A very successful two-day Traditional Skills Exhibition was held in Cushendall in May 2007. Exhibitions included corn-dolly weaving, bee-keeping, churning, bread-making, St. Brigid’s Cross making, Felting, hand-knitting, machine-knitting, hand-loom weaving, willow-basket and curragh weaving, wood-carving, lacemaking, patchwork-quilting, blacksmithing, turf cutting, threshing, thatching, stone-wall building, an exhibition and demonstration of Victorian wooden toys and costumes and a vintage-machinery display
Friday was set aside specifically for visits from schools throughout the Glens and some 600 pupils attended accompanied by teachers and assistants. From the feedback, this was a very special day in the schools’ calendars and was a source of great excitement. For many of the children this was their first time to experience some of our long-forgotten skills. Fascination and surprise was expressed when the churner produced butter! Children of all ages derived immense enjoyment from playing with whizzers,yoyos, ball and cup, diabolo, pecking chickens etc. while the temptation to try on the costumes proved irresistible.
On Saturday it was the turn of the general public to enjoy the exhibition and great interest was shown in all the exhibitors’ work. The exhibitors expressed astonishment at such a high level of interest and enthusiasm from children and adults alike. As with the children, it was the first time many of the adults experienced some of these skills. Indeed some parents told how they had been dragged along by their children who wanted a second viewingand another chance to try their skill with the toys!
The photographs displayed below were taken on the Friday and clearly demonstrate the intense interest shown by the pupils.