Photographer Roy McKeown bought the derelict Raceview Woollen Mill set in 16 acres in Broughshane – “Garden Village of Ulster”. It was destined for demolition, but rather than demolish it, Roy wanted to create a “village within a village,” featuring a mixture of housing, enterprise units and hospitality. Thus using the site to generate around 100 jobs and draw tourists to the village.
This 20ft turbine which once powered the mill has now been sandblasted, cleaned up and painted and been installed at the front of the site as a focal point. Still very much a work in progress, the first phase designed in a similar style to the old mill buildings, provides new workspace for local Art & Craft enterprises. We arrived on a very cold wintery morning to a warm welcome from happy faces beavering away like Santa’s elves at Fiddlesticks Fabrics. It was all part of Free Make & Take Week from Monday to Sunday 1st-7th December.
We were invited to join in and sew a Christmas decoration, before taking it home as a memento of our visit – Free of charge. Like a naughty school girl, I was so busy chatting, that I brought mine home unfinished, but I have plenty of stuffing for the task and hope to finish it today. We learned that we were a day early for the ‘Winter Wonderland at Raceview Mill’, an event taking place over first two weekends of December. Among the attractions are:
- Santa, together with Mother Christmas reading stories and much more!
- approx 100 Christmas Market stalls – all indoors under a Victorian Roof
- spacious pop up restaurant.
- music and entyertainment from top bands such as Pure Blarney until late
- Childrens fairground
- FREE ENTRY!
I didn’t manage to return the next day, but maybe next weekend…. if my Elly wants to be a child once more! 😉 Fiddlesticks Fabrics is my kind of wonderland, below are some of the photos I took, when not chatting or struggling to thread a needle with invisible thread! This age lark is definitely not for wimps.
I might be a regular visitor in the year ahead. We eventually adjourned to The Red Brick coffee shop, at Raceview Mill where morning coffee became lunch with wonderful parsnip, celery and apple soup served with wheaten bread, followed by a coffee! Yum, yum, warm tum! I might be a regular visitor in the year ahead to explore the many units that were not ready for business on Friday. Shop fitters were in evidence everywhere, and those open to the public were still in a state of growing into their space. Another attraction will be a riverside path, planted to attract butterflies, connecting with the existing Broughshane buttermilk path. Drum roll please!
Gino Gingerbread is finished! Now I have a new game to play… What to do with these little buttons:-
Spools, safety pins and thimbles. The pack said eighteen pieces. I think I did well. How many can you count?