Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ballyeasborough LOL 1310, September 1912

The Ulster Covenant wasn't signed in Portavogie. Surprising as that might seem today, back then it was a tiny place. Maps of the early 1800s show only a handful of small houses scattered along the coastline, but no village as such. Descriptions of County Down of the late 1800s don't even mention Portavogie; the 1911 census shows that all of the other Peninsula villages had larger populations. There wasn't even a Presbyterian church in Portavogie until 1926, the same year that the People's Hall was founded, however the Orange Lodge in the village can trace its roots back to 1797 (see website here). The local parish church was (and still is) out in the countryside - St Andrew's Church at Ballyeasborough had been built in 1850 - it is literally at the end of our road. I went to Ballyeasborough Primary School (which was turned into a house years ago and is now for sale). Just up the brae a bit was Ballyeasborough Orange Hall, which was also turned into a house many years back. Below is a report of the pre-Ulster Day discussions at the Orange Lodge. In the end, 257 men and 240 women signed the Covenant and the Declaration at Ballyeasborough.