The first concert in the newly restored Old Church Centre in Cushendun has been hailed as success, selling out weeks in advance.
Runabay, a group of
six talented young men from the Glens of Antrim, have created new Irish music
that builds on traditional and folk foundations, but with a modern feel and
The band filled the Old Church Centre with their original, atmospheric and soulful sound on Saturday 31 August .
The name of the band is particularly poignant as it is taken
from Runabay Head which lies a few miles north of Cushendun.
Bridgeen Butler from the Old Church Centre said, “What a fantastic first full concert in such a beautiful setting. All of the band are local with one of the guys reared not far from the centre. As a boy he spent many days playing in the woods around the church, and now as a man, has returned to play his music inside it! A very poetic circle in his life.
“Rumour has it that the band may come back and perform for us again, so watch the website for details of this and other events in our evolving programme.”
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust has begun an ambitious
plan to grow a programme of activities bringing quality arts and music to the
Glens in a beautifully unique venue. The church offers a special ambience and
classic church acoustics.
The venue is also available for hire for meetings, weddings,
social events, exhibitions and heritage talks and seminars.
A series of cultural events will take place between Friday 13 and Sunday 15 September in the newly restored Old Church Centre to mark this year’s European Heritage Open Days.
The community and heritage centre, which opened its doors in
July, will hold a talk by Paul Clements on film actor Richard Hayward on
Saturday 14 September.
One of Ireland’s leading cultural figures, a writer, singer,
broadcaster and folklorist, Hayward was famous for his film Devil’s
Rock, a romantic drama shot in Cushendun in 1937.
Belfast author Paul Clements has spoken at over 70 different events across Ireland about the life and times of Hayward, using old slideshow photos and video footage of the popular artist, who was raised in Larne.
The Old Church Centre will also host the launch of
the new ‘Greetings from Cushendun’ booklet on Friday 13 September.
The publication has been created by the Cushendun Building
Preservation Trust (CBPT) in conjunction with Causeway Coast and
Glens Borough Council Museum Services.
The booklet is the culmination of the ‘Greetings from
Cushendun’ exhibition which has been hosted in the Old Church Centre all
summer, with hundreds of local visitors and tourists attending.
Using historic photographs and personal
reminiscence, it charts the history of Cushendun as a holiday resort
from the building of the Coast Road in the 19th century through to
the present day. Make sure to pick up a copy over the weekend.
Finally, the National Trust’s Glenmona House will play host to Cushendun’s annual Book Sale, on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, with thousands of second-hand books to chose from, including a local-history and collectables section as well as fiction, autobiographies, thrillers, special interest works and children’s classics all up for grabs.
Tea, coffee and cake will be on sale on both days, and Saturday morning’s local bakers and tea-makers will be fund-raising for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, so you can enjoy a treat for a good cause!
An exhibition charting the history of Cushendun as a holiday
resort has opened at the newly restored Old Church Centre in the County Antrim
‘Greetings from Cushendun’ takes visitors on a journey
from the building of the Coast Road in the 19th Century through to the present
Using historic photographs, archive film and personal reminiscence,
the exhibition covers the growth of tourism in the 19th century, the Gaelic
Revival, the development of the Cushendun hotels and the influx
of ‘Game of Thrones’ coach tours in more recent years.
The Old Church Centre officially opened on the 6 July and ‘Greetings
from Cushendun’ will run until 9 September on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
between 12pm and 4pm.
The exhibition has been curated by the Cushendun Building
Preservation Trust (CBPT) and is part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough
Council Museum Services Peace IV ‘Understanding Your Area’ programme .
Monica Morgan, Chair of CBPT said, “It has been a fascinating project and we have really enjoyed talking to people who came here for summer holidays or came to work in the hotels, many of whom ended up staying in Cushendun. The village has been shaped by 200 years of holidays and we think the exhibition reflects this wonderfully. We look forward to seeing locals and tourists alike in the coming weeks.”
‘Understanding our Area’ is a cross community programme aimed
at increasing the understanding and expression of our history, culture, people
The initiative is part of the Causeway Coast and Glens
Borough Council’s Peace IV Local Area Action Plan, funded by the Special EU Programmes
Body, which is providing £3.5 million for community projects across the museum
collections, historic sites and cultural heritage.
Work to restore and convert an old church building in Cushendun has been completed and the Old Church Centre, an arts, heritage and community space, is now open!
thirteen long years of campaigning, lobbying, application forms and hiccups,
restoration began in Autumn 2018, with the keys being handed over to the
dedicated volunteer group, Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, last week.
