Edited by Adrian G. Hanna. "GI0SMU"   Please bookmark this page .

        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 and click on "reload" to refresh the page.

Some of the Historical Societys membership.
From left to right.
Eddie Bell : Desmond Mackie : Desmond Rainey : Len Ball : Liz McCullough : Robert Bennett (Deceased) : David McDonald : Marion Hanna : Don Johnson :
Insert Thats Me.

        One of the aims of Comber Historical Society is to preserve and record the history of Comber by noting all historical documents, artefacts, photographs and audio-video material relating to the town.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 :-
<comberhistory@hotmail.co.uk> or <combernexus@gmail.com>
       Don't worry about spelling or grammar my machine can cope with most of the bloomers. If I didn't have a decent word processor I too would be in trouble. Even handwritten notes could be typed up if the researchers can find the time and you can find one of those old things they call a pencil, even a pen will do. Drawings too can be used and old maps

Comber Historical Society

For further details contact:
Elizabeth McCullough (Hon., Secretary) (028) 97521014
  • The 2023 Programme is still being devised

    Done and dusted. Here is a brief report :-
    The CHS trip to Whitehead Railway Museum. 25 Members made their way by glider, train and car. All using their smart OAP passes. On arrival scones and coffee before the guided tour of the workshops and restoration sheds. The museum is really well laid out and features many interesting exhibits including trains and carriages as well as a signal box. We even got a chance to change all the signals. Everyone seemed to enjoy their visit. Desmond Mackie

    Some of the CHS visitors to the Signal Box.

    The web editor is Adrian Hanna. I can be contacted at the address shown below.
              Anyone using G-Mail address will find that new security restrictions introduced by Goooogle (22May2022) may stop messages from the Adrian address above and many others not within the G-mail family. I will be giving up various web sites and retracting into a more private and less stressful life because of my age and ill health. Anyone who thinks they can take over this web site I will give them FREE LESSONS until they feel confident to take over. Web Editing is an excellent profession and anyone who can master it can make a small fortune.   Whilst the lessons are free the actual price is that you take over this Comber History web site subject to the approval of the Society's Membership.
      The main researchers for this web site are
    1. Desmond Rainey on 028 9187 8482 or email :- <comberhistory@hotmail.co.uk>
    2. Len Ball only contactable through Desmond or Adrian.

    Officers for 2022.
    ChairpersonDesmond Mackey
    SecretaryLiz McCullough
    TreasurerMartin Perry
    Press OfficerBilly McCullough
    Web EditorAdrian Hanna
    AuditorTerry Needham
    The Committee Desmond Rainey
    Len Ball
    Marion Hanna
    Hill Wilson
    Susan McCullough
    Don Johnston
    All elected unanimously.

    Honorary Life MemberMrs Kathleen Coulter (Deceased)

    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.

    It is sad to report that several long standing members of the Historical Society recently passed away. .
    May they rest in peace.

    Kathleen Coulter

    Robert Bennett

    Chris Griffith

    Barry Millar

    This is roughly the area covered by Comber Historical Society.
    It would not be prudent to extend our reach into areas covered by other Historical Groups.


    BEST Screen Resolution is ≅ Width: 1280 pixels x Height: 720 pixels.