A new book depicting and celebrating many of the lives & stories of the Greater Shantallow area in the early to mid 20th Century has been produced by Joe Martin and Sean Quinn, ably assisted by a host of local people involved in the Forge Writer’s Group.

The book will be launched in the Shantallow and Central libraries in early December, and available thereafter in a range of local outlets and at GSAP – keep your eyes out for what is surely an ideal present for those with an affinity and interest in the history of the area.

Shantallow was the site of Ireland’s first agricultural settlement, thousands of years before Colmcille built his Derry
monastery in the 6th century. It housed its own abbey and castles in medieval times; a royal racecourse in the 18th century; and, more recently, the landing strip for the most famous transatlantic flight of all time when Amelia Earhart dropped into Cornshell.

During the Second World War, the area accommodated one of the main European bases for US troops on their way to D-Day. And, of course, it has also been home to one of the most controversial land frontiers in the world for almost a century.

With the help of eyewitness recordings, library archives, old photographs, and interviews and memoirs compiled by the Forge Writers Group, this new book aims to deliver a people’s history of the ‘old ground’ before it became the new city.