Category Archives: Summer Activity Schedule

We Made A Video Of The Plantation Rap!


At our Plantation Party in August (you can find more out about this here ), young film-maker, Daniel Gough, recorded some of the highlights of the day. He turned the highlights of that day into a short film (the one above!)

The film shows some of the rehearsals of our Plantation Rap and a short performance at the end.

We achieved all this in less than 2 hours : so the young people involved can be really proud of themselves!

Plantation Rocks!

Local Heritage Team Gets Ready To Go To Press!


The project team learn the professional tricks of the publishing trade!

The project team learn the professional tricks of the publishing trade!

The 1613 And All That! Project team from Focus on Family have had a very busy summer writing their book about the Coleraine Plantation.

“After all our visits to local heritage sites and our trip to London at the beginning of the summer, it was then time to start writing our book,” said Sally Cupples, a key member of Ballysally’s very own Time Team.

“We all wrote something for the book, we all did a bit of research too and I took most of the pictures,” explained Lauren Cupples, the official team photographer . Keen young artist, Ellen Millican, supplied some illustrations too.

This group of local history enthusiasts is being helped by Dr Bob Curran. He is acting as the historical consultant in the book-writing phase of this exciting project which is being generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Over the past couple of weeks, the project team has been working closely with Milne Rowntree of the School of Media, Film and Journalism at UlsterUniversity. Working with the university has been an important part of the book-writing process. The team learned about professional page design and some of the technical aspects of publishing a book.

“We really appreciated the fabulously warm welcome given to us by both Milne and Dr Colm Murphy, Head of School,” said Jane Talbot, the Project Co-ordinator.

The Ballysally-based team is now busy “tidying up” the book ready to submit to the printers. “We’re aiming to have an official launch event in early December – so our next steps are all about planning and marketing the launch. We don’t get to take our foot off the pedal!” exclaimed Sally.

If you want to find out more about the 1613 And All That Project! you can visit their website here


Press Release 5 : Plantation Rocks!


The Plantation Party is in full swing!

The Plantation Party is in full swing!

On August the 14th, 30 young people from the Coleraine area got together at the North Coast Integrated College to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the granting of the town’s Royal charter in an exciting way!

 Young people from NCIC, St Joseph’s, Coleraine College and Dunluce High School were invited to join a “Plantation Party”. The event formed part of a Summer Scheme programme organised by Lorna Gough, Education Community Development Worker.

The day provided an opportunity to get involved in all sorts of inspiring activities that were designed to help gain an insight into the story of the Coleraine Plantation.

The programme, generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, kicked off with a presentation about the history of the Plantation . This presentation was designed and delivered by the 1613 And All That! Project Team ~a community heritage project based at Focus on Family in Ballysally.

 Next up, Dr Bob Curran helped the young people to explore the realities of life in the seventeenth century.

The rapping crew are rocking!

The rapping crew are rocking!

 The rest of the day had fabulous appeal for those with an artistic interest or a talent for performance. Some of the group spent time creating “bricks” for a seventeenth century graffiti wall, whilst the rest of the group rehearsed and performed a Horrible Histories-style rap about the Plantation.

 Lorna will continue to work with the young artists to create a final version of the graffiti wall for an exhibition later in the year. Meanwhile, camera man Danny Gough (who was ably assisted by his brother Lewis) is putting the final editorial touches to a video of the rap.

“It was fabulous working with the young people on the rap,” said Jane, Project Co-ordinator for 1613 And All That! “They were extremely creative : they made some great suggestions and brought really positive energy to the activity.”

Getting word perfect!

Getting word perfect!

If you want to learn more about the 1613 And All That! Project, please visit their website

Press Release 4 : Ballysally Heritage Team Makes The London Connection!

The group take a tour of the Mansion House!

The group take a tour of the Mansion House!

“The 1613 And all That!” project team is coming back to earth after a fabulous heritage trip to London at the end of June.

The Ballysally-based project, generously supported by both the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Irish Society,  aims to explore the story of the Coleraine Plantation. The trip to London was all about bringing the links between London and Coleraine to life.

“It was a fabulous experience from start to finish!” said Sammy-Jo, a key project member. “Not only did we get to see places that we’d only heard about up until now but we also had a whole heap of new experiences that have opened up new avenues of possibility for us!” she enthused.

Navigating their way through Heathrow airport and negotiating London’s notorious “Tube” were all part of a day’s work for this intrepid bunch who boldly went where many Plantation historians would love to venture over the course of 3 days.

Sammy-Jo and Lauren take their own evening tour!

Sammy-Jo and Lauren take their own evening tour!

