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Richard Hayward’s East Antrim: A Virtual Exhibition

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Image 1 – Richard Hayward Richard Hayward

Richard Hayward was raised and educated in Larne, a town which along with the Antrim coast, held a special affection in his heart throughout his life. Although born in Southport, Lancashire, his family moved to live in Larne in the mid-1890s when he was an infant. Hayward went on to become one of Ireland’s leading cultural figures during the middle decades of the 20th century and his fame was due in no small measure to the formative years of his upbringing in Larne. In a busy career, he was a renowned writer, singer, actor and film-star, as well as a broadcaster and folklorist. He recorded both Orange ballads and traditional Irish folksongs and wrote poetry and eleven books of travel about Ireland.

As a child, Hayward lived with his family firstly at Beach Vista beside Larne harbour before moving nearby to Chelmsford Place. Their house was a distinguished three-storey terrace in an identical row of six just around the corner from the Chaine Memorial replica round tower at Sandy Bay Point erected in 1887-88.

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Richard Hayward (Continued) He attended Miss Cunningham’s School in the main street in Larne in the mid-1890s and in his first travel book, In Praise of Ulster, recalled his early days in life at the school. ‘As if it were yesterday, I can remember the voice of Miss Cunningham telling some unruly pupil that he was “the essence of disobedience”.’ He was educated at the Model School in Carrickfergus and later at Larne Grammar School where he was a boarder in the early part of the 20th century. At the age of seven the young Richard – then known as Harold – developed a deep love of music, not just from the singers he heard on the streets of Larne, but also in the household. As a relatively prosperous family, they employed a maid from County Monaghan who taught him his first songs. He learnt from her Irish ballads that struck a special chord leading to a lifetime’s interest in traditional songs and an abiding passion for the harp. The landscape of the Antrim coastline and the texture of the countryside resonated with him from early age. He explored the surrounding coastline of Islandmagee, the Glens of Antrim, while the Sallagh Braes, Slemish Mountain and Rathlin Island were all places to which he was drawn. 2 of 2

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Image 2 – Official Opening Official launch of ‘Richard Hayward’s East Antrim’ exhibition at Larne Museum & Arts Centre The exhibition, 'Richard Hayward's East Antrim', was launched by Richard Hayward's son, Richard; Paul Clements, author of 'Romancing Ireland-Richard Hayward-1892-1964'; and Richard Hayward's grandson, Paul Hayward.

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Image 3 – Aileen McArdle A trio of women musicians Apart from appearing on stage and screen, Richard Hayward sang widely all over Ireland, at concerts, festivals, ceilidhs, in ballrooms and dance halls where he accompanied other performers. Three of the women with whom he sang were Delia Murphy, known as ‘The Queen of Connemara’; later he teamed up with Anna Meakin - they called themselves ‘The Irish Troubadours’ singing together on BBC Radio and Radio Éireann; after World War II, Hayward accompanied Aileen MacArdle, the solo harp with the Belfast Philharmonic Orchestra, who also played with the BBC Irish Rhythms Orchestra. She moved to England and went on to become a respected music teacher, coach and adjudicator. She died in December 2018 meriting an obituary in The Guardian.

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Image 4 – Ulster Songs and ballads

Ulster Songs and Ballads ‘Ulster Songs and Ballads of Town and Country’ contained 55 songs collected and set down by Hayward. Published in September 1925, this compilation included favourites such as ‘The Ballad of Master McGrath’, ‘Dolly’s Brae’, ‘Kitty of Coleraine’ and ‘The Ballynure Ballad’. Many were anti-war songs, mournful laments, nostalgic street ballads full of tenderness, or stories of courtship and innocent love. Hayward felt it was vital to preserve them and to rescue them from obscurity. He picked up the songs at impromptu concerts, sitting around a turf fire in a convivial kitchen or attending wakes - he once said there was something wrong if he did not come away from a wake with the lyrics of several new ballads.

