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Old Ulster towns: Ballymena, from the Belfast Telegraph archives [Photos]

The Belfast Telegraph takes a stroll down Memory Lane with a visit to Ballymena.

Broadway Junction, Ballymena. 28/5/1963
Broadway Junction, Ballymena. 28/5/1963
Enjoying a glass of coke at the Mid Antrim Hunt Club's centenary celebrations are (from left) Diane Hamilton,Greystones, Brocklamount, Ballymena; Helen Bamber, Galgorm; Fiona Bamber, Finaghy Park Central, Belfast; Tracey Williams, Ardvernis, Cullbackey and Jane Henry, Castle Street, Ballymena. 16/1/1975
Ballymena Academy- 1965
Demand for space for the trade exhibits has been greater than ever and the display provides an excellent shop window for the farmer and his wife. 3/6/1965
This was the scene at the Showgrounds, Ballymena, as hundreds of visitors crowd the terrace to watch the showjumping
Roundabout getting painted. 4/6/1963
Ballymena Town Hall Christmas lights switched on by the mayor. 15/12/1975
The Ballymena Academy team of Dawn Alexander (left), Julie Edgar, and Alison Cinningham who won the Northern Ireland Divisional Final of the United Kingdom Federation of Business and Professional Women's public speaking competition. They represent Northern Ireland in the national finals in London on November 29th, 1980.
Mr Dickson Graham, butcher, Lower Mill Street, Ballymena (at rear) and helpers starting out on the Whaupstown road at maxwells walls on a trek through the fields to feed cattle on his farm. 13/2/1963.
A popular venue during the warm weather is the 'Moat Carry' in Harryville. Used by many generations of young people for a dip, it is situated about 200 yards from the site of the new swimming pool. 27/6/1968.
Braidwater spinning at Ballymena, these workers are spreading tow. 15/11/1945
Deep in thought as he led his uncle's calf 'Snowdrop' round the parade ring at the Ballymena Show was Alistair Mawhinney (7), of Carnmoney. Date unknown
Mrs NW Bass (right), drops the flag for Paddy Hopkirk and co-driver Terry Harryman in their Mini-cooper 'S', to leave the ramp at the start of the Circuit of Ireland International rally at Ballymena. 9/4/1966
A three-day-old foal trots alongside its mare, Fanny, while the owner, Mr John Hoey, of Parkmore, Ballymena, shows her paces for the judges. 12/6/1968
Flamingo Ballroom, Ballymena. 1965.
Swordsman strikes a pose before joining his Lodge Crumkill LOL 543 for the big parade through Ballymena. 1988
The Queen. NI visit 1953. Walking to Ballymena Station. (July 1953) Queen Elizabeth. Visit. Coronation
It was a family affair as Mr. Ken Thompson of Queen Street, Ballymena and his son Darren (8) and daughter Lisa (4) stepped out with the Ballykeel LOL 472 flute band. July 1988.
The Queen, Elizabeth 11. 1953. Coronation Year visit.When the Queen and the Duke visited Ballymena it was a very big moment for this little girl, nine-year-old Eileen Roberta Sinpson, the daughter of the then Town Clerk, Mr John Simpson. 3/7/1953
The early morning fall of snow on Friday made a pretty winter scene on the Larne-Ballymena road. But it caused trouble for motorists. However, snow ploughs were out to clear the roads. (29/01/1976)
British Steel could do worse than employ the six teenagers from Ballymena Academy who amassed a staggering £11m. profit to win the Ulster Bank annual school's management game. Last year the Academy finished in third place in the Northern Ireland finals but this year the sixth formers out-managed 64 teams throughout the province to win £120 for the school and a place in the All-Ireland final. Mr. David Kilpatrick, teacher in charge of the project, praised the team's success. "It's a reward for the hard work they put in right through the competition," he said. David Tedford (left), David Long, Stephen Kirk, Micheale O'Connell, Mathew Brown and Stephen Boyd. The competition was held in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast.
Ballymena Academy team which won the Northern Bank Schools Cricket final at Muckamore. Front row (from left), Richard Bill, Stephen McBurney, John Glass (captain), Stephen Surgeoner, Paul Rainey and Jonathan Kennedy. Back row (from left), David Kennedy, Carl Williams, Mark Hamilton, David Berkley, Michael Glass, Mark McGladdery, Mark Dunlop and Clive Jackson, teacher in charge.
