The speaker at the January meeting of the Bellaghy Historical Society was Mrs. Beryl Knox from Cookstown who spoke about the National Trust property Springhill, Moneymore and its important Costume Collection. Mrs Knox was until recently employed at Springhill where she was in charge of the Costume Exhibition which she stated contained an enormous number of items from full scale court dresses to smaller items like fans, gloves and purses. She began by giving a brief history of the house which was built to provide a home of the standard deemed suitable for his daughter by the father-in-law of an early William Conyngham whose family had been granted this parcel of land in Plantation times – a relatively small estate of three hundred and fifty acres. Future generations added to the original house which had been built as a Bawn with flankers. Mrs Knox went on to give a power point presentation of the many costumes which are to be seen housed there and how they demonstrated the social history of their time. These progressed from a magnificent two hundred year old Court dress which featured most delicate embroidery, through the styles of the Regency, Victorian and Edwardian eras to the “flappers” of the 1920s and the more recent mini-skirts of the 1960s. Mrs Knox emphasised that an Exhibition would be opening at Springhill on 17th March and this would contain 1,000 items and would be well worth a visit. Mrs Mary Breslin thanked the Speaker for her most colourful presentation and reminded members that the February Speaker would be Mr. Jonathon Bell from Belfast, for many years Chief Curator of the Uster Folk Museum at Cultra and that his subject would be “Hiring Fairs in North West Ulster”.