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Image 5 – records The Orange Sash In 1959 Fontana released ‘The Orange Sash’ LP featuring a mix of Hayward’s best-known songs and some less-familiar ones. Members of the Ormiston Choir backed him on several songs. The cover featured his Eldon lodge collarette and an illustration of a section of an engraving by John Hall from a painting by Benjamin West. The Gramophone reviewer wrote: ‘His words are crystal clear as always and his artistry has ripened with the years.’ From the Irish Roads Decca produced Hayward’s ‘From the Irish Roads’ vinyl LP in the early 1950s in which Hayward joined forces with the fiddler Sean Maguire. Songs recorded include ‘The Humour is on Me Now’, ‘Six Miles from Bangor to Donaghadee’ and ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’.

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Image 6 – William Law William Law Record William Law’s shop in Larne was a promoter of Hayward’s songs and recognised his importance in the musical and cultural world. This record features ‘The Mutton Burn Stream’, a song which became a party piece and which he sang in ‘The Early Bird’ filmed in Carnlough and Glenarm in 1936.

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Image 7 – Hayward harp The Story of the Irish Harp Two nuns at a convent in Lisburn taught Hayward to play the harp. They helped him learn the basic skills until he had mastered the instrument which he played at reunion dinners of the Larne Old Grammarians Association in the King’s Arms Hotel. He owned several harps and donated three of them to museums. In 1954 he wrote ‘The Story of the Irish Harp’ published by Arthur Guinness & Son at five shillings. He included details of his own harp, dating from 1657, which he presented to the National Museum in Dublin in 1947. It bears an inscription on the forepillar which translates as: ‘May you never want a string while there’s guts in an Englishman.’ This book was kindly loaned for display by Linen Hall Library, Belfast.

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Image 8 – This is Ireland books This is Ireland In 1948 Hayward signed up a new artist, Raymond Piper from Belfast, to illustrate with pencil drawings a series of travel books covering a sustained circuit of all of Ireland. In a collaboration lasting 16 years, the two men jointly produced five books incorporating topography, history, architecture and antiquities of the countryside, as well as flora and fauna. ‘Leinster and the City of Dublin’ (1949) was the first book to be published and was chosen as a Book Society recommendation. It was closely followed by ‘Ulster and the City of Belfast’ in 1950 which featured a colour cover drawing of the Antrim coast. In the Co Antrim chapter, Raymond Piper produced an evocative drawing of Pogue’s entry in Antrim town. Sixty-five years after its first publication, Hayward’s Ulster book was reprinted in 2015 by Clachan Publishing of Ballycastle, helping bring his name and writing to a new audience.

The Leinster and Ulster books were followed by two on the West of Ireland: ‘Connacht and the City of Galway’ (1952), and ‘Mayo Sligo Leitrim Roscommon’ (1955). The final book in the series, ‘Munster and the City of Cork’, was published in August 1964, crowning Hayward’s writing career just two months short of his 72nd birthday. He dedicated the book to the memory of his wife Elma, who died in 1961, and their sons Dion and Richard.

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Image 9 – Border Foray Border Foray Filled with history, legend, politics and whimsical stories, ‘Border Foray’ followed the line of the Irish border on a discursive journey for 200 miles through farmland, townlands and villages. Published in 1957, the book featured Raymond Piper’s resplendent pictorial cover dustwrapper. His artwork includes an arresting image of St Patrick playing the harp - his face a caricature of Hayward’s - alongside the Three Collas, the Black Pig, the ‘Wilde Irishman’ and scantily clad dancing girls. In the opening pages, Hayward presents a memorable vignette which he encountered at one border crossing. I shall never forget the occasion when I approached a quiet part of the Border in my car and knocked at the door of the Customs Hut to have my triptyque scrutinised and stamped. It was nearly six o’clock of a fine summer’s evening and there was no response. But a farmer near the end of his labour in an adjoining field saw what I was at and called out to me: “You needn’t knock there, mister. Sure there’s no Border at this time of the day: the man’s away for his tay.”

