The River Lagan rises in Slieve Croob and flows for over 50+ miles to its mouth in Belfast Lough. In the course of its journey the river passes through the rolling County-Down countryside, before turning east at Magheralin. Here the river opens onto the great plain – which divides counties Antrim and Down – and which gives the Lagan its name. In Gaeilge, Abhainn an Lagáin translates to ‘river of the low-lying district’. As the Lagan passed through Lisburn and towards Belfast its ‘swift tributaries’ drove machinery and industry, and barges and lighters carrying goods were a familiar sight on the water. The barge was a sign of the industry and enterprise of the Lagan Valley.
This wonderful model lighter features in our Lagan Links exhibition, which opened just before the Covid-19 Pandemic broke out. The exhibition takes a journey along the Lagan and explore stories connected or linked to the River through the collection of the members of the philatelic societies of Northern Ireland.