Accompanied by local historian, Dr Bob Curran, the budding researchers (who would give Time Team a run for their money!) checked out the Museum of London, the Clothworkers’ Livery Hall, the Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, Guildhall, an evening Gresham Lecture about the Plantation and the London Metropolitan Archives.

“It was lovely that the Lord Mayor was in residence – and remembered us from the photoshoot at Cloonavin,” said Elaine (whose daughter is the project illustrator) “And John Davies ,who gave us a private guided tour of the Mansion House, was really funny and engaging!” she went on to say.

“The warm welcome by Kathryn , the archivist, at the Clothworkers’ Hall was lovely. She told us all about the Clothworkers’ Company and then gave us a guided tour of the opulent hall – including seeing the actual signature of James 1st!” said Sally, a natural historian with an incredible eye for detail.

The Guildhall tour was led by Rob Jeffries. “He was so enthusiastic and he really made sure that his tour was relevant to our project. As we looked upwards in the Great Hall and saw all the crests of the Livery Companies, it was like being transported back to the very beginning of the story!” exclaimed Lauren, the project photographer (who had a definite “love- at- first- sight” experience with London!)

Lauren checks out documents at the Clothworkers' Hall

Lauren checks out documents at the Clothworkers’ Hall

After their tour of Guildhall, the group were looked after by Candya Farmer of The Honourable, The Irish Society . “We were so glad to see Candya on Wednesday afternoon! We were exhausted and we really appreciated a good London cuppa!” said Jane, the Project Co-ordinator. “We can’t thank Candya Farmer and Edward Montgomery from the Irish Society enough for their support. Candya gave lots of brilliant advice about organising our itinerary and the wonderful grant we received allowed us to see very special places and experience a once-in-a-lifetime window on our own heritage,” Jane went on to say.

After taking in the evening Gresham Lecture in the Old Library at the Guildhall (delivered by Professor Ian Archer about the early years of the Plantation), there were big smiles all around as a very big penny dropped. “We know this stuff!” exclaimed Sally.

The group’s final day was spent with Howard Doble at the London Metropolitan Archives. They saw transcripts of the Coleraine Charter, maps and very old books which gave the team a really good feel of what life was like in Coleraine at the time of the Plantation. “We went into a special room where documents and books are restored. It was a real privilege to see “behind closed doors”. I love maps and the intricacy of the artwork – I could have spent days in that room!” added Elaine.

Rob guides the group through Guildhall!

Rob guides the group through Guildhall!

The project team are now back at base at Focus on Family in Ballysally. “We’ve our sleeves rolled up for a full-on summer of activity : writing our book , developing a heritage presentation to take on tour and working with Ulster University to learn all about professional publishing!” exclaimed the Project Co-ordinator.

For more information about the project – or to get involved – visit or email here or call Jane, the Project Co-ordinator, here 028 7032 9550 Irish Society coat of arms, colour, jpg

Our Summer “What’s On” Guide!


We're getting ready to publish a book!

We’re getting ready to publish a book!

Over the summer , we will be spending time developing materials for our book, thinking about layout and design ~  and preparing for our trip to the University of Ulster.

Heritage Tuesdays @ Focus On Family “Heritage Tuesdays” will run 10am – 1pm on Tuesdays throughout the summer (unless Focus on Family  is closed ). These sessions will be facilitated by Bob Curran (local historian) and/or  Jane Talbot (Project Co-ordinator).

Sessions will run on the following dates :

16th July
23rd July
30th July
6th August
13th August
20th August

On Wednesday 21st August 10am-4pm there will be a special  1-day event to make our final preparations for the trip to Ulster University.

Learning How The Professionals Do It!

By the end of the summer we will have learned ALOT and created ALOT of material for our book! Now we will be ready to learn the technical aspects of publishing a book with the help of our friends at Ulster University. Here’s what’s happening:

Tuesday 27th August : Storyboarding Our Book

We are going to learn some professional techniques for structuring our book in a way which tells the story of the Coleraine Plantation in a way that reflects the spirit of our project AND connects with all those who will be reading our book. This is a fun, creative and challenging process which will put all our teamwork skills into action!

Pick-up from Focus on Family at 9:30am , returning at 4:30pm

Tuesday 3rd September and Tuesday 10th September : Design And Production Days

Based on our storyboard for our book, we are going to try our hand at professional page design (we’ll be using print-industry standard techniques!). By the end of these 2 days, we’ll have enough material to hand onto our printers to ensure the final design and printing of a book that reflects all the fabulous work we have done over the life of the project.

Pick-up from Focus on Family at 9:30am , returning at 4:30pm on each day.