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Image 10 – membership cards Membership Cards All his life Hayward was a joiner, socialite and a member of numerous organisations, leading a hectic life participating in varied activities. He was also Justice of the Peace, a member of the Libraries Committee of Belfast Corporation, and served on a Ministry of Home Affairs Stormont Committee looking into the treatment of gypsies in Northern Ireland. All items kindly loaned for display by NMNI

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Image 11 – Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club

Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club Through his membership of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club, Hayward led groups on excursions as a tour guide all over Ireland. He was President of the club in 1951-2. His trips were extremely popular and those attending were asked to bring oilskins, rubber footwear, strong shoes and thermos flasks. In April 1963 he was interviewed by BBC Radio on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the field club. In 2013, for the club’s commemorative booklet in its 150th year, separate sections featured Hayward and his artist-friend Raymond Piper.

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Image 12 - Ulster dialect dictionary Ulster Dialect Survey The dialect and folklore section of the Belfast Naturalists’ Field Club drew up a plan for what was called the Ulster Dialect Survey and sent out 900 questionnaires, collecting words and phrases from a vast range of sources. The questionnaire asked the informant for common vernacular phrases or words and within a few years they had collected more than 8000 words. This was kindly loaned for display by NMNI.

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Image 13 – Brendan Adams

Concise Ulster Dictionary The ‘Concise Ulster Dictionary’ published in 1996 had its origins in the important 1950s’ work carried out by Hayward and Brendan Adams (Hayward’s nephew) who collected Ulster dialect words and phrases. They were swamped with thousands of words and these later went to the Ulster Folk Museum which took over their curation. One of those who worked on the dictionary in later years was Larne man, Robert Gregg, whose family emigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. Gregg was an editorial consultant on the book and a renowned expert on linguistics. Many of the words and phrases contained in the dictionary would have been lost without the initial work which Hayward and Adams carried out. The section under the letter ‘g’ includes such expressive words as: Gulder | Gullion | Gulpin | Gumption | Gundy | Gurn

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Image 14 – LGS dinner menu Larne Grammar School Reunion Dinners During the 1950s Hayward was a regular at the Larne Old Grammarians’ Association reunion dinners. Those attending frequently signed the invitation and Hayward was amongst the artists who performed. He never lost his affection for the school and attended prize-givings at which he donated to the library signed presentation copies of several of his books. This was kindly loaned for display by NMNI.

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Image 15 – story Larne Grammar School Letter and Essay Larne Grammar School letter dated 19th October 1954 to Richard Hayward in connection with a writing competition which he was asked to judge. One essay, “The Supernatural in Islandmagee”, was written by Robin Whitla. This was kindly loaned for display by NMNI.

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Image 16 – Mrs McIlhagga ‘Mrs McIlhagga’ Richard Hayward as the character ‘Mrs McIlhagga’ of Belfast from a charcoal drawing by the artist Frank McKelvey. This was kindly loaned for display by NMNI.

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Image 17 – The Early Bird ‘The Early Bird’ In the 1930s, Hayward’s major feature film, ‘The Luck of the Irish’ was made in Glynn, while ‘Devil’s Rock’ was made in Cushendun. In the summer of 1936 Richard Hayward work began on ‘The Early Bird’ with filming in Glenarm and Carnlough lasting a week. Set in the fictional village of ‘Ballytober’, the location was the Antrim coast and featured locations from the surrounding district. Hayward took on the central role of Daniel Duff, a small farmer while his wife Elma, who was an accomplished actress, played the part of his niece. It was described by Hayward as ‘a very well-constructed comedy on robust country lines’. During filming, the cast stayed at the Antrim Arms Hotel in Glenarm. The film was very successful and widely distributed. The storyline focuses on the rivalry between Duff and the local vet Charlie Simpson (Jimmy Mageean) for the hand of an attractive widow Rose Madill (Nan Cullen) and Susan (Elma Hayward). Musical interludes feature Hayward singing with footage of the scenery of the coastline. Among the songs he performed were ‘The Comber Ballad’ and one of his favourites ‘The Mutton Burn Stream’ which became a Hayward ‘party piece’. 1 of 2

