A 240-page book on the history of the once-mighty Portadown Foundry at Edenderry is on the way, with the launch at the town’s Millennium Court Centre on Thursday, October 18 at 7pm.
The talented authors are eminent local historians Cardwell McClure and Wilson Steen, recalling the iron and steel days when the foundry operated from 1844-1983 and employed over 100 in its heyday.
The venue for the launch could not be more fitting. The foundry constructed the steelwork for the builiding - originally Portadown Markets - and the joists and trusses are still visible, following the refurbishing of the premises.
Other local landmarks supported by foundry steel include the former Metal Box premises at Brownstown and most of the town’s schools. Barges and lighters plying canals north and south of Ireland and the old Portadown gas works at Edenderry - now the Asda site - were also built at the Foundry Street premises.
Mr McClure and Mr Steen spent three years researching this latest tome on the overall history of Edenderry. It is the third in the series, the others being a book of photographs - with suitable text - and the history of the Wade Pottery factory at Watson Street.
Edenderry Cultural and Historical Society is the driving force behind the comprehensive history books being produced to record the vibrancy of the district, and this latest one is made possible through a £21,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The proud historians aren’t stopping there, with future history books planned on the gas undertaking, the former railway station at Watson Street (aka Railway Street), Hamilton Robb linen factory, Portadown College (once at Bnan House), the old rope works and Heathwood’s Builders.
The foundry history book is just £5 and will be a limited publication with 450 copies being printed.