The 1959 Lurgan Street Directory|
Black's Court in 1959. Sadly it was all gone by 1964
By 1959 Lurgan had changed dramatically from its earlier incarnation as a manufacturing hub. The linen trade was all but a memory and the looms and spinning wheels that had graced so many houses were all now gone. The prospering Goodyear factory was one of the largest employers now, feeding many ancillary businesses in and around the town. Sadly Goodyear's was closed in 1983 due to lack of profits.
In October 1955, a site for a new Girls Intermediate School at Kitchen Hill was acquired from the Sisters of Mercy. On the 12th January 1959 Most Rev Dr Eugene O'Doherty, the Bishop of Dromore, at a ceremony attended by the Mayor and Town Clerk of Lurgan, with representatives of the Ministry of Education, blessed the complex and formally named St Mary's. As this project was being completed, plans were being formulated for the purchase of an eight-acre field in Francis Street as the site for the St Paul's Intermediate School complex. Work began here in 1959. However, at the early stages of construction, veins of "running sand" caused major problems, resulting in excavations to a depth of 20ft to find solid footings. Building work progressed until mid-1962. The school received its first pupils in September 1962, with Mr Thomas Keville as principal, and Mr Gerard McCrory as vice-principal.
The M1 motorway was born out of a plan announced by the Northern Ireland government in 1946 to improve the deteriorating traffic problems in Belfast by constructing a set of three "approach roads" to speed motorists from the areas around the city into the centre. The South Approach was planned to run parallel to the Lisburn Road. The chosen route began at Donegall Road and would run south-west bypassing Dunmurry and Lisburn and then heading west via Waringstown to terminate between Portadown and Lurgan. No work took place on the road in the cash-strapped post-war years, but the plan was still alive and in 1956 was updated. It was decided to build the road to motorway standard, numbered the M1, with a dual-carriageway from the end of the M1 at Lurgan to Dungannon. The route was thus altered to take the road to the north of Lurgan rather than via Waringstown, and this later helped in the construction of the new city of Craigavon between Lurgan and Portadown. In 1958 the government announced that the section from Lurgan to Dungannon would be built to motorway standard as well. Work began in 1959 on the Belfast to Lisburn section and the following year on the challenging section from j12 to j14 which crossed a deep peat bog.
The 1959 Lurgan Street Directory was donated to us by Martin McGoldrick and once again we thank him for all the work he has done on behalf of the people of Lurgan. The directory is laid out in Alphabetical order by street name.
We make this information freely available to genealogists and Family Historians, but at no time may this information be used on a pay site or sold for profit.
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