The future is determined by those who get involved.
A collage of pictures, drawings and words that describe Carrickfergus

Courage and Creativity by Adrian Hack

Back in March we ran an online programme supported by Quarto exploring Carrickfergus that resulted in everyone making their own ‘maps’ of Carrick. You can see mine in the picture above and you can see others in our Talking Shop.

We’re running this programme again on 29 June and 6 July. This time we’re delighted to do it face to face! On 29 June we will go on a guided tour of Carrick from 7pm until around 8.30pm and on the 6 July we will work together on maps of Carrick in our Talking Shop. If you’d like to take part, email me at to book your place.

Adrian Hack wrote this blog for us about his experience of taking part and making his own map. If you’re feeling a bit unsure about getting involved, perhaps Adrian’s words will inspire and reassure you!

Bye for now


I’ve been following the “Positive Carrickfergus” Facebook group for quite a while. Any why not? It represents two things I’m passionate about: the importance of positivity in our lives, and my hometown.

Mostly, as the title says, the group looks to promote the best of Carrickfergus. Occasionally, we get sidetracked with threads about dog-poo. Anyway, long story short, there was an invitation a couple of months ago to get involved in a “mapping” workshop. Perfect, I thought. I love geography, old maps, and history.

Ten minutes into the first online Zoom workshop and a few alarm bells were ringing. This was not to be a series of presentations on old maps, but rather an exercise to design our own, based on each person’s thoughts, opinions and feelings about the place in which we live.

To be honest, talk of “crafting”, “design” and “creativity” in the first workshop caused a bit of a panic. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, have no eye for colour-matching (ask my wife!) and the closest I get to anything artistic is when I paint a skirting board.

Despite those reservations, I didn’t want to wuss out, so stuck with it. I’m so glad I did.

Over the next few weeks I got to take a closer look at Carrickfergus, not just it’s bricks and mortar, but the less tangible things that matter to me: a sense of belonging, history, community, change for the better, open spaces, the natural environment, dog walking….. The list goes on and on.

By the end of the workshops, I had created my own personal map and had the opportunity to explain to the rest of the participants what I was trying to convey. As each of us took a few minutes to “show and tell” our maps, I was amazed at how differently we all took on the map-making task, yet how similar many of our thoughts about the town were. This was also a great time to stop, pause and reflect on how each of us viewed the town.

The journey from initial panic to a sense of pride in what was produced was worth making. As well as uncovering a hidden hint of creativity (I was told it’s in there somewhere!), I really enjoyed spending time with people who I didn’t really know well, or at all.

There are plans to do more workshops, and I would strongly encourage you to become involved. Like many things in life, it’s the journey that is important, not just the destination. I am testament that the crafting parts of the workshops do not require a crafting eye. You will be surprised how the process (and I use that term loosely) prompts soul-searching and thought-provoking.

Be brave and volunteer for a future workshop.

Final words are from the artist Henri Matisse: “Creativity takes courage”. 

Adrian Hack


Adrian Hack