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Sam Henry Inspires A New Generation Of Storytellers

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The Causeway Yarnspinners explored the Sam Henry collection through stories, songs and poetry at a recent event held in Kilrea Town Hall.

The event is part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museums Service ‘Connecting with the Past, Collecting for the Future’ project.

The Yarnspinners, who are a local story-telling group, revealed new information about people in Sam’s photograph’s, recited new poetry about local places of interest and sang songs from the prestigious collection. Gordon Craig, Sam Henry’s grandson, was among those in attendance.

Sam was born in 1878 in Coleraine. He was an avid folklorist, historian, photographer, ornithologist, naturalist, genealogist and musician. Through his work he formed relationships with an older generation and recorded aspects of their lives that are now all but forgotten. “In my contact with the old, who have all now passed away,” he wrote, “I had the rare privilege of sharing their folk lore and their old songs.”

He is perhaps best known for his ‘Songs of the People’ series which ran in the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1938. It published songs known, played and sung by people across Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the collection and the project visit the ‘Connecting With The Past’ exhibition in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady which is open until Saturday 26th January.

This project is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and administrated by the Museums Association.

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