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Historical Ulster: Bushmills

By Paul Carson

The Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim toasted the strong upsurge in demand for its whiskey in the mid-1960s with the opening of a massive new bonded store capable of holding three quarters of a million gallons.



Home sales of Old Bushmills had soared. With the distillery recieving one of its largest orders from the United States for an export order of 25,000 cases, placed by one of America's biggest whiskey distributors.

This order came in the same week, August 1965, that the quality of Old Bushmills was recognised by the awarding of a prestigious gold medal at the International Brewers' and Allied Traders' Exhibition in Brighton.

With future sales looking ever more promising, the new bonded store was completed in early 1966 and on May 23 the Governor of Northern Ireland, Lord Erskine, was invited to perform the official opening and was given a conducted tour of the premises, accompanied by Mr John Charrington, chairman of the Charrington United Breweries group, which had purchased the distillery some years earlier.

On the Sunday before his arrival, a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Very Rev Dr John Davey, told the congregation at Aghadowey Presbyterian Church that he "regretted" the Governor's endorsement of the whiskey industry.

But the Governor remained unrepentant. In his address at the opening of the bonded store, Lord Erskine alluded to Dr Davey's criticisms. "A Governor has to live dangerously," he said.

Here are some images from are archives of Bushmills and the world famous distillery.

By Paul CarsonThe Bushmills Distillery in Co Antrim toasted the strong upsurge in demand for its whiskey in the mid-1960s with the opening of a massive new bonded store capable of holding three quarters of a million gallons.

Home sales of Old Bushmills had soared. With the distillery recieving one of its largest orders from the United States for an export order of 25,000 cases, placed by one of America's biggest whiskey distributors.

This order came in the same week, August 1965, that the quality of Old Bushmills was recognised by the awarding of a prestigious gold medal at the International Brewers' and Allied Traders' Exhibition in Brighton.

With future sales looking ever more promising, the new bonded store was completed in early 1966 and on May 23 the Governor of Northern Ireland, Lord Erskine, was invited to perform the official opening and was given a conducted tour of the premises, accompanied by Mr John Charrington, chairman of the Charrington United Breweries group, which had purchased the distillery some years earlier.

On the Sunday before his arrival, a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Very Rev Dr John Davey, told the congregation at Aghadowey Presbyterian Church that he "regretted" the Governor's endorsement of the whiskey industry.

But the Governor remained unrepentant. In his address at the opening of the bonded store, Lord Erskine alluded to Dr Davey's criticisms. "A Governor has to live dangerously," he said.

Here are some images from are archives of Bushmills and the world famous distillery.

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