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Oul Treasures Returned To Their Former Glory

Date Posted: March 19, 2024

Oul Treasures is a Below The Radar production for BBC Northern Ireland, made with assistance from the Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.

The new four-part series for BBC Northern Ireland, following presenter Lolly Spence as she tracks down family heirlooms and prized possessions from Ulster’s bygone days in desperate need of repair.

In each episode a unique object is returned to its former glory by local experts, as Lolly explores its historic and cultural connections to the Ulster-Scots story.

Along the way, she meets some of Northern Ireland’s finest restorers, the men and women helping keep our traditional crafts alive.

All of the items restored have one thing in common – they all have a fascinating story to tell, and one that shines a light on the lives and traditions of the Ulster-Scots.

Items restored in the series include an old family Bible belonging to Lolly that’s falling to pieces, a vintage threshing machine from the early 20th century, a steamer trunk dating from the golden age of transatlantic travel, and an historic set of bagpipes with connections to the Great War.

With the help of experts each episode follows the painstaking process of the restoration, the highs and lows, the setbacks and successes.

Many of Northern Ireland’s traditional heritage crafts are becoming endangered – a picture repeated across the UK and Ireland – but there are still a number of dedicated men and women helping to keep many of them alive.

Away from the main restoration, the series shines a spotlight on some of our most unique and endangered heritage crafts, from pipe organ specialists to leather workers.

Presenter Lolly Spence comes from a family of makers and menders and has an infectious enthusiasm for heritage crafts.

Lolly said: “This series brought together some of my favourite things: historic artefacts, skilled artisans, thrifty restoration projects and Ulster-Scots heritage.  I find it very reassuring to know that local craftspeople are still using ancient skills to preserve objects of value and interest.

“My own personal restoration project – the family bible – has saved this precious heirloom for future generations. I hope that by revitalising these old objects, viewers will be encouraged to hoke out their own ‘oul treasures’ out of nooks and crannies and bring them back to life.”


All four episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from Monday 25 March. The first episode in the series will be broadcast on Monday 25 March at 10.40pm on BBC One Northern Ireland.

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