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Lost world: Unique glimpse of 1940s Northern Ireland in new book

By Adrian Rutherford

High up on the heathery slopes of the Mournes, a shepherd tends his flock in a scene from a bygone time in Northern Ireland.

It is one of more than 40 enchanting images which provide a colourful snapshot of life in the 1940s.

They feature in a historical book of Belfast Telegraph photographs charting life in the early part of the 20th century.

Entitled "Northern Ireland: The Land of Delightful Scenery", the book was sent in by reader Noeline Martin, who now lives in Canada.

Among the images is the ruined splendour of Dunluce Castle, jutting out on to the seafront along the north coast.

The caption states how it "irresistibly evokes the days of long ago, chivalrous knights, stout men-at-arms and fair ladies".

Elsewhere, a stunning panoramic captures the famous Giant's Causeway in its wild setting of purple, cavernous hills.

Another scene recalls harvest time in Co Down. The trim, hedge-bordered fields are a patchwork of gold, green and russet brown. In the background, the purple-hued Mournes rise majestically.

The introduction to the book states: "This brochure has been designed to mirror a few of the picturesque scenes in which our Ulster counties abound and in the hope that it may lead to a deeper appreciation by our own folk, by our kith and kin across the seas and by the stranger within our gates, of the all-pervasive ministries of that nature which is the art of God and which in this Northern land finds so captivating expression."

The book features scenes from each of Northern Ireland's six counties. It shows Armagh in May-time, describing it as the "Garden of Ireland".

The caption states: "Armagh is at its best in apple blossom time when the acres of orchards provide a panorama of colours which captivates the eye."

Another conveys the scenic beauty of the Gortin Gap in Co Tyrone. A horse and cart travels upwards out of the valley, twisting and turning as it climbs into the heather-clad hills.

Elsewhere, anglers are shown hunting for fish in the Lower Bann at Kilrea in Co Londonderry.

And the lakeland beauty of Fermanagh is shown in a scene depicting Lower Lough Erne.

Described as "an enchanting sheet of water studded with innumerable wooded islands", the caption adds: "No pleasure excels an exploration of its beauties and secret channels by boat."

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