The Irish News praised the quality of light in the area which it said lends itself to first class outdoor photography. It said that perhaps the most delightful scene is that in which Richard Hayward goes stonestepping down the Glenarm River singing ‘The Mutton Burn Stream.’ (The Mutton Burn stream is the Kilroot Rover and runs from Ballycarry through Ballyhill, past Crossmary and through the Castle Dobbs demesne to Kilroot.) The positive publicity in the daily press gave the film impetus throughout Ireland, setting box-office records in some areas. At the Picture House in Belfast it was retained for an extra week. The distributors, the Irish International Film Agency, reported a record week in Dingle, County Kerry. Box-office records were also broken in Carlow and Galway. The film presents a generally friendly picture of a local community. John Hill says it ‘provides a fundamentally benign vision of community in which, whatever the courtship rivalries, all remain relatively united. However, unlike The Luck of the Irish, there is a much sharper sense of social division.’ Despite the generous reviews for The Early Bird, the Irish film censor, James Montgomery, regarded it as ‘crude and vulgar’ and required cuts before its release in the Republic. ‘The amount given to men in their shirts is disgusting … it is no credit to Ireland to release such stuff,’ was his verdict in handwritten notes on the Censor’s Records. 2 of 2

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Image 18 – Handbill for the Early Bird The John Clifford Connection John Clifford, who was curator of Larne’s Historical Centre, was a poet and actor. He wrote one-act kitchen country plays and in the 1930s became friendly with Richard Hayward. One play, written by the Coleraineborn author and dramatist James Douglas, ‘The Early Bird’, had been staged by Hayward’s repertory company. Clifford was one of those in the cast which included Richard and Elma Hayward as well as their son Dion.

In later years Hayward enjoyed revisiting Larne and striking up old friendships, giving talks in the early 1960s to Larne Round Table and Larne Rotary Club. John Clifford described Hayward as ‘one of the great Ulstermen and a true Co. Antrim personality’. In February 1970, his tribute reflecting on their friendship was published by the Larne & District Folklore Society.

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“I was one of the fortunate many who for many years enjoyed the friendship of Richard. We first met about the year 1934-35. Richard was sponsoring the play “Castlereagh” in the Belfast Empire Theatre and he asked me to take part in a “curtain raiser”, which I gladly undertook. From then onwards we remained firm friends. I took part in several of his early films including “The Luck of the Irish”, “Never go home”, “Irish and Proud if it”. “Probably I would never have gone to London had it not been that Richard invited me over to the Fox Film Studios in 1936 to complete some indoor shots. There and then I fell in love with London and went over there again in 1937 to remain there for 30 years. I met Richard often when he came to London on business or to record some of his ballads at the Recording Studio. I never tired of listening to him singing to the accompaniment of the harp.”

John Clifford became a civil servant in London and his enthusiasm for his friend from Larne led to his naming his son Raymond Hayward Clifford in his honour.

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Image 19 – various Hayward Artefacts Trunk In 1936 Hayward sailed first class to the United States on the transatlantic ocean liner RMS Samaria which was built for the Cunard Line at Cammell Laird shipyard in Liverpool, where he worked during World War I. Hayward was promoting ‘The Luck of the Irish’ and travelled with his olive-green trunk. He visited Boston and New York, and later went to Montreal and Toronto to market the Ulster film industry.

Other luggage, decorated with destination suitcase stickers, accompanied him on journeys in the 1950s throughout Europe. Academic Gown The academic gown worn by Richard Hayward at a ceremony at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, when an honorary degree was conferred on him. The citation stated that the doctorate was awarded for distinguished services to Irish literature. It recognised his love of Ireland and Irish lore and that he had ‘conveyed the joy in beauty and the love of the country to many people’. All items kindly loaned for display by NMNI

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Image 20 – travel card Travel Identity Card and Photograph Elma Hayward’s Travel Identity Card from 1950 and a photograph of a youthful Hayward. Elma died of cancer on 11 April 1961. The following year, Richard married Dorothy Gamble on 23 February 1962 at Duncairn Presbyterian Church, Belfast. The church has since been deconsecrated and is now a thriving arts centre showcasing music and cultural events. All items kindly loaned for display by NMNI

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Image 21 - 1951 diary 1951 Diary Hayward’s diary for 1951 reflects his busy schedule of activities through the year and in it he notes the first time he watched television. Item kindly loaned for display by NMNI

