Glimpses of old Newtownards

Based on the books of the same name published by

Stewart McClean, Derek Harkness, Jonathan Coates

Pictured below are some of the streets where I lived and played for many years. Huge changes have been made to this small area of Newtownards but the memories of those days and the people who shared them with me are still fresh in my mind.The Blaxnit factory was a main employer and provided work for many thousands of people from all corners of the Ards Peninsula. I hope to be able to add the names and house numbers of those families that I can remember.

    I must thank Derek Beattie for finding and allowing me to use this picture

Looking down at the picture over the rooftops of the houses on Thomas Street you can see the main offices of the Blaxnit factory.

On the left is Mark Street,on the right is Robert Street, at the top is Mary Street and leading of Robert Street is Brewery Lane which ran from Robert Street crossing over West Street onto Regent Street


Robert Street Mark Street Mary Street Thomas Street West Street Brewery Lane
These are the five main streets where I spent most of my youth And I hope to be able to name as many of the residents as possible, if you know of anymore please e-mail me at
Robert Street was first known as Front Shuttlefield and the road behind it was Back Shuttlefield Street. It was sometime after the 1911 census that the name change took place. The small street that joined them was called Short Street and during my growing years Davy and Jimmy Jamison had a garage there, I always just new it as just "round the row". There were some houses a scout hall the Blacks factory canteen, the back of Bibbys feed merchent and ending in the back gates of the Blaxnit factory. I will try and find names of the people who lived there, I know a few of them, Grahams, McKittericks an old lady called Mrs Kyle and Mrs Maureen Cric.


Robert Street
Mark Street
Mary Stret
Thomas Street
West Street
There was also The Brewery Lane which ran between Robert Street and Regent Street, crossing West Street. The town council had a yard for the steet sweepers carts and there was the main entrance to The Swiss embrordiey works and a side entrance to Debrettas One name for a resident that I have is Stevenson. There was the main entrance for The Salvation army hall. There was also a small lane that led off Mary Street, locally known as "the lane". Two families that lived there were The Wests and the Moores


Shanks Kerr/McClean Robson Aikens Cargo Kennedy McCord Cash
McDade Gill Trolan McKees Mayne Cousins Francis McCready
Finlay Logan Gourley McRoberts


*Ellas shop*

McCutchion Fitzsimmons Auld
Cully/Mayne Reid McKitterick



Hayes Robinson Clarke Mooney
Stirling/McClean Houston



Campbells 1st Newtownards

Presbiterian. Church.

Napier Shanks McCauley
McClean/Adair Dalzell Carlile Armstrongs

The Orange Hall

Thompson McDade Debretta's factory
McDade Bailie Carnduff Russells Jefferson's off liscence Muir Savage The cattle and sheep auction yard
Adams McAlpine McAllister McDaid Strain Church Woods Hedley Jeffersons public house
O'Neill Egan Miskelly Moore McVeigh Johnston Smith Carson
Lightbody Aiken Clarke Carnduff Smyth Ellison McBlain Mayne
Fisher Bailies Harvey Pinnins Savage Algie Evans The Queen's Hall
Malone Campbell Kennedy Pools McClenaghan McCorriston Heron The Weigh station***
Gambles Magills Grahm Chivers Gamble Mateer*2 Murrays Moffet's butchers
McCreadie Mooney Cauhgey Doakes Montgomery Strain Church and church hall
McKimm Buckly Burke Pipers Cavan     Smyths chip shop
Clarke Rutherford Lawson McKibbens Caughers     McConnell
Heron Glenford table tennis club Cardys McNeills Gaw     Hardford Lodge
    Rowleys O'Reileys *The Lane*     bus station
    Gibsons Church rectory     Todd
    Palmer memorial hall McMeekin       McLaughlin
              Fergusons grocery store, later became Debrettas factory shop

I am deeply indebted to Mr James McCorriston, originally a resident of Thomas Street and now residing in Canada for his help with names

I have also been able to add some more names to Mark Street thanks to Sandra Campbell and have recently added new names to Mary Street thanks to Ellan McVeigh

Two of Newtown's finest ladies have been and are still looking for more names for me, Christine Stafford and Karen Murphy (Heaney)

*** The original weigh bridge is still on the road but has been covered



Borough Creast

The Ards Peninsula


3. 4.
5. 6.
7. 8.
9. 10.
11.   12.
13.   14.
15   16
17   18
19   20

21   22
23                                                                                               24
25                                                                                               26
27 See article below on the murder at Flush Hall                                                                                               28
29                                                                                              30
31                                                                                               32
33                                                                                               34

35                                                                                               36

    39        40
41   42



The photograph above of the old lead mines workings is from a book called Old Newtownards by John Hanna & Des Quail


Above is a photograph of what is known locally as the Low Dam. The view is looking towards Glen House


Three aerial photographic views of Newtownards. On the left, a shot looking down on the town square, the middle picture was taken before the making of the roundabout at the junction of East Street, the Bangor and Donaghadee roads. On the right, is the the large green field area before the building of the Scrabo estate in the early 1950's.

  (See picture No 3 above)


Below are four different images of The Town Hall in past times, it still remains one of the most iconic and easily recognised buildings in our town.

