Northern Ireland news

A visual and walking tour of the once-mighty linen industry

Yarn reeling in an image from the Linen Hall library postcard collection
Mairead Holland

A Victorian silk hat belonging to Co Derry linen producer Edward Gribbon and a selection of vintage napkins will be among items on display at an exhibition charting the history of the linen industry.

The Linenopolis event will also feature walking tours of a number of buildings in Belfast that have strong links with the business including Ewarts Warehouse, Belfast City Hall and the Scottish Provident.

The exhibition will begin on Monday July 1 in Belfast's Linen Hall Library, which was originally designed as a warehouse for the textile.

Other items of interest include the Claimants Names Adjudged Premiums for Growing Flax of 1796, one of just a few known copies of the index in existence.

Themed artwork will also be showcased alongside photographs created as part of a community outreach project with Belfast Exposed photography group.

A selection of original photographic glass plates rescued from Ewart Liddell, producers of linens for the Titanic, will be supported by books revealing the history behind the damask design plates.

The exhibition is free to view during library hours, Monday to Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm, and runs until August 1.

Walking tours will take place on Friday August 9, 16, and 23 at 10am (£10pp) starting at the library.

Angelina Fusco, committee member of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, one of the funders, said: “The linen industry was once a backbone of the city and we hope that local people and visitors enjoy learning more about that rich and varied heritage."

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