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Club History

      The Lagan Valley Philatelic Society was founded in the summer of 1985 when other societies were already in full swing. It was found that there was a need for local Lisburn people to find a place to meet and discuss elements of the hobby without the need to travel to the City of Belfast during the troubled times in the history of Northern Ireland. The society first met at Rathvarna House with the commencement recorded in the first minute book as 10th July 1985. It was also declared at this time that the group would be known as: The Lagan Valley Philatelic Society.

      The Society's first elected Chairman and Secretary were Roderick Harron and Raymond Morgan respectively; , the latter being the real catalyst for getting the Society off the ground and ensuring that it continued through troubled times. (Full details of office holders can be seen in the Archives section) The first minute book was introduced in June 1986 with Ray Morgan also noted as the treasurer following the absence of the original elected treasurer, however no details are available on who this was. If any member can shed any light on to this role please do let us know.

      The original minute book records the debate taken in June 1986 to relocate from the existing location at Rathvarna House as the lease was about to terminate. A special guest, Bob Teeney is recorded as having attended this meeting. No one would realise just how important this figure would become. In later years Bob became Chairman of the Society and also President of the North of Ireland Philatelic Society. In September 1986 the society moved to new premises at the Grove Activity Centre. It is encouraging that the Society has now outlived the 'Grove' which has been redeveloped. Again the special guests at this meeting included a Mr Scott, who has spent many years as the Society's Auctioneer.

      The facilities at the 'Grove' were small and cramped and not becoming to a growing society. Throughout 1987 a debate took place on alternative venues, and in September 1987 the Society took up residence in Harmony Hill Arts Centre, under the control of the then Lisburn Borough Council. The Society stayed with the Council until they closed Harmony Hill when the club moved its meetings to the new City Council Offices at 'The Island Centre'. While initially a popular location the constant increase in costs forced the Society to find a new venue. The Society's new home since 2007 has been the Braniel Hall in Hillhall Road in 2007.

      The first fair is recorded as taking place on 17th October 1987 at Harmony Hill Arts Centre and received good coverage in the local press. The second fair was held on 14th May 1988 with the venue relocating for a 5 year period to the Orange Hall at Railway Street. No fair was held in October 1990 due to a clash of dates dates but was reconvened for the 26th January 1991 taking up the now traditional date of the last Saturday in January. From 1994-2007 the Fair was held at the Presbyterian Church Hall in Railway Street, Lisburn, but as a trial run the next fair will be held at St Nicholas Church Hall, Cadogan Park, off the Lisburn Road in Belfast, (2008).

      In recent years the excellent management of the office bearers has kept the Society in a healthy state and a reduced annual subscription has been introduced for 2008. Our membership has remained constant albeit with changing faces over the years. The only requirement for membership is a healthy enthusiasm and an interest in the fascinating hobby of Philately. Let us hope that we can continue with renewed vigour and enthusiasm as we approach our 23rd year in 2008.

      Kevin McShane, Chairman, 9-Dec-2007

              2007 - 2008     Lagan Valley Philatelic Society