Well, sadly no photograph yet (post one later) Loughries fife and lambeg drum class, which is held on a Monday evening, had a very distinguished visitor.
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.