Let's Look at Ulster: Programme 2

Let's Look at Ulster: Programme 2

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Belfast, Donegal, Newtownards




Production 01/01/1977


18min 37sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Audio and picture are poor.

A three part series exploring Ulster's history with the use of archive pictures and maps to paint a picture on how the province has changed over time.

This episode focuses on Ulster's weaving history, from the growing of flax, to the final product ready for export. Over the course of the programme learn the process of farming the plant, to soaking and pulling it - or as it's traditionally called 'retting' it. After which it is then dried in the fields - which needs to be done carefully to make sure the fibres aren't damaged - before being transported to the mills, where it is hackled by a machine which combs the fibres. The long fibres "are then taken by girls and spread out" to be fed through a machine and turned into a long loose ribbon, suitable to be turned into yarn - this is the raw material which cloth is woven with. 

However, the industry faced pressures after the first world war and with the introduction of artificial fibres (which are not as labour intensive and therefore are cheaper to produce) soon meant the slowing down of a once booming industry.


A UTV Production

Devised and written by Rex Cathcart

Narrators: John Keyes and John McCavert

Film editor: Brian O’Rourke

Director: Andrew Crockart



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