Holywood Shared Town has undertaken a wide-ranging variety of projects in the local community.
Projects have improved the local environment, encouraged community participation and togetherness, increased local knowledge of history and provided opportunities for cultural and social engagement in the Town and surrounding areas.
Take a look below at some of our initiatives, past and present.
A film has been created telling the unique story of Redburn House and the eccentric Dunville family who lived there for over 70 years. As one commentator put it – ‘they were like Holywood’s royal family’.
The 45 minute film uses old and new footage, together with audio recordings of descendants of former staff at Redburn, together with many historic photographs. It highlights the history of the big house itself, the family who lived in it, and the lives of some of their thirty staff. Personal memories of the menagerie, including the famous bear and a pet lemur, along with the magnificent gardens, are just some of the attractions.
It is the cornerstone of a project initiated by Holywood Shared Town, a local charity, which successfully applied for a Community Heritage grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The film was put together by Conor Kelly, a videographer and editor for Weathered Productions and Solstice Visuals, based in Belfast. Conor said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed putting the film together and working towards the vision of the project, all the while learning about an interesting part of our local heritage’.
The film, entitled Redburn House and the Dunville Family can be viewed at this link. It can also be accessed from various Holywood Facebook pages and the Holywood u3a website. Clips from the full film will also be posted on social media. A limited number of DVDs of the film have also been produced for distribution to local schools and groups.
The film was premiered at the annual general meeting of Holywood u3a, on 23 April, to considerable acclaim.
The grant has also facilitated the reprinting of a free Community Guide to Redburn Country Park, (copies of which will shortly be available in Holywood Library) and the erection in due course of information panels showing historic images of Redburn House and gardens.
The film can also be directly accessed via a QR code, on the Guides and the panels.
Robin Masefield, a local historian and a director of Holywood Shared Town, who co-ordinated the project, said:
‘We were delighted to be given this award, on the strength of our imaginative application. It’s great to be able to combine both traditional and new technologies to bring the extraordinary story of the Dunvilles to new life. Thanks to this grant, we can reach out to new audiences in our community and help them better to understand the rich and varied heritage on our doorstep. Redburn House was demolished in 1972, and is now the site of Redburn Care Home, but the old footage and the fascinating reminiscences provide unique insights into a way of life long passed.
We are extremely grateful to all those who helped with the project and enabled the stories and other material to be shared with the wider public. We would be glad to hear from others who have recollections or historic photographs.’
Robin Masefield can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Community Heritage Fund, which the National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Department for Communities, helps people in Northern Ireland to connect with their local heritage. This film is a fine example of putting that in practice.
This award was one of 29 community heritage projects across Northern Ireland totalling £241,900. The fund is part of the £29 million Executive allocation to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors in Northern Ireland.