Border Reivers family links to be celebrated
The Ulster-Scots Agency was recently invited to the
Hawick Reivers Festival in the Borders area of Scotland to launch
two new ‘Scots Legacy’ leaflets.
Exploring the origins of the Ulster-Scots will be the
subject of a new range of free leaflets from The Ulster-Scots
Chief Executive George Patton said: “The affinity
and links between Ulster-Scots and Scots is well documented but it
was great to see the Border Reivers contribution to life in Scotland
celebrated with a cultural weekend that all the family could enjoy.”
“The Schomberg Society of Kilkeel, Co Down, is
holding a Reivers festival this summer and the possibilities for a
joint cultural celebration has been discussed.
The story of the Scots in Ulster has been going on
for 300 years and it has been a two-way process that continues until
The first two leaflets from the ‘Scots Legacy’
feature the story of the historic Ulster tartan and the origins of
the kilt and the Border Reivers (the full text of The Border Reivers
leaflet is carried in this issue).
The Border Reivers were fierce, fighting folk who
plundered and raided along the Border areas of Scotland and England.
As part of the Plantation, some families were
banished to parts of Ulster, such as Fermanagh, while others fled
here to escape the persecution in their native Scotland.
Thousands of people living in Northern Ireland and
the border counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal still bear the
family names of Reivers.
You just have to take a look at the BT Northern
Ireland phone book to see how prolific the Reiver descendents are
here with names such as Elliot, Armstrong, Beattie, Bell, Hume,
Heron, to name but a few.
The Border Reivers Festival organised by the
Schomberg Society will be taking place in Kilkeel this July amidst a
range of entertainers and performers.
Organiser Maynard Hanna has put together a brilliant
provisional programme of events that’s sure to put Kilkeel on the
map – again!
Maynard accompanied an Ulster-Scots Agency delegation
to the Reivers Festival, in Hawick, Scotland, recently and came away
determined to make the Kilkeel Reivers festival a major local event.
The event is funded by DARD/Mournes Heritage Trust,
The Ulster-Scots Agency and Diversity Challenges.
The festival will play host to musicians from
Scotland, Londonderry and those closer to the mountains of Mourne.
Kirknarra School of Dance will be providing Scottish
Highland dancing at numerous venues throughout the festival while
Gareth Fulton will be in attendance for a light hearted evening of
crack supported by special guests ‘Addiction.’
The Schomberg Fife and Drum pageant will depict King
William 3rd and the Duke of Schomberg, King Williams’
The pageant will also feature the Williamite soldiers
and an Army Battle Train as it finds it way through the town.
Several open-air concerts have been organised
featuring musicians such as ‘Hollow’, champion Highland piper Robert
Watt, accordionist Emma Culbertson, World Champion drummer Mark
Wilson and the acclaimed ‘Fiddlesteeks’ Fiddle Orchestra from
Those from a little further afield will also be
giving performances, dubbed ‘a show not to be missed’ will be
Beggar’s Row from Scotland who will be playing live on stage and the
Reivers Tartan Night Out. Also performing, in his blue suede shoes
will be Gary Gibson in his show Elvis: ‘Night Fever’, which will
include music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
There will be fun for the kids throughout the
festival with the Tommy Ticklemouse Kids Show, face painting,
balloon modelling and a toddlers’ fun fair. A teddy bear’s picnic
(bring your own picnic) and clowns and a magic show will also be
And for those who want to party hard, ‘The Good Old
Days’ senior citizens night out promises to be a night not to be
A series of exhibitions will also run throughout the
week – a free art exhibition in Reives House, an Ulster-Scots
cooking demonstration by Rev ‘Big Jim’ Mattison in Reivers House and
a joint exhibition from the Ulster-Scots Agency and the Ulster-Scots
Heritage council, also in Reivers House.
The festival will come to a close with a Lambeg Drum
workshop and display followed by the annual Lambeg Drumming
Competition held in the Lower Square in Kilkeel. The finale will be
at Hanna’s Close where all are invited to a Bar-B-Q and hoolie to
close the week’s proceedings.
Saturday 10th July
Tommy Ticklemouse Kids Show – Vogue Cinema – 1pm –
The Schomberg Fife and Drum Pageant – Leaves Graham’s Garage – 8pm
Party of Esteem – Open air concert – 9pm
Monday 12th July
‘The Twelfth’ in Kilkeel
Tuesday 13th July
The ‘Good Old Days’ – Senior Citizens Night Out – 8pm
Wednesday 14th July
Country and Town Afternoon – Festival Field, Mountain
Road, Kilkeel – 12 noon – 5.30pm
Open Air Ulster-Scots Concert – Cranfield Beach, Ameracam Car Park –
Thursday 15th July
Children’s Fun Day – Festival Field, Mountain Road,
Kilkeel, 2pm – 4.30pm
Beggar’s Row – Festival Field, Mountain Road, Kilkeel – 8pm
Friday 16th July
Reivers Day – Festival Field, Mountain Road, Kilkeel,
2pm – 5pm
Elvis ‘Night Fever’ – Festival Field, Mountain Road, Kilkeel – 8pm –
Saturday 17th July
Schomberg Fife and Drum Lambeg Workshop and Drum
Display – Reivers House, Kilkeel – 12 noon – 4.30pm
Annual Lambeg Drumming Competition – Lower Square, Kilkeel – 7.30pm
Bar-b-q and Hoolie – Hanna’s Close, Kilkeel – 8pm