The Arches of Mouneview Street and Queen Street provide a great sense of pride and community to local residents. One thing that has become clear through our journey of discovering the heritage of the local Arches, is the amount of time and effort local residents give to the Arches. The members of the different Arches committees’ throughout the town deserve a lot of recognition for maintaining this great tradition.
Mourneview Street Arch Official Opening
Mourneview Street Arch was unveiled in July 1939 by Sir Knight Alex Adair, District Master of Portadown Royal Black Chapter. The majority of the arch was designed and constructed by Mr Wilson Binks. The old English lettering of the inscriptions and the glass panels were completed by Mr Joseph Wright. During the speeches at the opening, both men where congratulated on their success.
The weather conditions were particularly poor for the opening ceremony. But that did not dampen the spirits of over 1000 people who gathered to witness the official opening.
Portadown Pipe Band and Edgarstown Accordion Band provided the music for the evening. The proceedings of the evening was led by Sir Knight and Brother R J Magowan, Worshipful Master of Edenderry LOL 322.
“Isn’t it nice!”
“The Colouring and lettering are beautiful”
‘These exclamations are typical of what a bystander heard at the unveiling of Mourneview Street Arch on Thursday evening last’.
Portadown Times 14th July 1939
It is interesting and very appropriate to note that no fewer than nine members of the committee had the first name William; William Baxter, William (Billy) Cooper, William (Billy) Whitten Junior, William Taylor, William (Billy) Magee, William Baxter Junior, William McKeown, William Power Senior and William Power Junior.
The other members of the committee were Teddy Grimason, Arthur Magee, George Whitten, George Hodgen and George Magee.
Queen Street Arch
In 1983, a few of the local residents on the street had the idea of erecting their own Arch at the Thomas Street entrance. A Committee was formed and a collection was made in the neighbourhood. Planning permission was requested and granted.
An arch shed was built to store the Arch throughout the year. The building of the shed was done on a voluntary basis mainly by Mr Paul Trouton, Mr Trevor Bonis, Mr Brian Beattie and a few others.
The Arch was sourced from the Derryadd area; one that was no longer in use. It was then adapted in size as the steel was too short. The steel poles were made to measure locally. The wooden structure was built to suit by residents from the street; mainly Mr Paul Trouton and Mr Trevor Bonis.
It was then painted by local residents Mr Paul Trouton, Mr Trevor Bonis and Mr Brian Beattie. The artwork was completed by Mr Neville Austin and the electric work was completed by Mr George Trouton. The lettering was done by a local sign-writer Mr Bracken Anderson.
The Queen Street Arch was officially opened on 28th June 1985 by local MP Mr Harold McCusker and dedicated by the Reverend Tom Taylor.
Portadown Defenders Flute Band provided the music during the opening ceremony and a reception was held in the Trouton Household for the dignitaries.
Maintaining the Arch
The Arch was maintained for the first fifteen years by a collection from the residents of the street, but unfortunately due to the change in the population of the area this became unfeasible.
The Arch has been put up each year since with the goodwill of the Trouton family and friends and with the kind help of The Beattie family; who look after the shed and supply the electricity. It has been refurbished a number of times during its almost thirty five year existence.