Queen’s visit to Lisburn features in new exhibit

(L-R) Sandy Heasley, Past Master LOL 823; Robert Mitchell, Hillsborough District Master and Philip Nelson, Deputy District Master pictured with one of the Lambeg drums which was played to Her Majesty and Prince Philip at Hillsborough Castle

(L-R) Sandy Heasley, Past Master LOL 823; Robert Mitchell, Hillsborough District Master and Philip Nelson, Deputy District Master pictured with one of the Lambeg drums which was played to Her Majesty and Prince Philip at Hillsborough Castle

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Hillsborough District LOL has loaned a Lambeg drum, used to serenade the Queen, to a new exhibition marking her 90th birthday.

The drum, which was one of several used during the Queen and Prince Phillip’s visit to Hillsborough Castle in the 1950s, will be on show at the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.

The exhibition, ‘Happy and Glorious’, features a snapshot of images relating to Her Majesty’s numerous visits to Northern Ireland, before and during her illustrious reign as Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Among the photos on display is then Princess Elizabeth’s first official engagement in the Province, reviewing the girl guides in Lisburn in 1945.

Others depict the Queen’s regular visits to various parts of Northern Ireland during the 64 years of her sovereignty, and include celebrations for her Coronation and the Golden Jubilee.

Also given prominence is an archive photograph of Lambeg drummers greeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Hillsborough Castle in 1953.

Continuing the royal theme, cream teas will also be available to the public every Wednesday at the museum’s Piccolo cafe throughout the duration of the display, which runs until the end of June.

Museum curator, Dr Jonathan Mattison, said the outreach facility was delighted to host such an exhibition to publicly recognise the Queen’s personal milestone.

He said: “We are absolutely thrilled to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday in such an innovative way, and have no doubt the impressive photographic display will become a focal point and matter of discussion for museum visitors.

“As well offering a snapshot of the Queen’s numerous visits to Northern Ireland over a period of 70 years, the exhibition also brings history to life through the presence of a shell of one of the original Lambeg drums which serenaded the Royal couple.

“We are grateful to Hillsborough District for the loan of this significant musical item.”

The recognition of the Queen comes ahead of a major Battle of the Somme exhibition at the east Belfast museum later this year.

Since opening last summer, the Museum of Orange Heritage is proving popular with the wider public and tourists as the Loyal Institution aims to promote shared space and greater levels of reconciliation through education.

The state-of-the-art building at Schomberg House displays a wealth of items and artefacts relating to the history of Orangeism across the world.

Another smaller museum, focusing on the origins of the Institution, is located at Sloan’s House in Loughgall, Co Armagh.

The Museum of Orange Heritage is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. The Cregagh Road facility is also open until 8pm every Thursday.