The South Antrim Living Memories Project was a community driven initiative in 2014 that brought together enthusiastic and committed volunteers and local people who were willing to share their memories and so paint a clearer picture of life in their respective communities in the early and middle decades of the twentieth century.

The project involved the communities of Doagh, Toome and Whitehead. It was dependant on a huge voluntary commitment from the organisations responsible for the management, administration and delivery of the project, namely Doagh Ancestry Group, TIDAL (Toome Industrial Development, Amenities and Leisure Group) and Whitehead Community Centre. In particular, Bob Adams of Doagh worked tirelessly to ensure the overall project was a success, while Una Johnston was a real dynamo in Toome.

South Antrim Living Memories

Professional assistance was provided by Dr William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation (with his former colleague Dr Jonathan Hamill providing training in oral history techniques), Glen Rodgers of the Rodgers Thompson Partnership, and Chris Nelson of Storyhouse Films. Funding for the project was provided by GROW South Antrim (under the Rural Development Programme), with additional match funding provided by Newtownabbey Borough Council, Antrim Borough Council and Carrickfergus Borough Council. The outputs from the project included an exhibition, a book, a website and three short films.

The Living Memories Project has provided an invaluable resource for those wishing to learn more about the social and economic conditions of life within their communities during the early and middle decades of the twentieth century. Through it we have a perspective on particular events or processes by those directly involved, most of whom will not leave a written record of their experiences. It provided an opportunity to explore aspects of social and community history that are often hidden.