Gigantic Galgorm Cup now graces Mayor's Parlour

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

The Honourable Christopher Brooke, D.L. has presented a magnificent silver cup on loan to the Mayor for display in the Parlour at The Braid.

The Galgorm Cup has a rich history linked closely to the people of Ballymena and will be on show alongside an illuminated address album presented by Mr. Brooke to the Council last year.

The Right Honourable Christopher Brooke was the special guest of Mayor Cllr Lindsay Millar as the cup was presented on loan to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

The cup and address book form part of a set of three items presented to the Right Honourable John Young of Galgorm Castle at a ceremony in Ballymena Town Hall on 29 June 1910. The other item, a large oil portrait, is in the council’s museum collection.

The Young family’s company, J. and R. Young, was the largest employer in Ballymena in the 19th century and owned the Braid Water Spinning Mill. The Young family bought Galgorm Castle in 1850 and was closely involved with all aspects of political and social life within the borough. Indeed, the inscription on the cup reads:

“Presented to The Right Hon. John Young P.C., D.L., L.L.D., by the people of Ballymena and District as an expression of their appreciation of his high character and worth and his valuable service to the community of upwards of 60 years.”

Galgorm Castle has remained in the family providing historical continuity within the Borough and the current owner of the Galgorm Cup and Presentation Book, Christopher Brooke, is the great great-grandson of John Young.

The presentation to Mr John Young was originally reported in the Ballymena Observer on 1 July 1910. An excerpt reads:

“The solid silver cup, which is a real work of art, stands two feet nine inches high, and is of high class Celtic design, all hall marked sterling silver. It is of massive dimensions and scales 480 ounces and rests on a solid silver plinth seventeen inches square and six inches in depth, which is entirely separated from the cup itself. The circumference of the cup is three feet nine inches with a diameter of twenty four inches, in fact it is the largest solid silver cup ever made in London.”

Mr. Brooke said: “Galgorm Castle has an important place in the history of the area and it is very important that this Cup is in a place where it can be seen and appreciated.”

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