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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

1929 Ballyhornan (Ireland) - Port Erin (Isle of Man)
Telephone Cables

Two telephone cables were laid on this route by CS Faraday (2). Sirdar laid the Isle of Man shore ends of the four-core balata insulated cables.

Faraday also laid the other leg of the cable from Blackpool, England - Port Greenhaugh, Ireland, with George laying the Blackpool shore ends of the continuously loaded paper insulated telephone cable.

General view of operations at Ballyhornan (Co Down)
near Ardglass when the new telephone cable connecting England and the Isle of Man with Northern Ireland was brought ashore.

CS Faraday (2) can be seen in the background,
while smaller ships were used to work near shore.

See also the page on Lionel Voss, which includes photographs
of the laying of the Isle of Man end of this cable.

Joan Magee of the Inverbrena Local History Group, Strangford, County Down, Northern Ireland, sends two postcards and two local newspaper articles on the Ballyhornan cable:

Extract transcribed from:
Down Recorder Newspaper
Saturday 15th June 1929, page 3.

Ballyhornan has been the objective this week of quite a number of motoring parties, to view the repeater station there established and also the 6,700 ton cable ship, Faraday, completing the new deep-sea telephone cable which is to forge a fresh link between Northern Ireland and Britain, with the Isle of Man as a half-way relay station. Land lines have already been laid from Ballyhornan via Downpatrick to Belfast. The new circuit, which will be in operation shortly, is expected to effect an all-round improvement in communication.

Carrying Telephone Cable Towards Repeater Station at Ballyhornan

Extract transcribed from:
Down Recorder newspaper
Saturday 31st August 1929, page 3.

The new North of Ireland telephone service to New York through the new cable via Ballyhornan and the Isle of Man and then by wireless telephony from Rugby, opened on Monday. A three-minute call costs £9 6s, and every minute extra £3 2s. The time is charged from the moment the persons begin to speak. During the tests the voices in New York were heard with perfect clearness.

Telephone Cable Being Brought
Ashore at Ballyhornan.
As with the first photograph above,
CS Faraday (2) can be seen in the background.

Newspaper extracts and postcard images above
courtesy of the Inverbrena Local History Group

Maria Whyte sends the following images of the Ballyhornan repeater station, shown in a postcard from the 1930s and in photographs taken in September 2007. Maria writes:

The first photo: Ballyhornan Village 1930s was taken by Coon of Moira (a company better known for publishing postcards and no longer in business). In this you can see marked A & B Telegraph cable (I can't see any cables) and you will notice that the old post office and grocer's store originally called Keown's was renamed to Keown's Cable Stores following the erection of the Repeater Station. The Repeater Station is behind the tree in the photo.

The shop and post office no longer trade and the building is derelict. Also in the village square is the Cable Bar which is still open today (also known as Keown's Bar in the 1920s). In the photo the Cable Bar isn't visible - it is positioned to the right of the post office/store.

Ballyhornan Village from the Pump

Ballyhornan Village, September 2007

The Cable Bar

Ballyhornan Repeater Station

View from the repeater station towards the Isle of Man

Ballyhornan photographs courtesy of and copyright © 2007 Maria Whyte

Ballyhornan Bay panoramas, 1930s. Location of cable terminus is marked.


Copyright © 2007 FTL Design

Last revised: 5 October, 2007

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