Glimpses of our Past: through the eyes of Sam Henry

Glimpses of our Past: through the eyes of Sam Henry

Tue, November 13, 2018

The Sam Henry collection is the inspiration behind an evening with The Causeway Yarn Spinners on Thursday 29th November in Kilrea Town Hall.

The group will share their knowledge of the local folklorist with photographs, poetry, songs, diary entries and stories.

The Causeway Yarn Spinners have been participating in the Sam Henry: Connecting with the Past, Collecting for the Future project with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Coleraine Museum and Quarto.

This project, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and administrated by the Museum Association, has enabled groups across the Borough to explore the Sam Henry Collection, focusing on what they are interested in and then sharing the collection with others.

Highlights on the night will include a presentation exploring Sam’s passion for ornithology and a piece of new prose revealing his life as told by his diary entries. The group have also been inspired and influenced by the vast collection of photographs in Sam’s archive and will reflect this with personal poem performances and solo singing.

For those who may not know, Sam Henry (1878-1952), from Coleraine, worked as a Pensions and Excise Officer, but was also an avid folklorist, historian, photographer, ornithologist, naturalist, genealogist and musician. Through his work he formed relationships with an older generation and recorded aspects of their lives that are now all but forgotten. “In my contact with the old, who have all now passed away,” he wrote, “I had the rare privilege of sharing their folk lore and their old songs.”

Sam Henry is perhaps best known for his ‘Songs of the People’ series which ran in the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1938. Together, Sam’s archive and publications contain well over 850 traditional songs, including several sets of (often humorous) alternative lyrics to well-known tunes.

Everyone is very welcome to attend this free event at 7.30pm at Kilrea Town Hall to find out more about Sam Henry and his collection.