Hands on Heritage

Portadown Ex Servicemen LOL 608 where successful in obtaining funding for their project ‘Hands on Heritage’ from Portadown Heritage Tours CATCH Programme. This funding programme was made possible by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Research was conducted by Portadown Heritage Tours into members of the 1913 4th Portadown Battalion Ulster Volunteer Force. This brought to the forefront many of the UVF Members who went on to serve in the Great War. Many of these men came home and lived a life. They are buried in family graves. Due to having no commonwealth headstone their service and their life stories had been lost to history.

The Project

Over a 3 month period, members of Portadown Ex Servicemen LOL 608 located graves within Drumcree and Seagoe Cemetery. Due to no longer having family in the area to care for the graves, they required some TLC to restore them. LOL 608 where able to purchase the necessary equipment needed through the CATCH funding programme in order to do this.

In the early stages of the project, a workshop was held with members of LOL 608 to create community art forms as a means to identify the graves and acknowledge the service contribution of individuals.

Working with Portadown Heritage Tours, the life of each individual was throughly researched and recorded. This was very much a volunteer driven programme. The members of LOL 608 took time out of their work schedules and weekends to care and carry out essential maintenance to the graves identified.

Community Accessible

To ensure the history was recorded and accessible to the local community, members of LOL 608 worked along with Brilliant Trails to develop an app. Their aim was to ensure the app was quite simplistic and not over complicated to use. This was particularly fo those who may not be comfortable with technology. The app was developed through a web based QR Code.

The app has provided a vital role for the preservation of local heritage stories relating to the Great War.


Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund

CATCH Funding programme was made possible through Portadown Heritage Tours ARCH programme funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund. Many successful groups had never engaged in heritage projects are worked with funding programmes before. The CATCH programme has developed vital skills in the local Portadown Community through a variety of groups.

This particular project by LOL 608 has made it possible to increase skills, community involvement and build community relations through Heritage engagement.