Daughter reunited with father’s treasured Bible following appeal

A local woman has expressed her surprise and joy at being reunited with her late father’s treasured Bible after its discovery in an attic in England led to a public appeal.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 4:50 pm
Andrina Nutt pictured with the Bible, which belonged to her father James Alexander Gallagher.

Andrina Nutt said she had cried when she heard about the Bible, which was found by a County Durham family who carefully parcelled and posted it to the ‘Derry Journal’ to see if we could help re-unite the once loved tome with its owners’ relatives. Mrs. Nutt originally from Kennedy Street in the Fountain and who now lives in Magheramason, heard about the appeal from her own daughters living in Newbuildings and in Wigan, England who, in turn, had been alerted to the story on the ‘Derry Journal’ website and Facebook page earlier this week.It turned out Andrina’s father, James Alexander Gallagher, was the owner of the vividly illustrated King James Bible. Mr. Gallagher’s Record of Service, detailing his long tenure in the B Specials in Derry, was also carefully placed within the leaves of the Book along with newspaper clippings of the time.A relative of Mrs. Nutt had carefully recorded handwritten births, deaths and marriages within the Gallagher family inside the Bible, up until around the time of Mr Gallagher’s death in the early 1960s. This includes Andrina’s own birth and those of her siblings and some of their children.She said: “My father was born in 1901. My mother (nee Cecilia Jane Creswell) was engaged to him but she wouldn’t get married because he was in the army, until he had finished his time. And then they got married in First Derry Presbyterian Church. I was the youngest of my parents’ children and my mother died when I was young and my father later remarried. “My father was a head instructor in the B Specials. That was his job all day, he worked in the office during the day and at night went out around the platoons to B Huts and different places. We actually had an air shelter outside our door in Kennedy Street and then when the war was over we used to play dolls’ houses in it.“He retired aged 62 and he only lived another year after that. He died in 1963.”Mrs. Nutt said her father was very much a man of faith and taught in the Boys’ Brigade and that it meant so much to her and her family to have his Bible back within the family. “I’m ready to cry, I’ve cried all morning,” she said. The Bible may have become misplaced, she added, due to her father’s second wife and family being among those along one side of Kennedy Street who were relocated as their homes were to be tumbled. They moved to a new house in the Northland Road area, where the Bible seemed to have been missed in the attic when the last resident within the family died there. Mrs. Nutt thinks that it may have become mixed up in the possessions of whoever moved into the house afterwards when they moved to England. Andrina’s daughter Sharon McCormick said that it was relatives on her father’s side who spotted the online appeal and tagged them in via Facebook, and Mrs. Nutt said she wanted to thank the family in England for their act of kindness in posting the Bible back to the city. “That was very, very nice whoever done that, it was lovely,” she said.

Andrina Nutt pictured with the Bible, which belonged to her father James Alexander Gallagher.
Andrina's photo of her parents James Alexander Gallagher, who owned the Bible, and his wife Cecilia Jane (nee) Creswell.
One of the vivid artworks depicted in the Holy Bible.
Mr Gallagher's Bible, which was found in an attic in England.