'Don't be cruel'. Elvis fans upset at vigil charge

Elvis Presley fans are angry they are having to pay to show their respects to their hero at his Graceland mansion on the 40th anniversary of his death.

The Lammas Fair in Ballycastle

Everything you want to know about Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle O

Ballycastle is gearing up for the ‘tourist invasion’ that is the Ould (or Auld or Oul’) Lammas Fair at the end of August.

The Catch

There’s more history than you can imagine on heritage walking tour

With our Brexit border controls and customs arrangements currently under constant debate it’s purely coincidental that Portadown’s famous customs-guru Sir Robert Hart is mentioned in the town’s recently launched heritage tours.

Bundoran Junction Station. Early 1950s

Why the golden age of steam may be gone but is definitely not forgotten

Apart from a weekly survey of the supermarket shelves for my now virtually obligatory Sunday roast-chicken, I’m not a bird-watcher!

Dr Samuel Curran

Ulster-born husband and Welsh wife invented wartime technology

On the recurring anniversaries of significant events and battles of two world wars, along with honouring those who died, the commemorations highlight the Allies’ unimaginable heroism on land, sea and air.

Andrea Spencer and Scott Benefield at Work.

Month-long celebration of art and craftwork that’s made in Ulster

August has just begun, named after the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar - from the Latin ‘augustus’, meaning auspicious or venerable.

The vandalised Geddes window

Vandals wreck historic window by 
stained-glass artist from Belfast

Yesterday in 1935 Belfast’s internationally acclaimed stained-glass artist Wilhelmina Geddes updated her diary in her Fulham studio in London.


Motorway service stations were born in a German chemist’s shop in 1888

This is your current Roamer’s 750th page, a grand total achieved predominantly with information gleaned (or plagiarised!) from readers’ letters, notes and messages about a breathtakingly wide variety of subjects.

The Welsh Red Dragon Memorial at the scene of the Battle of Mametz.

Three poignant places where the past is recalled and commemorated

Roamer’s page today embarks on a trio of memorable journeys through time and place, each signposted by a reader’s much-appreciated letter.

Basilica de Saint Feliu (left of picture) and Catedral de Girona seen from the River Onyar.

Beautiful Catalan city of Girona has more than a few links with Ireland

One of Northern Ireland’s best-known narratives and greatest legacies is the Girona, the doomed Spanish Armada galleass which foundered on our rocky coastline in 1588.

Asenath Nicholson

Gripping accounts of Irish famine by lone-walking American woman

My first ever hero was the medical missionary, anti-slavery crusader and explorer David Livingstone.

Petrol shortage! Where was this photograph taken?

Miscellany of messages on medical matters and medal from Mackies

Today I’m sharing some readers’ notes and messages that have been gathering in Roamer’s mailbox, including a wonderful WWII photograph from regular contributor Selwyn Johnston.

Woodbine Willie. WWI Army Chaplain Rev G. A. Studdert-Kennedy.

Anniversaries with connections to Irish poet, Duke and American ranger

Amidst our current Brexit negotiations the 18th of June has just passed but 202 years ago it was ‘the day that decided Europe’s fate’ according to most historians.

Clara Schumann and her piano

Tale of the talking piano that sailed from Germany to Irealnd in 1862

News Letter readers who grew up in the 1950s might remember listening in childhood wonderment to Sparky’s Magic Piano on an old and probably wood-encased wireless.

Treasure Chest reportedly used by Captain Kidd in Museum in St. Augustine, Florida

Roamer: Did Maghera man know the way to a hidden trove?

Pirates have always featured very highly in our collective imagination, mostly fuelled by books from our childhood such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Railway History re-happens. Jimmy Donnelly (left) and David Crone (behind).

New life for 124-year-old signal box that’s been in three Ulster counties

Most little boys back in the 1950ss had a train-set.


First time Protestant and Catholic fought side by side in World War I

Today is the centenary of one of most apocalyptic Allied attacks on the German lines during WWI - the Battle of Messines Ridge in West Flanders, Belgium.

Father Byles twice refused his place on Titanic's lifeboats

Titanic anniversary highlights priest’s heroism

The world was in awe of Belfast last Wednesday in 1911. Never in the history of mankind had such a huge tonnage of shipping been afloat in a harbour at one time. And it was all home-made!

The expression in their eyes caught me. Shell Shock, by Leslie Nicholl.

‘Eyes show the shared horrors of Protestant and Catholic soldiers’

I had to come, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know where to be, I don’t know what to do” - the heartrending words of heartbroken Charlotte Campbell, the grieving mother of 15-year-old Olivia Campbell, speaking at a vigil for the dead and injured, including her beloved daughter, in the Manchester suicide-bomb.

Father John Sullivan

Portora priest put pebbles in his only pair of shoes to make them fit better

Early one summer morning in 1925 a kitchen-maid from a Cork convent slipped on her wellington boots, as was her daily routine, and plodded off with a wicker basket to the convent’s vegetable garden for greens for lunch.

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