Craigavon Museum Services

Collections include 160 vintage radios

Craigavon Museum Services is based at the Heritage Building, Pinebank. This building contains a modern storage facility housing the museum’s collection.

The collection records the social history of the people from what is now the Craigavon area and is based on specimens collected by the former Portadown Museum, to more recent acquisitions which chart the growth and development of Craigavon ‘New City’.

Of major importance is a collection of over 160 vintage radios which chart the evolution of radio technology from valves to transistors from the 1920s to the 1980s.

A permanent exhibition is displayed at the Barn Museum, a beautifully restored stone outbuilding at Fairview House, Tannaghmore Gardens.

This exhibition illustrates the bygone days of farming in Co Armagh through the themes of haymaking, dairy work, poultry farming, apple growing, beekeeping, rose growing, the work of the blacksmith and domestic work. A range of booklets concerning many of these traditional activities are available to purchase in the museum.

The stables and bothy at Moneypenny’s Lock on the Newry canal have been sympathetically restored and house small exhibitions which illustrate the frugal life of the lightermen as well as life on the canal, from the barges which used it, to the flora and fauna who lived in the surrounding area.

Craigavon Museum Services stages temporary exhibitions in local libraries and schools as part of it’s outreach programme. These exhibitions have in the past included ‘Tickling the Cat’s Whiskers’ ­ an exhibition of vintage radios; ‘Cold Hearths’ ­ an exhibition depicting the effects of the Great Famine in the Lurgan and Portadown area; two exhibitions commemorating VE-Day and D-Day; ‘Past Portadown’ ­ a slide show, lecture and exhibition of Portadown life from 1850 - ­1950.

The Philip B Wilson Library within the Museum Services building houses an extensive library of over 2,000 volumes, many rare and of great importance. Subjects covered include local history, church history, agriculture, archaeology, transportation, the development of Craigavon and many more.

The library also includes the 700 volume collection of the Ulster Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. This Collection, dating from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century, is of great value to anyone wishing to research the history of the Religious Society of Friends locally and further afield. A CD-ROM of this collection has been compiled and is available free of charge to interested bodies.

Also of benefit to the researcher is a growing collection of over 10,000 slides and photographs which record the growth of the Craigavon area, it’s history, industries, prominent families and individuals. A catalogue and CD-ROM of this collection is currently being compiled and will be completed soon. A photocopying service is available.

The Philip B Wilson Library also offers internet access. The library computers use a dedicated ISDN line which means they are fast. A member of staff is available to help if you are new to the internet. Please book in advance. Bookings are taken on a half-hourly or hourly basis.

The library is open Monday to Friday (excluding bank and public holidays) from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm. Both the library and the Barn Museum have access for wheelchair users.