10 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Hi Aidan

    I have been thinking about you for a while and this morning found your site for selling your books. Im so sorry to read that you are unwell.

    My maiden name is Martina Clarke and when you worked at TBS I was a participant at a sale course you did with Envision. I was managing an oyster farm in Killough near Ardglass. You were a key person at that time of my life as you enouraged me to go for a new job in Dublin managing a seafood business network. I got the job and worked there for 9/10 years. It was the making of me at the time as there weren’t any prospects for me in Killough.

    I’ve since got married, living in Hilltown, Newry and at home with two children 5yr and 2 yrs which is keeping me busy. However I volunteer with community development groups in the area which I really enjoy.

    I remember when I knew you, you were just starting volunteering with the Hospice. Now I read all the great work you have done with the history books and fundraising!

    Wishing you all the very best



    1. Hi Martina

      Thanks for your email,

      I am pleased to hear that life has worked out so well for you. I am a grandfather now and have just published another local history book to raise funds for local charity.

      Best wishes



  2. Hello Aiden , I have come across your sight and am most impressed. I wonder if you are also interested in Newtownards . I am very interested as I have a great x4 grandfather who was the minister at St Marks church of Ireland . He was the reverend Mark Cassidy and was the main instigator of the building of the Church . I live inbAustralia so getting to your art of the world isn’t so easy . I would love to know more about the area and the church and vicarage in particular if you have any information if could point me in the righ direction


  3. Dear Marianne

    Great to hear from you so far away in Australia. The internet makes the world a very small place now. Very interesting to hear that one of your ancestors was a COI cleric – I too have a couple of COI clerics in my ancestry. When was your great grandfather the rector? – as I haven’t come across his name in my researches.

    Regards pointing you in the right direction there is quite a substantial section in my book ‘Sydenham’ on the history of St Mark’s Dundela. There is mention of the C.S. Lewis connection and how the character of ‘Aslan’ the lion had its origins in the lion’s head door knocker at the old rectory (which I have knocked) and it is still alongside St Mark’s Church although used now for other purposes.

    I haven’t got as far as Newtownards yet with my local history books.

    If you are interested in a copy of Sydenham please email me your address
    (to: historyandtalks@gmail.com) and I can go the local post office and get an airmail quote for you.

    Best wishes



  4. Hello Aiden, he was the reverend Mark Cassidy and he was the minister at St Marks Newtownards until his death in the 1830s . One if his sons , the reverend Frederick came to New Zealand probably as a result of marrying the maid ! He never practised as a minister and so he is a bit of an interesting mystery as he certainly would have been needed in the pioneering world of early white settlement in New Zealand .


    1. Hi Marianne

      I realise now that we were at cross-purposes! You were talking about St Mark’s COI N’Ards – I was talking about St Mark’s COI, Dundela East Belfast.

      Interesting to hear about the life of your ancestors though.

      From what I have read it seems that a lot of Ulster folk emigrated to New Zealand during the 1800s. The back road to Stormont Parliament Buildings in Belfast is called Massey Avenue. It used to be called Killeen Road after the local townland name.

      After the Government of Ireland Act in 1920 when a devolved administration was set up for the new Northern Ireland it was re-named Massey Avenue after a son of Ulster, William Ferguson Massey, known as ‘Farmer Bill’ who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1912 to 1925.




  5. Hi Aidan – just came across an article of yours regarding the history of schools in East Belfast. In it you mention a small school run by a Miss McGonigal at Kensington Hall, Kensington Road. I am the current owner of Kensington Hall and am very interested in its history. Do you know any more about this school or could you point me to a source?

    Many thanks



  6. Hello Aidan , I am wondering if you know anything about Ballyhackamore House in Sydenham. It was owned by an ancestor of mine Robert Cassidy . His aunt was a Cleland of Stormont . I am curious to know if it is still there and if not what has happened to it .


  7. HI Aidan just finished reading your Sydenham,Holywood and Victoria book great read.
    On page 80 you show a photo of Ashfield boys hockey team of which I was a member, you have a question mark after re the name of the goal keeper his name was Cecil Grey. the AN Other I am not sure but I will do some research on this. The name A White should read B White.

    Kind Regards

    Brian White


  8. hello Aidan
    the Holywood and district U3A history group would like to mark N.I. centenary with a talk on Sir James Craig and his home Craigavon on the first Wednesday of Sept or Oct.
    We would like to discuss this with you and hope you could help us
    I will fill in the form below and my phone number is 02890768409
    looking forward to hearing from you soon
    Joan Whiteside


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