Reminiscing “By the River” at Lovers Retreat

12th June 2023

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with Libraries NI and South West Age Partnership (SWAP), is delighted to launch the ‘By the River’ Reminiscence Trail on Tuesday 20 June 2023 at 11am. 

The trail includes signs with old photographs and accompanying text as well as seating along the existing Lovers Retreat pathway.  The trail also includes object to encourage reminiscence and stimulate conversation about bygone times. 

At the outset of the reminiscence project, older people were engaged who researched the topics included on the signs. By including photographs, some local history and poetry, the trail is designed to invoke your senses to delve into your own past.

The trail will encourage older people and people with disabilities to use this pathway and enjoy fresh air, exercise and connect with others. 

The official launch of the trail will take place in the Hospital Road Community Centre, Omagh with a guided walk, a supporting exhibition by Libraries NI and biodiversity activities by the Climate Change Team in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.  

The “By the River” project is being delivered as part of Fermanagh Omagh District Council’s Age Friendly Strategy to enable older people to lead more independent, engaged and socially connected lives.  It has been funded through the Department for Communities Access and Inclusion Programme.

Speaking about the project, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, said: 

“I am pleased that the Council has developed this reminiscence trail in Omagh.  This is a special project for the District and particularly for everyone from the local community involved in its development. 

The Council is committed to ensuring that our people are healthy and well and that our rich heritage is cherished and sustainably managed.  This project provides an opportunity for residents to be active, reminisce about local heritage with which they may be familiar and ensure that this important history is cherished for future generations.” 

Celia from Omagh recently visited the walk and said: 

“I had a lovely walk in the Lovers Retreat today. I was with someone else and we really enjoyed reading all the signage. It was very impressive and it felt a bit like a treasure hunt. We met another lady who was coming back as we were starting and she was really animated and told us how much she enjoyed it.”

Chair of South West Age Partnership Marj Aitken SWAP is delighted to see this walk developed in the Omagh area. She said: 

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Council on the development of the walks, involving local older people and hearing all the stories. We will use this walk as part of our walking programme in the area, giving our members the chance to get together and reminisce. Well done to all involved”.