Mahon's Way heads to Randalstown in latest episode of UTV series

Linda Houston conducts Joe Mahon on the Randalstown Heritage Trail. Credit: UTV

‘Mahon’s Way’ heads to Randalstown in the next episode of the UTV series .

Joe Mahon is continuing his travels around our local countryside with his new UTV series of ‘Mahon’s Way’ and his next episode takes him to Randalstown, Co Antrim.

Due to air on Thursday 9 November, Joe finds himself on the banks of the River Maine, immediately recognisable because of the colossal railway viaduct that straddles the river at this point.

In February 2022 a group of volunteers called ‘Tidy Randalstown’, with the full support of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, decided to enter a competition run by the Royal Horticultural Society.

They had to submit a plan which, if successful, would transform this rundown Victorian viaduct into an elevated garden walkway for the use of local people.

Joe meets Helen Boyd, the chairperson of ‘Tidy Randalstown’, on top of the viaduct exactly one year after the walkway opened.

Later in the programme, Joe then walks along the banks of the Maine in the company of librarian Linda Houston, who is also secretary of the Randalstown Historical Society.

He learns about many aspects of the town’s history, including the story of a millworker’s son called Robert McKay, who grew up to become an eminent professor of plant pathology and played a key role in the eradication of the potato blight in Ireland.

Linda also recounts the history of the Old Bleach Linen works, leading manufacturers of hand-painted damask linen products which were sold around the world, making Charles James Webb’s mill the mainstay of the local economy and the biggest employer in Randalstown for over 100 years.

And finally, away from the hurly-burly of the town traffic, in a quiet glade in Randalstown forest, Dr Frank Ferguson regales Joe with some entertaining references to the area by overseas writers, and extols the very considerable achievements of Sir Samuel Ferguson, a native of south Antrim who wrote equally well in English, Ulster-Scots and Irish, and is considered by Frank to be one of the most significant literary figures of 19 th century Ireland.

‘MAHON’S WAY’ is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV, supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.

The series is sponsored by Firmus Energy.

You can watch this episode on UTV on Thursday 9 th November at 8.30pm, and after transmission will be available on .

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