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FLHS Members Visit Banbridge On Second Trip - 10 September 2011
by Larry Breen, FLHS

Quaker Graveyard, MoyallanAfter the very successful joint North/South visit to Banbridge in July it was decided due to popular demand to organise a second trip for those members who missed out on the earlier visit. This was on Saturday 10th. Sept. The day's itinerary was basically similar to the first trip but with a few added extras.

After tea/coffee and scones at the F.E Mc Williams Gallery the group had a chance to view the impressive gallery and outside gardens before setting off on a tour of the Banbridge and district. This time however the group were afforded the chance of a visit to the very impressively restored Stramore House courtesy of the present owners, the Watson Family. It was a unique opportunity to see inside the house which had been beautifully restored to much of its former glory. It was a memorable visit much enhanced by the fact that the house was also a home lived in by the owners and that made it somewhat special.

Stanmore HouseStanmore House
Stanmore House

This time the visitors were able to access the inside of Moyallon Quaker Meeting hall and see at first hand how the community practiced their worship. The coach tour included a visit to Gilford to see St. John's Catholic Church and then on to Drumballyroney and the Bronte Interpretative Centre.
Holy Trinity Church of IrelandHoly Trinity Church of Ireland
Holy Trinity Church of Ireland

The final port of call was the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland Church and parish hall where the visitors were given a very warm welcome and great hospitality by the local parishioners who provided a wonderful array of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee. An added bonus was a chance to see the inside of this beautiful church with its impressive ornate alter and beautiful stain glass windows. Adrian Howlett, Chairman of the Banbridge Historical Society joined the group and welcomed the visitors to his home town on behalf of all its members.

The happy wanderers left Banbridge after another memorable visit with special thanks to the organisers, Doreen Mc Bride and Jason Diamond for all their hard work, warm welcome and excellent guidance during the day.