the European Union’s PEACE III Programme through the Special EU Programmes Body.

Over 200 schoolchildren from schools on the Ards Peninsula and communities attended the exhibition which included audio visual presentations, sensory exhibition, authentic World War II uniforms and artefacts.  Jude Cumiskey, Rural Enabler for County Down, congratulated the forum on the success of the project saying ‘This project highlighted the importance for all communities to have the opportunity to explore their understanding of history, culture and identity.’

Principal of St Mary’s Primary School in Kircubbin, said “The variety and quality of WW2 artefacts was superb as was the presenter’s detailed knowledge of not only WW2, but also of each of the artefacts on display. The children’s attention was held from the minute they entered the exhibition until they left.  Afterwards, the classroom was buzzing with excitement when we got back to school.”

A teacher from Millisle Primary School told us “This was a fabulous opportunity for children to engage in local and global history and a great ‘hands-on’ experience with history coming to life through artefacts, photographs, letters and stories.  The provision of transport was a much appreciated benefit as many local opportunities and visits can be missed because of high transport costs and budget constraints.”

Nicky Gilmore, Chair of the United Ulster History Forum, said “Over 200 school children from across the Peninsula took part in the exhibition.  Sharing our history, with smiles and questions from the school children and hearing the stories told by people young and old made it all very worthwhile.“

Jim Murdock, Good Relations Officer for Ards Borough Council, said “The historical exhibition organised by the United Ulster History Forum has been a resounding success and has been received very well in the local community.  It is important not just to understand the impact of history on us all, but also to recognise that history is shared by the whole community.  This project has brought history to life and I have been very excited to be a part of it.”

Sandra Henderson from East Down Rural Community Network said, “The Shared History Project was unique and captured the principles of community development through the discussions leading up to the exhibitions. It provided an opportunity for the schools and wider community to learn more about a relevant period of history inclusive to the Ards Peninsula.“ For photos of the event, visit Rural Community Network’s facebook page.