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Image 22 – Ties The Ties that Bind Even in his ties, Hayward carefully choreographed the occasion through the insignia of either the Green Harp of Ireland or the Red Hand of Ulster - reflecting the ties that bind the two parts of the country. All items kindly loaned for display by NMNI

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Image 23 - Sculpted head Sculpted Portrait Low-relief bronze-cast sculpted portrait of Richard Hayward created by Charles Ludlow in 2015, mounted on speckled marble, sand cast and patinated. A second sculpted Hayward portrait is on permanent display at the Museum of Orange Heritage, Belfast. This was kindly loaned for display by Linen Hall Library, Belfast

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Image 24 – Stoneware jug Stoneware Jug A stoneware jug, known as the Cruiscin lán (from the Irish ‘A Full Jug’), was designed from a mould by the artist Raymond Piper and encapsulates Hayward’s visage. Piper entitled it: ‘Richard Hayward as the Joker.’

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Image 25 – Richard Hayward from archives Obituary Hayward’s final travel book, Munster and the City of Cork, was published just a few weeks before his tragic death in a road accident near Ballymena. On 13 October 1964 he had been on his way to give a talk on folklore to the Rotary Club when in the townland of Cromkill his car crashed head on into another vehicle and Hayward, along with two people in the other car, was killed.

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Image 26 – in memoriam Legacy After his death in October 1964, there was an immediate outpouring of grief for a man who was a celebrated household name but for many decades suffered neglect. A poignant telegram was sent to Dorothy Hayward, from Hayward’s friend, Dr Michael Dewar, Rector of Magherally Church of Ireland near Banbridge in which he invoked the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. A letter from Mr J. A. Stewart, the headmaster of Larne Grammar School, was amongst hundreds of messages of sympathy. In 2013, the Ulster History Circle which celebrates the achievements of men and women who have contributed significantly to history, unveiled a blue plaque in his honour at his house on the Antrim Road in Belfast.

This was followed in 2014 - the 50th anniversary of his death - by a biography, a symposium at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast, guided foot-stepping tours, a BBC Television documentary: ‘In Search of Richard Hayward’, a BBC exhibition: ‘In Praise of Ulster: Scenes from the life of Richard Hayward’ which travelled around libraries in Northern Ireland and a series of other events. In 2017, RTÉ television acknowledged his interest in the Shannon by showing excerpts from his 1940 film of his journey, ‘Where the River Shannon Flows Down to the Sea’ in John Creedon’s programme on the Shannon (available on the RTÉ Player).

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Image 27 – Hayward Mural Hayward Mural Richard Hayward was immortalised in a mural in Larne Town Centre in 2018 as part of an outdoor gallery project by Larne Renovation Generation.

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Image 28 – Paul Clements book ‘Romancing Ireland – Richard Hayward – 1892-1964’ This book by Paul Clements was first published in 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hayward’s death. The book covers all of his life, providing fresh insights through the lens of remarkable material from hitherto unknown archive resources, and a wealth of rare photographs.

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Image 29 – Richard Hayward Timeline Richard Hayward Timeline

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Image 30 – Exhibition stand

Exhibition Stand One of the display stands from the ‘Richard Hayward’s East Antrim’ exhibition at Larne Museum & Arts Centre in 2019. Design by Additude Creative.

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Image 31 – exhibition stands Exhibition Stands Two of the display stands from the ‘Richard Hayward’s East Antrim’ exhibition at Larne Museum & Arts Centre in 2019. Design by Additude Creative.

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Image 32 – exhibition launch Exhibition launch Paul Clements (author), Valentina Hayward, Karin Petersen, Paul Hayward (Hayward’s grandson), Richard Hayward (Hayward’s son) and Marian Kelso (Larne Museum) at the launch of the exhibition ‘Richard Hayward’s East Antrim’ at Larne Museum & Arts Centre in 2019.

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Richard Hayward’s East Antrim: A Virtual Exhibition  

Part of Good Relations Week 2020 - Celebrating our journey, embracing our future Hayward was raised and educated in Larne, a town which alo...

Richard Hayward’s East Antrim: A Virtual Exhibition  

Part of Good Relations Week 2020 - Celebrating our journey, embracing our future Hayward was raised and educated in Larne, a town which alo...

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