Friday, 30 July 2010
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
This year our summer school has been chosen by the Agency to be Inspected by the EDI Education Inspectorate. Today we have had a visit by Mr. Jim Millar, Director of Education who was very impressed by the facilities, quality of the professionalism of the leaders, the planning and overall standard of the summer school . We see as a vote of confidence not only for the summer school, but for the work that we at Loughries Historical Society put into promoting the Ulster Scots Tradition in Newownards.
Wednesday is our day trip away and this year we are visiting Delamont Country Park at Killyleagh in County Down. The children play in the large out door play park, go for a long environmental walk, ride on the train and receive an Ulster Scots Living History presentation by Andrew Mattison.
Thurday will see a visit by Mr. Nelson McCausland MLA, DECAL Minister. We are delighted that he has chosen Loughries Summer School to explore the work that an Ulster Scots summer schools - as around 30 are planned and take place throughout Ulster each year.
Friday will see a showcase event - where the children get a chance to display their work - such as crafts, cookery, art and also their skills such a music, song & dance, poetry, history and other wee bits n pieces in front of their family and friends. Last year 118 Adults turned up to see the showcase which was a great success - and this year, fingers crossed all will go to plan!
I would sincerely like to publish some pictures of the summer school, however with child protection issues I feel it is best not to post any. In my next post I will list events and activities that took place during the summer school week in order to give you an opportunity to read the diverse and wonderful activities that take place at our event.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
"The Adventures of Paddy McQuillan -
'Robin's Readings' were first performed in the 19th century as a series of humorous monologues.
They were created by the County Down writer, WG Lyttle who was born in 1844. After his death in 1896, he was buried in the grounds of Bangor Abbey where his memorial describes him as: '… a brilliant and graceful writer… and a true son of County Down'.
As well as being the author of ‘Daft Eddie’ and ‘Betsy Gray’, Lyttle was above all an entertainer. He most often appeared at social gatherings in the guise of his alter-ego 'Robin', a jovial country farmer from the fictitious Ballycuddy in County Down, who regaled his audiences in Ulster-Scots.
The scripts from these performances were subsequently collected and published in 1879 as ‘Robin’s Readings’. The stories recount the adventures and mishaps of Paddy McQuillan, a cheerful but unfortunate farmer. There’s a real warmth and humour in these stories - even though they're about 150 years old. What comes across is the sense of a close, rural community sharing in each other’s joys and troubles.
Lyttle wrote in authentic Ulster-Scots, which was spoken throughout the Ards Peninsula - and many of the participants in this radio series are native Ulster-Scots speakers who bring the language to life again."
As you can see I am always smiling - well, when I drum I concentrate - listening to the other drummers, so I can keep up with them usually.
Billy has painted and drawn a number lambeg drum themed portraits, all excellent and worth a view. I hope to have an event in 2011 in the Town Hall Newtownards on the lambeg drumming tradition and hopefully, Billy will have a display of his work at the event.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
What was very pleasing for me was that LOL 240, very kindly allowed two of my drumming students to visit and play the drums for the Lodge. This photo is of Simon and Johnny warming up before the parade commenced.
I once again had a great day drumming with LOL 240 – I was even allowed to fife a couple of tunes!
Throughout the day the band played brilliantly, their flute playing was crisp and clear supported by an excellent drum core, we at Loughries were delighted to have been on parade with such a well behaved, and musically talented band.
Loughries had 17 members on Parade, sadly a few were on holiday or we would have had a full turn out. We met at the CLB hall in Newtownards at 0900am for refreshments tea, coffee soft drinks and sandwiches etc, - teetotal event for Loughries!
At the field we were entertained by some interesting speeches from the platform party including one from DECAL Minister Nelson McCausland. It has been quite some time since on the 'Twelfth' that I heard such a rousing and well worded speech, appreciated by a large crowd who cheered and shouted their support.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
The Minister Rev. Cooper conducted a great service which was simple, uncomplicated but very thought provoking. I had not been in a Methodist Church before today - strict Presbyterian me, perhaps I should broaden by horizon's somewhat!
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Together with Denis Morrow - Drum Maker, Matthew Warwick - USCN and myself, we put together a great booklet, again a quality product with excellent photographs, well designed on parchment type paper.
I didn't want to be on the front cover - as I am not egotistical, however the photo on the front cover taken at Nendrum turned out well.
A copy of the booklet can be obtained from the Ulster Scots Community Network in Belfast.
A copy can be obtained by contacting the Ulster Scots Community Network in Belfast.
On Monday 5th July 2010 our class was graced by the presence of our local MP Jim Shannon. Jim has been a keen supporter of Loughries Historical Society - he has visited a number of our events, and on the run up to the 'Twelfth Celebrations' Jim payed us a visit.
We had a almost a full showing from the class as well as a few visitors, but what struck Jim was the number of young lads who are turning up each week learning these traditional instruments. In his brief speech Jim payed tribute to Loughries dedication to everything Ulster Scots, Burns Suppers, history projects, summer schools and in this case traditional music, he complimented us on our initiatives and wished us well in out endeavours to promote and develop the fife and lambed drum tradition.
Whilst I was hob-nobbing with MP's in Newtownards by big mate - Keith Lyttle was up at Stormont with DECAL Minister Mr. Nelson McCausland and a host of American visitors whilst being recorded by the BBC.
We are both almost at Celebrity status! However we both get a thrill when promoting the Ulster Scots traditions - in all it forms, and in a highly professional manner, which is greatly appreciated by those, such as Jim Shannon MP, Nelson McCausland MLA, who help by promoting and developing our Culture, when the opportunity presents itself.
Friday, 2 July 2010
Folks, this appeared on YouTube recently, so thanks to the person who took the time to post the video.
You can hear the fifes half way through the video, when the wind changed direction! The tune is 100 pipers - a famous tune originating in Scotland and used in the fife and drum tradition here in Ulster.
Mark T has also posted a couple of clips on YouTube - I will upload them soon.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Here is my favourite fifing tune - played here by a stringed group.
A very rousing tune perfect for fifing to the lambeg drum - as the drummers can quicken their rhythm and increase their volume.
Maybe on the run up to the 'Twelfth' I will post a video of us drumming and fifing!
A cousin of my Grandfather was killed at the Somme and his name is on the Cenotaph close to the British Legion in Newtownards, where we paused for a short wreath laying service.
There was a very good turn out of local Newtownards Folk to watch the Parade which is always encouraging.
A few Pics to follow.