Limavady man uses his love of old photos for charity

Nelson McGonagle (second left) presents a cheque totalling �4000 to terry McNamee from  MS (Foyle) and Malcolm Stuart from Macmillan Cancer at Roe Park Hotel. Also pictured is Margaret McGonagle.
Nelson McGonagle (second left) presents a cheque totalling �4000 to terry McNamee from MS (Foyle) and Malcolm Stuart from Macmillan Cancer at Roe Park Hotel. Also pictured is Margaret McGonagle.

Limavady man Nelson McGonagle has been collecting photos of people and places in the Roe Valley for the last 10 years.

He’s also been fundraising for many worthy causes over the years, raising £250,000 to date.

Late last year, the 79-year-old combined his love of old photographs with fundraising by publishing a book of them to raise money for MS (Foyle) and Macmillan Cancer.

The book features photos from the mid-1880s to the 1980s and gives a fascinating glimpse of life in the Roe Valley in times gone by.

The idea for the book evolved after Nelson had a display of his photos on show at the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, and he was urged to put them in a book.

“Nothing like this had been done before in Limavady,” he said, explaining the book has raised £4,000 for the two charities.

“I was really surprised as I didn’t think I would raise that much.”

With no bookshops left in the area, Nelson didn’t know where he would be able to sell his work, however, a number of pubs, cafes and hairdressers came to the rescue and agreed to have the book sold on their premises.

Another outlet was the Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre. Nelson said he’s overwhelmed at the support the book has received, and he wants to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who bought a copy.

“My arm is sore from signing copies of the book,” Nelson joked, adding sincere thanks to Tom McDonald who helped him collate and proofread material.

Nelson is thinking of doing another book, hopefully in time for Christmas, and for two different charities.

‘Limavady and the Roe Valley - People and Places’ extends to 104