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Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-01-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-02-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Blast from the Past Vintage Run

Blast from the Past Vintage Run

20-02-2022 12:00 pm
£10.00
NI Digital Marketing Conference

NI Digital Marketing Conference

24-02-2022 8:00 am -1:00 pm
£35 Non Members/ Free Members
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

06-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

Sustaining and Building Cross Border Co-Operation and Trade

09-03-2022 9:00 am -1:00 pm
Online
Free
Foster and Allen

Foster and Allen

16-03-2022 8:00 pm -10:30 pm
St Patrick's Day Parade

St Patrick's Day Parade

17-03-2022 - 17-01-2022
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-03-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-04-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

01-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

28-05-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

05-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

25-06-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Hilltown Farmers Market

Hilltown Farmers Market

03-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

30-07-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

25-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

26-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

27-08-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

27-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

28-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Iúr Cinn Fleadh

Iúr Cinn Fleadh

29-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

24-09-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

29-10-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-11-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
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Sands’ Mill pictured c.1908 with the Turning Basin for the Canal barges in the foreground. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
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Gallery Three in Newry and Mourne Museum tells the story of Newry and the local area in the 20th century. South Armagh and south Down have supported a vibrant agricultural economy for centuries and part of the gallery is dedicated to artefacts that explore farming and fishing in this area. This article focuses on artefacts on display which relate to Clanrye Mills (or Sands’ Mill) which was closely connected with the agriculture in south Armagh and south Down.

An example of a Sands’ chicken mash bag on display in Gallery Three of the Museum. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
An example of a Sands’ chicken mash bag on display in Gallery Three of the Museum. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

Located on the corner of New Street and Canal Quay, the building which was once Clanrye Mills is still one of Newry’s most imposing buildings. Built in 1873, it was originally built for Sinclair and Son, a milling company whose premises had burnt down in 1872. The new building was built at cost of £10,000 and designed by the Newry architect, William Watson, in the Venetian style. After Sinclair’s business closed, Robert Sands purchased the property and continued milling. Sands had come to Newry in 1878 to work for R Walker and Sons and then, subsequently, for Abraham Sinclair and Son. In 1884 Sands opened his own grain store on Merchants Quay with one employee. The business expanded rapidly and within three years he had purchased the nearby Sinclair mill. A photograph of the Sands’ Mill taken in 1908 is on display in the Museum along with one of the employees in the same year.  

Workers at Robert Sand Ltd in 1908. Henry Lyons, one of the four senior employees who purchased the mill from Robert Sands’ widow is standing in the front row, first left.  Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
Workers at Robert Sand Ltd in 1908. Henry Lyons, one of the four senior employees who purchased the mill from Robert Sands’ widow is standing in the front row, first left. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

When Robert Sands died in 1915 his wife eventually sold the milling business to four senior employees, Messers Breakey, Corkey, Craig and Lyons. The Mill continued to develop in the following decades and, by 1953, the Mill had changed from steam to electricity. All meal was packed in hundred weight bags, either jute or hessian except for chick mash which was packed in cotton bags. These bags were filled from a spout, direct from the mixer, then weighed and ‘sewn’ with a packing needle and jute cord. This was all done by hand. Later, half-ton bags and bulk delivery were introduced and semi-automatic machinery was installed for sewing the bags. 

A silver medal won by Robert Sands Ltd for their display of farm machinery at Balmoral Show in 1975. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
A silver medal won by Robert Sands Ltd for their display of farm machinery at Balmoral Show in 1975. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

 

During the Troubles, in 1972, an incendiary device completely destroyed the offices and a large store. About 1974 the Mill started selling farm machinery and were appointed main distributors for Kuhn Farm Machinery. In 1977 a new company was formed called Robert Sands Machinery Ltd. Photographs of the company’s stands at Balmoral Show in the 1970s can be seen in Gallery Three of the Museum. 

A mower conditioner displayed by Robert Sands Ltd at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s annual show at Balmoral, Belfast in May 1975. This machine was used for harvesting grass crops, which cuts the crop and treats it to speed up the drying process. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection
A mower conditioner displayed by Robert Sands Ltd at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s annual show at Balmoral, Belfast in May 1975. This machine was used for harvesting grass crops, which cuts the crop and treats it to speed up the drying process. Newry and Mourne Museum Collection

In the early 1980s business had become very difficult for independent mills and Sand’s Mill was bought by Fane Valley Co-operative in 1981/2. 

A range of butter-making equipment and agricultural implements on display at the Museum will feature in next week’s article.

The Museum is currently offering free tours of the exhibition galleries on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11.00 am. These must be booked in advance by calling our Education Officer at 0330 137 4422. 

Newry and Mourne Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 4.30 pm. Please call 0330 137 4422 or email museum@nmandd.org for further information.

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