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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - Aug/Sep 2004
Border Reivers

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 Agency.

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 today.

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’ senior commander. 

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 Markethill. 

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 held.

And for those who want to party hard, ‘The Good Old Days’ senior citizens night out promises to be a night not to be forgotten.

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 – 5pm
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 – 11pm

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 – 8pm

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 – 12pm

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

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