The people of Comber, its Industry,
its Characters and people of action
in photographic form.
A new book just released
The sad passing of
Britains greatest Jazz Singer.
Comber Audio Trail
COMBER TOWN SQUARE
as it used to be.
THE TITANIC CONNECTION
New Information and links
Read Norman Nevin's unpublished
history of Comber, prefaced by a
foreword by Erskine Willis.
Jim Gracey's comprehensive
Directory of Comber
is available now as a 30mb PDF file.
A Taste of Old Comber
A good read by Len Ball &
ISBN1 - 870132 - 06 - 08
COMBER HISTORICAL SOCIETY (CHS)
Welcome to the Website of Comber Historical Society. The Society was formed in 2000 and aims to preserve and record information relating to Comber and to make it available to all those with an interest in our town. Whether you are interested in the history of the town ? its people, places and events - or want to learn more about Comber as it is today, there will be something on the site for everybody. Please do get in touch with any comments and we'd be delighted to receive any old photographs or information you may have about Comber. This site will be regularly updated so please keep visiting.
You may wish to come along to meetings of Comber Historical Society. We meet on the second Monday of the month (September to April). at Comber Learning Centre, 1 Park Way Comber at 8.00 pm.
A donation of £3.00 per meeting is sought to help with costs
Some of the images to the left are clickable.
Check out the Comber Audio Trail ... Click on the picture to the left.
Comber Historical Society are presenting historical walks round “The Thomas Andrews Trail” on the following dates:-
Sunday 21 April 2.30pm
Thursday 6 June 7pm
Thursday 25 July 7pm
Sunday 15 September 2.30pm (to tie in with European Heritage Weekend).
Everyone welcome. Meet at the Gillespie Monument in the Square.
COMBER HSTORICAL SOCIETY
Comber Historical Society March Meeting "Observing Belfast"
On a bitterly cold day in March those present at the monthly meeting of Comber Historical Society were invited by the speaker, Mr Billy McCullough, to accompany him on a virtual walking tour, “Observing Belfast”. Instead of us going to Belfast, Billy brought Belfast to us via a series of photos of Belfast buildings. To piqué our interest and test our powers of observation, the photos were of particular features of the buildings which said something about their history, or were there simply to adorn them. Challenged to identify the buildings from the photos we had mixed success. Our virtual tour took us from the Irish Wolfhound on the Gallaghers building in York Street, under which generations of people passed to begin and end their working day (sadly no longer there). We passed the plaque outside Belfast’s oldest Roman Catholic Church giving the dates of building and rebuilding. In the Cathedral Quarter we saw the newly erected tablet marking the area’s clay product making history. The name of Burton, the famous men’s tailor, immortalised in stone, stood above us in Corn Market. The sculpted heads of Knox and Calvin directed their stony gaze on passers-by on the Castlereagh Road. The brightly coloured mosaic proclaiming, “Murray’s Tobacco”, retained when the building was refurbished for modern use, adds a touch of colour to Sandy Row. And there were many more. Billy’s objective was to encourage us not just to look at but to see the many iconic features on Belfast’s buildings. We all agreed that Billy had given us a very good start to do just that.
Don Johnston, on behalf of the Historical Society, thanked Billy for a very interesting and stimulating presentation.
The next meeting of the Comber Historical Society will be on Monday 8 April 2013 at 8.00 pm in the Learning Center , Parkway, Comber. Des Rainey will be the speaker and his topic is, “Comber Chronicles Revisited”. A charge of £3.00 is levied to cover expenses. All are invited and will be most welcome.
This section is constantly revised.
Comber Historical Society
Programme 2012 – 2013
Comber Historical Society meets in the Learning Centre, Park Way, Killinchy Street, Comber at 8 pm on the 2nd Monday in the month.
A £3 contribution includes Tea / Coffee / Biscuits.
|8th April Comber Chronicles Revisited. - Desmond Rainey
Spring outing to the Lagan Legacy Project to hear a talk entitled "The Sun Never Sets": Belfast Harbour and the Age of Empire given by Lee Lavis. The talk will be followed by a guided tour of the Museum and light refreshments. The bus will leave Park Way Car Park at 6.00 pm.
For further details contact:
Kathleen Coulter 02891 872621
Comar, meeting place of the waters ? that was the name given by the ancients to a settlement at the northwest corner of Strangford Lough at the confluence of the Enler and Glen Rivers. Today we call it Comber, famous for its spuds.
Nomadic hunter gatherers arrived here around 10,000 years ago. St Patrick followed in their footsteps and founded a monastery, but its fame was eclipsed by the medieval Cistercian Abbey. Today that has vanished, and St Mary?s Parish Church occupies the site. 1606 saw an influx of Scots under James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery. Among the newcomers were the ancestors of the Andrews family who brought much prosperity to Comber. By the late 18th century John, known as ?the great?, had established a linen bleach green, corn mills and a flour mill. In 1864 his grandson erected a flax spinning mill. Later members of the family include Thomas of Titanic fame and his elder brother John Miller, wartime prime minister.
Old Comber whiskey was produced at two distilleries in the town. Last distilling was in 1952, although the odd bottle is still available, at a price! Comber was also a railway junction, with steam trains chugging their way through for exactly 100 years from 1850. Today the long-awaited bypass runs along the route of the old track.
No visitor can fail to notice a tall monument in Comber?s Georgian Square. This commemorates Sir Robert Rollo Gillespie, who fought against the French and was killed while attempting to storm the fortress of Kalunga in Nepal in 1814. His reputed last words were ?One shot more for the honour of Down?. Another valiant soldier who made the supreme sacrifice was Edmund de Wind, awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918.
HOW YOU MAY CONTRIBUTE
One of the aims of Comber Historical Society is to preserve and record the history of Comber by noting all historical documents, artefacts, photographs and audio-video material relating to the town. We would be delighted if anyone who has any records or memories of Comber would get in touch.
Contact Desmond Rainey on 028 9187 8482 or email :-
NOTE FROM THE WEB EDITOR
The web editor is Adrian Hanna. I can be contacted at the address shown in the box below.
Should you wish to reproduce any material from this site, please credit Comber Historical Society.