Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Wigtownshire Creamery in Ballymoney, 1899

These old cream jars are brilliant and well-known examples of Ulster-Scots 'material culture'. The Wigtownshire Creamery Company was founded in the Scottish port of Stranraer in 1888 and had been exporting their successful product into Ulster for at least a decade before they decided to expand their operation across the water.

They selected the famous 'Coo Toon' of Ballymoney for a brand new purpose built facility in 1899, and opened on 16 July 1900. It was a two storey building made of Ballycastle brick. The company had done their homework and found that within a four mile radius there were 3500 milk cows, a perfect supply chain. The firm acquired ground from the Earl of Antrim, beside the new Belfast and Northern Counties railway station for optimum distribution efficiency, near Meeting House Street and Rodden Foot (which was later Anglicised to 'Rodeing Foot').

At the opening event, the company's owner, Robert Young, laid out a grand vision to the gathered press. He said that the pasture in Co Antrim was better than in Scotland, and that their butter products "commands the highest price on the market".

• The pic below shows workers from the Creamery, and is from Ballymoney Museum's Facebook page.