THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of December 1950

Time for a break: Mrs Rosemary Getty of Steeple Road, Kells, and her daughter Karen left, and neice, Elizabeth McAllister, take a break for refreshments at the Winter Fair at the King's Hall in December 1988. Picture: Trevor Dickson/Farming Life/News Letter archivesTime for a break: Mrs Rosemary Getty of Steeple Road, Kells, and her daughter Karen left, and neice, Elizabeth McAllister, take a break for refreshments at the Winter Fair at the King's Hall in December 1988. Picture: Trevor Dickson/Farming Life/News Letter archives
Time for a break: Mrs Rosemary Getty of Steeple Road, Kells, and her daughter Karen left, and neice, Elizabeth McAllister, take a break for refreshments at the Winter Fair at the King's Hall in December 1988. Picture: Trevor Dickson/Farming Life/News Letter archives
Electric lights for Islandmagee

There were high hopes in December 1950 that Islandmagee in Co Antrim would soon, literally, see the light with the extension of electricity to the area by March 1951.

The news came at a meeting in Kilcoan Primary School, Islandmagee, under the auspices of the Islandmagee branch of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, at which the area manager for the Northern Ireland Electricity Board, reported that the electrification of Islandmagee was to be “proceeded with immediately”.

He said that: “If everything went according to plan, the work will be completed by March, 1951.”

Shakespearian actor Roy Purcell, right, with Lord Mayor Nigel Dodds and members of the Royal Ulster Rifles Association at Belfast's City Hall in December, where they gathered to lay a wreath in memory of those who died at the battle of Stormberg on December 10, 1899, in South Africa during the Boer War. Mr Purcell was awarded the Military Cross while serving in the Ulster Rifles in Normandy during the Second World War. Picture: News Letter archivesShakespearian actor Roy Purcell, right, with Lord Mayor Nigel Dodds and members of the Royal Ulster Rifles Association at Belfast's City Hall in December, where they gathered to lay a wreath in memory of those who died at the battle of Stormberg on December 10, 1899, in South Africa during the Boer War. Mr Purcell was awarded the Military Cross while serving in the Ulster Rifles in Normandy during the Second World War. Picture: News Letter archives
Shakespearian actor Roy Purcell, right, with Lord Mayor Nigel Dodds and members of the Royal Ulster Rifles Association at Belfast's City Hall in December, where they gathered to lay a wreath in memory of those who died at the battle of Stormberg on December 10, 1899, in South Africa during the Boer War. Mr Purcell was awarded the Military Cross while serving in the Ulster Rifles in Normandy during the Second World War. Picture: News Letter archives

Other speakers included Mr W W B Topping, KC, MP, Mr G E Dunlop, Ulster Transport Authority, the Reverend H H McClure, chairman of the local electricity committee, and Mr J D Templeton, the chairman of the local branch of the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

It was also decided that the group should communicate with the manager of the British Portland Cement Company at Magheramorne regarding “an alleged nuisance caused by cement dust at Islandmagee from the company’s works”.

Deep snow on Ulster hill roads

Heavy snow in parts of Northern Ireland had made some roads almost impassable this week in 1950 reported the News Letter.

Superintendent Bob Catterson, commander of the RUC's Belfast Mobile Support Unit, starts Dean The Very Reverend Jack Shearer's charity collection off with a £300 cheque outside St Anne's Cathedral in December 1998. The Dean told the News Letter: “You can stick the cold weather, but the wet windy days are the worst.” Mr Shearer was in his third year of collecting funds as the Black Santa, he was carrying on the annual tradition started by Dean Samuel Crooks, who pioneered the Christmas sit-out back in 1976. Picture: News Letter archivesSuperintendent Bob Catterson, commander of the RUC's Belfast Mobile Support Unit, starts Dean The Very Reverend Jack Shearer's charity collection off with a £300 cheque outside St Anne's Cathedral in December 1998. The Dean told the News Letter: “You can stick the cold weather, but the wet windy days are the worst.” Mr Shearer was in his third year of collecting funds as the Black Santa, he was carrying on the annual tradition started by Dean Samuel Crooks, who pioneered the Christmas sit-out back in 1976. Picture: News Letter archives
Superintendent Bob Catterson, commander of the RUC's Belfast Mobile Support Unit, starts Dean The Very Reverend Jack Shearer's charity collection off with a £300 cheque outside St Anne's Cathedral in December 1998. The Dean told the News Letter: “You can stick the cold weather, but the wet windy days are the worst.” Mr Shearer was in his third year of collecting funds as the Black Santa, he was carrying on the annual tradition started by Dean Samuel Crooks, who pioneered the Christmas sit-out back in 1976. Picture: News Letter archives

Meanwhile, in other areas a thin layer of ice made the surface “very dangerous”.

In Counties Fermanagh and Londonderry main roads had coverings of up to six inches of snow.

The road from Fivemiletown to Enniskillen via Tempo could only be negotiated with difficulty. In the Omagh district, “going was slow and difficult along the main roads”.

High winds had caused snow drifts of more than two feet on the following roads, the Genshane Pass, Maghera and the road connecting Limavady, Mascosquin and Coleraine.

Pictured in December 1988 is two year old Mark Dodds helps his father, Nigel Dodds, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, put a differeny stamp on the traditional City Hall ceremony of posting early for Christmas, with the collective help of district head postmaster Stan Craig and postman Freddie Fisher. Picture: News Letter archivesPictured in December 1988 is two year old Mark Dodds helps his father, Nigel Dodds, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, put a differeny stamp on the traditional City Hall ceremony of posting early for Christmas, with the collective help of district head postmaster Stan Craig and postman Freddie Fisher. Picture: News Letter archives
Pictured in December 1988 is two year old Mark Dodds helps his father, Nigel Dodds, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, put a differeny stamp on the traditional City Hall ceremony of posting early for Christmas, with the collective help of district head postmaster Stan Craig and postman Freddie Fisher. Picture: News Letter archives

The News Letter reported: “Motorists were strongly advised to avoid these mountainous routes and to carry chains if they had to use them.”

The paper added: “Showers of rain, sleet or snow, which may become more continuous later, are forecast for Ulster today. There will be strong north-west winds, which may reach gale force before moderating. It will remain cold.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.