Norman Kerr’s private museum Bann Valley Heritage opens to public for Air Ambulance NI fundraiser

A Banbridge man is to open his private museum, which houses an early prototype of Porfessor Frank Pantridge’s portable defibrillator, to the public for one day only.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 7:14 am

Norman Kerr’s collection known as Bann Valley Heritage has been built up over 80 years and is usually only available for private groups.

However next Saturday (August 13) from 10am until 4pm, he will open the doors at 29 Drumnascamph Road, Laurencetown, to raise funds for the Air Ambulance NI.

Born in 1940, Norman Kerr has built up an impressive collection of items from a bygone era throughout his life.

Bann Valley Heritage is usually only available for private groups, but on 13 August, Norman Kerr (pictured) will open the doors at 29 Drumnascamph Road, Laurencetown, to raise funds for the Air Ambulance NI. Edward Byrne Photography.

A few years ago, Norman pulled thousands of items together in one place, building a shed on his family farm to display everything and naming it Bann Valley Heritage.

One of the key pieces includes an early prototype of the portable defibrillator invented by Professor Frank Pantridge, powered by a car battery. The device helped Professor Pantridge create a much lighter version that has saved millions of people in the last five decades.

The ‘Everyday Life’ displays show everything from an old-style vacuum cleaner to a manual dentist drill dating back to the late 1880s.

In the ‘Irish Linen’ section Norman has a massive collection of some of the machines used in the process that helped to turn the flax grown in the fields on farms like his.

Norman also has had a keen interest in Irish-born inventor Herry Ferguson and guests will be able to take a look at his 15 models.