Full steam ahead for book launch

THE Ards and North Down Borough Council Mayor, Alan Graham, hosted the launch of the book Be Careful, Don’t Rush, Celebrating 100 Years of Train Travel between Holywood and Bangor by Robin Masefield, at the North Down Museum on the morning of May 12.

May 18, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway line between Holywood and Bangor.

The Mayor said that the book provides a fascinating account of the ups and downs of this much-loved local transport artery. The book is on sale at North Down Museum.

The railway was significant for the development of Bangor; it was one of the biggest changes for the town in the last 2000 years, noted the mayor,  and led to it becoming both a major tourist attraction and an attractive home town for many working in Belfast.

It is also significant that as we enter a new era at the council the railway served much of the merged council areas. The current rail service remains as popular as ever.

The Mayor added that he was very pleased that the book will be on sale at the museum with proceeds from the sales going to two local charities.

Be Careful, Don’t Rush is being published as part of the programme of events to commemorate the celebration of the opening of the Bangor line. It coincides with the railway exhibition that has been running at the museum, as well as forthcoming exhibitions at the Bangor and Holywood Libraries.

This book should appeal widely to railway historians, people who want to know more about what Holywood ‘and Bangor were like in the 19th century, before and after the coming of the railway, and to armchair travellers who enjoy anecdotes about travel in years gone by.

After the Mayor, the other speakers at the enjoyable occasion were Mal McGreevy, general manager, rail services at Translink; Robin Masefield, and former councillor and railway expert Ian Sinclair. It was noted that nearly three million passengers travelled on the route each year, and that passenger numbers had increased by 90% in the last 10 years.