Museum of Free Derry welcomes 100 year old street sign

An original cast-iron ‘Bogside’ street sign which could be 100 years old was handed over to the Museum of Free Derry this week, courtesy of a local security firm.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:27 pm
Pictured at the Museum of Free Derry this week are, from left, John Kelly (museum staff), Chris McKnight, Julieann Campbell (museum staff), Tony O'Doherty, and Tony Doherty, Chair of the Bloody Sunday Trust.

Derry men Chris McKnight and Tony O’Doherty presented the historic artefact to museum staff on behalf of Estate Services, who saw the sign for sale and snapped it up when they recognised its historic significance.

Mr. McKnight explained, “The Bogside sign was purchased from the family of a local doctor who bought the sign from the Old Derry Corporation in the late 1960s. We think it probably dates from the early part of the 20th Century.

“Estate Services acquired the sign to prevent it from the leaving the city as it’s part of the history of the Bogside. In fact, I was born about 40 yards from where the sign once stood,” he added.

It’s believed the family who originally owned the sign donated the money they received to a homeless charity.

Speaking on behalf of the museum, Julieann Campbell said: “We’re delighted that such an historic item survived and made its way back to the Bogside. It’s a valuable addition to the museum’s collection, and we’re very grateful to Estate Services and Chris and Tony, for entrusting us with its safekeeping.

“We intend to display the street sign in a prominent place in the museum, so it can be seen and appreciated by local people and visitors from all over the world.”

If any readers know the true age of the sign or, indeed, have any photographs of it displayed in its original location, the museum would love to hear from you. Contact 71 360880 or email [email protected]