Page 10 - Centenery History
P. 10

A note from the author





                feel honoured to have been entrusted with the task of researching
              I  and writing the history of Ballymena Festival since it first began in
              1916. My initial fears that there might not be enough material to fill
              a book quickly evaporated, and I became fascinated with the stories
              that emerged from newspaper archives, scrapbooks, photographs and
              personal narratives. My aim was not just to state the bald facts, but to
              portray the people who have made the festival happen year after year.
              Performers,  organisers,  adjudicators,  musicians,  volunteers  have  all
              combined to make Ballymena Festival what it is today. I also felt that
              it was important to describe how the festival works in 2016, not just as
              information for today’s readers, but for the benefit of those who come
              after us, to know who we were and what we did.
                I am very aware that as an amateur historian and a novice author,
              I will have made mistakes, I will have left out stories that might have
              been told, and I will have forgotten to name names. I apologise in
              advance.
                I have to thank the staff in the local studies department of Ballymena
              Library for all their assistance and encouragement. Thanks also to
              Ashleigh Kirkpatrick for her much-valued assistance in image research
              and information gathering. Andrew Murray, a 2  year history student
                                                         nd
              at UUC, helped me with research as part of his placement. Members
              of the Festival Committee tracked down potential contributors and
              helped with generating interest in the community. Special thanks go to
              Paddy Wallace and Irene Kingston whose enthusiasm helped to drive
              the project forward at the very beginning.
                I must also thank the publishers, Colourpoint Books, for their help
              and patience in guiding me through the publishing process.
                Publication of this book would not have been possible without the
              financial support of the ‘Sharing Heritage’ programme of the Heritage
              Lottery Fund. I have appreciated the guidance and advice given by their
              staff.
                I must pay tribute to my long-suffering husband, Sam, who has been
              very supportive of my endeavours. My daughters, Louise and Fiona,




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