(see brief history above)


The photographs below those of the Town Hall are four images of the town's other iconic structure, The Old Cross.

The original was built in 1636, destroyed in 1653 and rebuilt in 1666






This is a drawing of what the original Old Cross looked like before it was destroyed by the soldiers of Oliver Cromwells army in 1653.

Many thanks to Paul Whitla for allowing me to use this image



Newtownards was also famous throughout the world for The Ards TT (tourist trophy) These races were held from 1928 until they ended in 1936 when a fatal accident happened killing spectators

These races could almost certainly regarded as the Formula 1 of it's day, pictured below are some of the cars that took part in this world famous event








This black marble memorial stands on the opposite corner of the statue to Lt. Col R. B. Mayne

The Blair Mayne Assocition are proud to have made the first donation of £500 towards this fitting tribute


  Please remember to credit this web-site at all times and do not use any of this material for financial gain

Site updated 6th November



Picture information




The Middle row

The Borough Creast

A map of the Ards penninsula and Strangford Lough

Scrabo Tower 

St Marks Curch of Ireland church

The Old Cross

The Old Priory

Note the many buildings standing behind the old cross

No war memorial in front of the old priory

it now stands on what was a bowling green.

There has been a public house on the corner of Court Square

for many years. It is now called The Point but for quite some

time it was known as

The Bowling Green. 

Two views of Conway Square and High Street

The original war memorial which stood in Victoria Avenue

The bank which is now an insurance office

Looking down Little Francis Street towards the Town Hall

A brief description of the Town Hall.

St. Finians primary school Ann Street

Londonderry School

Newtownards Railway station

The old St Patricks Roman Catholic Church, Ann Street

Victoria Avenue

Newtownards train station

Airmail from Ards Airport

Artist's impression of how Scrabo Tower was meant to have been finished

but the building was never finished due to the lack of funds.

St Patricks Chapel, the gentleman standing at the chapel gates was Mr. Jack Slowey, caretaker, bell ringer, gardener and stalwart of St Patricks billiard club.

The Royal train heading towards Newtownards.

The workings at the lead mines

The Low dam, looking towards Glen House.


Robert Street looking towards Thomas Street

The Transit van was used by Ards FC and driven by

Jackie McDade


Thomas Street

Looking down towards West Street


The Church Primary School in Regent Street

Now in the Glen Estate and known as Londonderry Primary School


The newly built Scrabo Estate Viewed from Scrabo Tower

   5 Mark Street looking towards James Street
   6 Mary Street viewed from outside the Orange Hall

looking towards West Street

   7 Looking from West Street towards the junction of 

William Street and Corry Street

Fredrick Street looking towards Mill Street
Mill Street looking towards the Model School
  10 The Gas works in Mill Street, sadly now just another car park
  11 The Old Court House Regent Street sadly replaced by an ugly building

Talbot Street fom the junction with the North Road.

The railway embankment on the right was connected by a bridge

to the long gone train station. The site is now occupied by a college

 13 An early aerial view of the town

Before the building of the new Regent House Grammer school,

bottom left is Dairyhall playing fields and the driver examination

center which is now occupied by the Ambulance Service


Mill Street the building on the right is now where the public toilets are located 

McConnells fish and chip shop and Mrs Haskins on left


John Street viewed from what was the driving test centre and is now the

ambulance station


The Ulster Print Works the caption under the picture tells the story

  18 The Glen Factory building on the Crawfordsburn Road
  19 Greenwell Street Church

Pound Street all of the old buildings have recently been replaced with new

housing much of the old property belonged to The Mayne family


High Street


The boarded up shop on the corner of Queen Street

was once owned by the Ferguson family.

  23 Balfour Street
  24 Forde Street
  25 Corry Street, across from Glenford Park. Viewed towards the Shorts factory
  26 Preparing for the roundabout at the Bangor/Donaghadee Road junction

Flush Hall, the scene of a murder, see details in the article above

"Scrape the beetle"

  28 Regent Street
  29 A very old photo of The Model Primary School
  30 The working yard of the train station at Victoria Avenue
  31 The low dam looking towards Glen House
  32 Looking over St Patricks RC chapel fron the train station towards the town
  34 The Royal Carriage  was reused after the visit and can now be seen at the museum housed in Downpatrick
  33 The train station at Victoria Street
  35 The Ards FC social club
  36 The Newtownards war Memorial
  37 The Masonic Hall Regent Street
  38 As stated on the photograph
  39 Looking towards Newtownards from the Portaferry road
  40 A colour (tinted) photo of the town square
  41 A painting of Scrabo Tower fron the duck pond
  42 An early colour photograph of the Town Hall






























































This page is under regular construction and contains many old photographs,

some of them will be of gone and forgotten places in the town.

I hope that you will enjoy the memories that they bring as much as I do.  


  Your comments, questions, suggestions, information or names would be very welcome.   

    Stewart McClean

e-mail address --



Ardnet Online Solutions - Website Design in Newtownards

 Contact Andrew Kane for a very fast, professional and friendly Service


Click on Royal Artillery badge for a new site and see many of the men who lived in the streets pictured above