Whiteharbour restoration inspires new painting

Louis Humphrey's painting of Whiteharbour.
Louis Humphrey's painting of Whiteharbour.

An unique element of East Antrim’s rich maritime heritage is being celebrated in art form.

The Whiteharbour, which played an important role in Whitehead’s early development, was painstakingly restored in a private initiative five years ago by owners Terence and Kim Stitt.

And in appreciation of their achievement, respected artist and book illustrator Louis Humphrey has created his own impression of the Co.Antrim location.

Louis, originally from Larne but now living in Carrickfergus, said: “There are lots of intriguing facts that relate to the harbour, one being, that the timbers that make up the floor of the old boathouse may have been some of the ones used on the launch of the Titanic.”

Louis added his painting was completed in celebration of the work “in keeping another piece of local history alive”.

The harbour was erected in 1850 for the export of limestone quarried from the surrounding headland. The harbour office was later adapted for wooden boat building.

The Stitts were delighted to welcome Louis to Whiteharbour in June of this year to capture a snapshot of this facility.

Mr Stitt said they were “very impressed with the way that Louis was able to capture the beauty and tranquility that is Whiteharbour”.

“It is now five years since the harbour was reopened after major work including dredging, new pontoons with water and electric and pier repairs,” he continued.

“The boat building workshop has been kept intact as it would have been in bygone years and is extremely popular to all who visit.

“Business has picked up steadily and we now have only a few serviced annual pontoon berths still available.”

They also took the opportunity to “thank bertholders, friends of the harbour and everyone involved so far for the help and support in keeping the harbour alive”.

The original painting by Louis, in oils, is available to purchase by anyone looking to own a memento of this historical gem.