Ballymena Academy First XI cricket team. Back row from left: L. Bell, B. McKendry, D. Beattie, J. Colwell, G. McKendry, B. Rhodes and D. Gibson. Front row: D. Harkin, C. Dick A. McKee, J. Ireland (captain), A. Finlay and A. Smith, 1983.
Members of the victorious Ballymena Academy team with the Schools' Cup after beating Belfast Royal Academy in the final at Ravenhill, 1972.
The Schools' Cup is held aloft in front of cheering supporters by Balltmena Academy captain, Montgomery, after defeating Belfast Royal Academy in the final at Ravenhill, Belfast, 1971.
A U.T.A. bus which was abandoned in deep snow-drifts on the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
Over the years the Ballymena Academy Old Pupils have played the school at a variety of games, including hockey, rugby and cross-country. This year for the first times they met at badminton in a special challenge match in the school gym, 1974.
Schools Cup Final, 1970.
Ballymena Academy new building, 1968
The Ballymena Academy captain Adrian Goodrich is carried shoulder high by his team mates after they had won the Medallion Shield by defeating Methodist College in the final at Ballyclare, 1970.
Ballymena's famous Academy, 1965
The Governor, Lord Eskine, discussing a physics experiment with Mr. G. McCullough during a tour of the classrooms after opening Ballymena Academy new premises. Also in the picture are (from left), Mr. W. H. Mol, headmaster; Alderman J. B. Millar, Major of Ballymena, and Captain William Long, Minister of Education, 1968.
A view of the rear of the Ballymena Academy from the hockey playing fields, 1968.
Mr. William Livingstone, head of the music department of Ballymena Academy giving a final briefing to other members of the orchestra, 1973.
The victorious Ballymena team who beat Ballyclare in the final of the Town's Cup at Ravenhill.
Ballymena Academy players clamour for the ball after a line-out during the Schools' Cup-final against Belfast Boys' Model School, at Ravenhill, 1971.
Mr. Tom Greenwood (centre back row), with the Ballymena Academy girls' choir who took part in "A cermony of carols," at the musical concert held in the school assembly hall, 1971.
Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Visit to Northern Ireland. In Ballymena.
The victorious Ballymena rugby team who defeated Bangor in the final of the Digital Senior League match at Ravenhill. 1/5/1986
Keeping cool at a beach bar are Jim Nixon and Sam Workman, both from Ballymena.
Snow plough trying to clear the drifts blocking the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
Willie John McBride, captain of Ballymena, holds the Ulster Senior Cup after his team defeated North in the final by 14-4 at Ravenhill. 23/4/1977
Ballymena Academy supporters show their confidence before boarding the train for Belfast to cheer on their team. 17/3/1981
Ballymena Academy players (from left) David Watson, Mark Dick and William McCullough show off their hard-earned schools cup medals after yesterday's decider at Ravenhill. 17/3/1981
The victorious Ballymena Academy team in jubilant mood after beating Bangor Grammar School in the Schools' Cup final. 17/3/1981

The name Ballymena comes from the Irish "An Baile Meadhonach" meaning "middle townland."

Ballymena is an area rich in history; you'll notice many ancient buildings, churches and historical sites in the town and surrounding villages of Gracehill, Cullybackey, Kells and Portglenone. The first recorded history of this area dates to the early Christian period between 5th-7th centuries; however archaeologists have uncovered artifacts which are reputed to date from the Bronze Age.

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The town of Ballymena is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles 1 in 1626, on provision that the town holds two annual fairs and a free Saturday market perpetuity. Almost four hundred years on, the town upholds its promise; the Saturday market still runs and for two days in June, the town's Ballymena Showgrounds plays host to one of the largest agricultural shows in Ireland.

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