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'Bound By Threads' exhibition officially opened at Carrickfergus Museum

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Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, officially opened a striking exhibition entitled ‘Bound By Threads’ at Carrickfergus Museum last week.

‘Bound By Threads’ is the work of Ulster University Phd Researcher and Museum staff member, Helen Johnston. The exhibition explores the design history of society regalia, the meanings bound into these pieces of clothing and the ways in which objects can generate memory and identity.

On display are objects from Carrickfergus Museum collection as well as from National Museums NI, the Orange Heritage Museum in Loughgall, DCSDC Tower Museum, the Royal Black institution and some private loans.

They include pieces from the various orders of Freemasonry, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, the Loyal Orange Institution, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Royal Black Institution, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, the International Order of Good Templars, and the Irish National Foresters.

Speaking at the official opening, the Mayor said: “Just looking around this rich display it’s impossible not to appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into creating these pieces of regalia. How they are made and decorated; the colours and symbols used – can reveal all sorts of interesting stories associated with them.

“It is a fascinating exhibition full of history and I would encourage everyone to go and see it.”

Attendees at the launch event were delighted to discover a range of regalia for handling, including a detailed replica of a Worshipful Master’s cloak.

Helen spoke of the discoveries she had made in the course of her research including the stories of the people who made and wore such items. She continues to work on her research and is keen to gather more stories. The Museum will be running a programme of events throughout the exhibition which finishes on 28 May 2024.

For further information, please contact T: 028 93358241 or email



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