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‘The kind of Ulster I want’: Did you take part in the Belfast Telegraph’s centenary celebrations 50 years ago?

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Top (l to r): Valerie McCambley, Jeffrey Nelson, Stefana McClure. Bottom (l to r): Una McClements, John Browne, Sally Mountjoy

Top (l to r): Valerie McCambley, Jeffrey Nelson, Stefana McClure. Bottom (l to r): Una McClements, John Browne, Sally Mountjoy

Top (l to r): Valerie McCambley, Jeffrey Nelson, Stefana McClure. Bottom (l to r): Una McClements, John Browne, Sally Mountjoy

Fifty years ago, the Belfast Telegraph ran ‘The Kind of Ulster I Want’ competition to marks its centenary.

The young people of Northern Ireland in 1970 were invited to pen a short essay detailing their hopes and dreams for peace and harmony in the future - and what NI would look like in the future.

Among the winners were:

  • Una McClements, the winner of the under-12 age group
  • John Browne, the winner of the 12 and 13 age group

The runners-up were:

  • Valerie McCambley won the second prize in the 14 and 15 age group
  • Sally Mountjoy won the second priize in the 12 and 13 age group
  • Stefana McClure won the second prize in the under 12 section
  • Jeffrey Nelson won a special consolation voucher

At the time, 15-year-old Valerie McCambley, winner of second prize in the 14-15 age group, won a £25 voucher which she said she would be putting towards a trip abroad with school the following year.

“We must realise now before it is too late, that we are tomorrow’s Ulster,” wrote Valerie.

“We must affirm that 1690 is now for our history books, but 1990 is for us.”

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Nelson, from Belfast, wrote that he “would like to see Ulster full of happy people who have nice homes and who live in peace with their neighbours”.

He said he was going to buy an Action Man with “real hair” with his £3 consolation voucher.

As we gear up to celebrate 150 years of publication, the Belfast Telegraph would love to hear from those past competition winners, their families and friends to find out what they make of Northern Ireland in 2020.

Email us at newseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph