New exhibition - Heydays and Holidays

Heydays and Holidays: New exhibition opens At Down County Museum
On 7th June,  Down County Museum opened a new exhibition on holidays and the development of seaside resorts in County Down.  Heydays and Holidays takes us back to the days when local seaside resorts saw the influx of thousands of visitors every summer.
County Down towns such as Newcastle, Bangor and Warrenpoint were ideally placed, both in terms of natural beauty and in facilities, to be the favoured destination of people from Belfast and beyond, seeking affordable and easily reached placed to enjoy their valued free time. The growth of the railways and the popularity of sea bathing saw these resorts grow and prosper with dozens of hotels, boarding houses, dance halls and amusement arcades built.

The exhibition traces the development of these resorts from their beginnings as ‘healthy’ places for invalids to recuperate from illness to the mass tourism destinations of the 1950s and 1960s. The local seaside resort went into a period of decline with the advent of cheap flights and the accessibility and cheapness of sunshine resorts in Spain and further afield, but today, with the popularity of the ‘staycation’, concerns about sustainability and the effect of air travel on the environment, the local resort is enjoying a new period of popularity.
The exhibition provides a wealth of detail the history of places such as Newcastle, Warrenpoint and Bangor with plenty of objects, photographs and documents on display.
The Vice-Chairman of Newry. Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Terry Andrews, said ‘This exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the history of our local seaside resorts and shows how important tourism was in the past as well as today. A visit to the exhibition is also a wonderful opportunity  to revisit memories holidays and days out we all enjoyed and  provides a great day out for families from grandparents to little ones. I would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy, Heydays and Holidays.’

Vice Chair of Newry Mourne and Down Council, Cllr. Terry Andrews with Peadar Curran Photographer and Technician Down County Museum (DCM), Linda McKenna Community Education Manager DCM, Cllr. Gareth Sharvin SDLP, Cllr. Hugh Gallagher SDLP, Arlene Matthews Keeper of Collections DCM.


Vice-Chair, Cllr. Terry Andrews with Blake Medwell, Lily Kennedy, Rubey Medwell and Felicity Kenedy at the Heydays and Holidays Launch enjoying the free Punch and Judy Show.

50-38-18_(1).jpgGuests at the exhibition launch enjoying a step back in time with a traditional cone of fish n' chips, 99 ice-cream and a stick of Down County Museum Rock.