Old Church has been given a new lease of life and will be available for
heritage events, drama, concerts, meetings, community activities and much
more. The building will also serve as an
information and mini-heritage Centre in which visitors can learn about the
glorious Glens of Antrim.
restoration has been made possible thanks to funding and support from The National
Lottery Heritage Fund, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the Department
for Communities Historic Environment Division (Historic Environment Fund),
Ulster Garden Villages Ltd, the Pilgrim Trust and the All Churches Trust.
in 1840 as a Church of Ireland place of worship, Cushendun Old Church was
deconsecrated in 2003. Since then, Cushendun Building Preservation Trust has
been campaigning for the building to become a community hub with a focus on the
arts. Fundraising efforts included the annual Cushendun Big Arts Weekend and
the September Book Sale, which has been going for 8 years.
the official opening of the Old Church Centre on Saturday 6 July, Monica
Morgan, Chair of Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, said, “For a long time
we had a dream to make this facility a real focal point of the community, and
to be at the official opening today is simply fantastic.
“At times it has been a tough, but we always knew this moment would come. It wouldn’t have been possible without the funders, volunteers, supporters and the local community. We can’t wait to see the buzz around the place in the weeks and months ahead!”
Carragher, Trustee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added her congratulations,
“We’ve travelled with this project for a long time, so we are absolutely
delighted to see the restored church open and thriving as a community venue for
arts, heritage and so much more.
love projects that breathe new life into our beloved old buildings and
Cushendun Church is a fine example of this. The Trust have worked tirelessly to
restore the building and we offer them huge congratulations on their hard work
and commitment. It is thanks to groups like the Trust and players of the
National Lottery that we get to fund wonderful local projects such as this one”
Sean Bateson from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council also praised
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust for their efforts and success reaching
this great milestone, “As Mayor I am delighted that Council could
play its part in this great achievement by providing finance through our
Capital Grants programme.
“It is always a pleasure to see that support used to such great
effect and I look forward to seeing the Old Church Centre fulfilling its
heritage, arts and community commitments in this lovely space for many years to
“The Old Church Centre will be a wonderful asset to the villagers
of Cushendun, the Glens people, constituents from throughout the Council area,
and the many that will visit from further afield”.
The Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is keen to hear your ideas and
suggestions for new events and performances for the Old Church Centre. It is
also looking for those with time and a willingness to enrol as volunteers.
If you would like to discuss opportunities or
event/activity ideas, contact Bridgeen Butler from the Old Church Centre on email@example.com
The Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is keen to hear your ideas and suggestions for new events and performances to expand the heritage, arts and community activity in the Old Church Centre.
We are also looking for those with vision, time and a willingness to help and enrol as volunteers. Without the generosity, commitment and drive of our volunteers to date, none of this fantastic work could happen.
Each and everyone’s contribution adds value and will support the continuing growth of Cushendun as a growing cultural, arts and tourist destination, bringing much needed social and economic benefit to the village.
If you would like to discuss volunteering opportunities or event/activity ideas, contact Bridgeen, the Old Church Centre administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cushendun Big Arts Weekend 2019 has been hailed as a tremendous success. Hundreds of people attended the interesting, entertaining and varied array of activities that made up this year’s programme.
Historic talks, heritage walks, music, dance, song, art, games and performances , Big Arts Weekend 2019 really had something for everyone with venues packed to capacity, leaving a few disappointed people unable to grab a last-minute seat at the event of their choice.
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust (CBPT) had worked hard for many months to plan, book, programme, co-ordinate and raise funds to deliver such an amazing event. This is the 7th year of the Festival and it has grown in popularity and ambition each year.
CBPT wish to thank all those that contributed to this year’s success – this includes the facilitators and performers and all those that assisted with catering, parking, ticket sales, setting up venues, supervision of activities, and supporting the event management team in so many other ways.
Tremendous support was received from the local community. A special thanks to the National Trust for their generous permission to use Glenmora House and grounds as our Festival hub. And lastly a very big thanks to the Heritage Lottery fund and Causeway Coast and Glen’s Borough Councils Festival fund, without whose support we would have been unable to host this ambitious programme.
Its time now to take a short breather before starting to plan Big Arts Weekend 2020. The Old Church Centre will be a welcome additional venue and performance space for future festivals, as well as providing the opportunity to offer additional events and activities throughout the year. Please watch the website for details of upcoming events.