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East Belfast folk urged to a few spin yarns about mill

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Claire Hall joins Eoghan Lamb and Hannah Carnegie to hear stories of Strand Spinning Mill

Claire Hall joins Eoghan Lamb and Hannah Carnegie to hear stories of Strand Spinning Mill

Claire Hall joins Eoghan Lamb and Hannah Carnegie to hear stories of Strand Spinning Mill

Members of the public are being urged to share their stories about what was once the world's biggest flax spinning mill - to play their part in shaping the future of the historic east Belfast site.

Strand Spinning Mill, now known as Portview Trade Centre, on the Newtownards Road, was a global centre of innovation in manufacturing and new technology from the early 1900s to 1980s.

The campaign, called 'What's the Story?', is aiming to capture its history and tell the story of those who worked there.

The archive, to be called 'Spinning Memories', will revisit the historical and important stories of Strand Spinning Mill and enable visitors to Portview Trade Centre to learn about the past through a range of tales and artefacts from the time.

Organisers are particularly interested in hearing from former employees of the mill, relatives and friends of employees and local residents who knew of the mill and what it meant for families and communities.

The archive aims to recreate an accurate picture of what life was like for many people in Northern Ireland, from the women and men who worked in the spinning mill, to survivors of the Luftwaffe's Blitz of Belfast in the spring of 1941.

The campaign will also help shape the future of Portview Trade Centre as people are encouraged to share how they would like to see this local site develop.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund recently granted £221,200 to the site, which in the 1930s was a key feature within an east Belfast sustained by industries such as ropeworks and ship building.

Claire Hall, Projects Producer at Urban Scale Interventions, who is leading the campaign, said: "The Strand Spinning Mill site is steeped in Belfast's industrial heritage and it is therefore important that we retain this and develop it for a modern-day audience.

"As a part of this re-imagining we will be capturing stories to form an archive called 'Spinning Memories' which will be on permanent display. Those associated to the mill can therefore share memories with their families, communities, and wider audiences to connect the past with the present and preserve this legacy for future generations. So, we are asking people to tell us their story connected to the Strand Spinning Mill."

Belfast Telegraph