Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Riverside greenway launched by minister

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has launched a new greenway in one of Londonderry’s most historic riverside locations.

The minister this week teamed up with Mayor of Derry Kevin Campbell to mark the start of construction of the Bay Road to Boom Hall greenway, which will cost £450,000.

Construction will include pavement construction and bitmac surfacing with associated street lighting.

Now derelict, the Georgian style Boom Hall was built in 1779 on the western bank of the River Foyle, near to the current Foyle bridge.

The stately residence was named after the wooden boom that was erected by Jacobean troops during the Siege of Derry 90 years earlier.

It was built by John Alexander, whose grandson was married to hymn writer Cecil Francis, author of All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Navy WRNs used the building as their headquarters during the Second World War.

It was destroyed in the 1970s in a fire and today has many ghostly legends associated with it.

The new Bay Road to Boom Hall greenway, funded by the Department for Regional Development, will form part of Derry’s Active Travel Programme.

It will eventually link in to a city-wide greenway network used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Mayor Campbell said: “The scheme will complement the success of other greenway projects which have been tremendous in enhancing cycling and walking opportunities for everyone.”

John Kelpie, strategic director at Derry City Council, said that construction on the greenway is due for completion by March 2013.

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