A new book delving into the amazing photographic archives of the ‘Derry Journal’ is to be published in the next few weeks.
The compilation - which reveals a treasure trove of images from the past - will hit the bookshelves just in time for the Christmas rush.
‘Derry Journal: The Lost Archives’ is published by the ‘Derry Journal’ and Guildhall Press and includes hundreds of pictures - some of them never seen before.
‘Journal’ reporter Sean McLaughlin - who has compiled and edited the book - says it provides a “unique snapshot” of Derry in the 1950s and 1960s.
He says: “The photos in the new book - which were captured by first-rate lensmen such as Jim McGilloway and Larry Doherty - represent a remarkable pictorial record of Derry.
“They tell the fascinating story of a people and a place before the outbreak of the Troubles.
“Not only will the photos rekindle memories for the older reader, they will also provide a fascinating glimpse into the past for the young.
“Essentially, the book is about people and places and, hopefully, readers will be able to recognise themselves, friends or relations. It will, no doubt, unearth memories of a Derry in what appeared to be a more simple time.”
The photos cover two decades - from 1951 to 1967 - and are superb black and white images chronicling the life and times of that era.
Sean explains: “You come face to face with people from the past and wonder where they came from, where they went and what their story is.
“Whether it’s photos of children at school, days out at the seaside or people simply going about their everyday lives, these images - many of them once feared lost forever - are a wonderful trip down memory lane.”
Sean says it was enormous fun putting the book together.
“It’s good to revisit out past and to see where we’ve come from. Every page in the book brings another reminder of times now irrevocably gone.
“Yes, we have come a long way since then. But, when you look at these photos of our city and its people from more than half a century ago, you can also see how much we have lost.”
‘Derry Journal’ editor Martin McGinley describes the new book as “remarkable”.
He says: “In this fascinating collection of photographs, illustrating the skills and the eye of the man behind the lens, a love of local people and places stands revealed. Because of the period, we’re talking about Jim McGilloway, in most cases, and, of course, Larry Doherty as well.
“But the story doesn’t stop there. The photographs are from glass plates which lay forgotten in a locked cupboard in the ‘Journal’ office with nothing to say what they were about or even to suggest their importance. It took months of work by Sean McLaughlin to create this proper showcase for them, inspired, as his colleagues well know, by his own affection for this place and, indeed, its paper, the ‘Derry Journal’.
“Sean recognised that these dusty boxes held a treasure for us all. Now this book stands testament to the worth of the long hours he spent bringing a lost collection back to the light and he deserves every credit.”
‘Derry Journal: The Lost Archives’ - an amazing pictorial record for all to treasure and enjoy - will be available to buy later this month.
We’ll have a taster of what readers can expect onlin later today