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11th September 2024

“Hamilton and Montgomery”

Tom Neill

We will be introduced to the two men who brought about the plantation of North Down at the beginning of the 17th century. We will look at the events leading up to their getting grants of land from King James I (VI of Scotland), the personalities of both men, the rivalry between them and how these influenced the outcome of the plantation.


9th October 2024

“Newtownards during the Second World War”

Michael Burns

We will hear about the impact of war on the town, how the town adapted to war time conditions and how the people responded to the changes that were brought about by the war. There will be references to some of those that fought in the war especially those that did not return. Michael Burns works as a research officer at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum, he will explain the role of the museum and what it can offer those that are interested in both the First and Secon World Wars.


13th November 2024

“Comber in the 1960s & 70s”

Len Ball

Len Ball is a local historian with a lifetime interest in his home town of Comber. His presentation consists of many of his own photographs and films that document life in the town some 60 years ago. There will be recorded interviews with people alive at the time that should provide an insight into life not just in the 1960s and 1970s but also during the 1950s and the Second World War.  


11th December 2024

“A History of Ulster Television (UTV)”

Don Anderson

Don is a member of Ards Historical Society who has spent much of his working life in journalism and the media. Ulster Television has played a key role in Northern Ireland life for many decades. We shall learn about its foundation during the 1950s and we will be  introduced to those that were involved in establishing the company and their reasons for doing so. We will glimpse at the early days of programming and the way in which the business has grown and developed over the years. 


8th January 2025

“The Brysons of Newtownards – Surviving the 1798 Rebellion”

Brian White

Members of the local Bryson family played a prominent part in the United Irish movement and in the rebellion in north Down during June 1798. The talk will describe the Bryson’s role in the rebellion and how they escaped execution, shipwreck and near fatal illness to find safety in the United States of America.


12th February 2025

“Aspects of the History of Groomsport”

Peter Gibson

The village of Groomsport situated on the shores of Belfast Lough has a rich and varied history that spans many centuries. Development of the village commences with the role played by the Vikings followed by the Normans, the Scots settlers and others from the surrounding area. We will also be introduced to some of the historical personalities such as Conn O’Neill, James Hamilton, the Duke of Schomberg and the Maxwells all of whom played a major role in the history of the village.


12th March 2025

Annual General Meeting (Speaker and topic to be announced)

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