Nelson’s book full of Roe Valley memories

Terry McNamee, MS Society; Nelson McGonagle; James McCorkell, deputy mayor, Causeway Coast & Glens and Malcolm Stuart, Macmillan Cancer.
Terry McNamee, MS Society; Nelson McGonagle; James McCorkell, deputy mayor, Causeway Coast & Glens and Malcolm Stuart, Macmillan Cancer.

After a lifetime of collecting photographs of people and places in the Roe Valley, Limavady man Nelson McGonagle has published a volume of his work.

‘Limavady and the Roe Valley - People and Places’ extends to 104 pages and it’s packed full of nostalgia depicting life in times gone by.

Photos span from 1884 to 1980, and show scenes from everyday life. There are photos of people at work on the farm, at school and playing sport. There are also photos showing some of the big weather moments in the area, including ‘the big snow’ of 1947.

The book’s cover is of a busy Market Street in Limavady in 1910, complemented by a scene from a cattle market in Dungiven in 1924 on the back cover.

Nelson says he’d never thought of producing a book, until he was approached with the idea. The 69-year-old says he’s proud of the book, and how it’s being received.

The launch at the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre was packed to capacity and copies are selling fast. Nelson’s now deciding if he should do another print run.

Nelson, who has a well earned reputation for his local charity work, is combining his love of old photographs with fundraising. He’s raised an impressive £250,000 for charity, and is supporting ‘We Are Macmillan Cancer Support’ and MS Foyle through the project.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough deputy Mayor, Colr. James McCorkell, was on hand at the launch and spoke about the value of the heritage of the area being recorded before it was lost. He praised Nelson on the work he’d achieved with the help of many who had contributed illustrations and information.

The book is available to buy in the Arts Centre in Limavady. There is also a further collection of photographs from ‘The Nelson McGonagle Collection’ in the Arts Centre between December 5 until January 14 giving the public another chance to see a selection of fascinating images that have been collected by Nelson over the years. On display will be photographs of groups and people who lived and worked in and around Limavady from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century.

The collection is described as “an incredible historic record of the town and is sure to bring back many happy memories”.