Sunday, 29 August 2010
We were all bitterly disappointed that we did not get drumming under the arch in Newtownards on the 11th of July due to inclement weather, so we thought the night before ‘Black Saturday’ would be fitting finale.
On the night 7 drums arrived (2 broke earlier in the day) and over 60 folk gathered to enjoy a nights drumming and a little fifing. All the local protagonists arrived and we had a great night as our numbers were swelled by visitors from Carrickfergus and Ballymena.
What was particularly pleasing for me was that 8 students I teach, either in schools (3 Belfast Boy’s Model Boy’s – nearly big men now and 2 x boys from Movilla High School N’Ards) or at Loughries drumming class were present – let’s hope those numbers keep increasing Here are a few snaps to whet your appetite.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Thursday afternoon, Balmoral was graced by a visit by two distinguished local musicians - Keith Lyttle and Dr. David Lyttle. Both took time off from busy schedules to call for a cup of tea and chat.
Keith very kindly took my youngest boy Christopher, for a shot trip on the machine, he was thrilled and excited.
I am not 'fat' rather somewhat over-weight and decided to loose weight with a little help. You get weighed, put on a plan and meet every Tuesday evening to weigh -in.
I stuck religiously to the plan that I was put on, did not stray once from the instructions and at the weigh - in on Tuesday I lost a whopping 10lbs in the first week - and won the prize 'slimmer of the week'
That said, it is a great way to loose weight, I was rather embarrassed at the start, but the girl in charge Nicola - Christine Bleakely's sister, is very warm and friendly - as are the other ladies!
Lets see what I can manage on week 2
Monday, 23 August 2010
It was an excellent parade and enjoyable service with good weather, all in all a good day out.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
The monument was erected some years ago to a Gentleman called Richard Dawson a former MP for the area. Below the photo's I have copied an article regarding the structure - interesting!
The 1790s in Ireland was a turbulent decade which culminated in the unsuccessful Irish rebellion of 1798. It made the 72 year old Thomas Dawson, who had done so much to develop Dartrey and had replaced the old family home by a new brick mansion in 1780, decide to hand over his parliamentary seat to his nephew and heir, the 34 year old Richard Dawson, and retire to London.
When I took this snap I met an elderly gentleman, Joe Johnston (84), who told me this was the old coach house where the horses used to change over for as the coach as it travelled from Enniskillen, through Monaghan to Dublin. Incidentally Joe Johnston turned out to be Board Member Alison Graham Father!
During my trip I visited the village / hamlet and took a few snaps and it would surprise you the history attached to such a small rural part of Monaghan.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
We were one of the best teams Victoria ever produced, well so I was told. I can name almost all the team and some are still very good friends to this day.
I have been a member of the Institution for 28 years and each year I look forward to this parade more than any other. In 2008 I had the great honour to be installed as Newtownards Royal Black District Chapter No 11’s District Master. There are 13 Preceptories in the District stretching from Six Road End, down one side of the Peninsula, back up the other side, into Newtownards and in to Conlig – in all around 600 members, with accompanying bands around 1,200 members on parade. Quite a responsibility I can tell you, but an experience I will remember for many years.
This is encouraging to our Chairman Hamilton Gregory, Treasurer Roy McCartney, myself and others who work hard to improve the Ulster Scots tradition in Newtownards. At times it has been very frustration when 'things' go on in the back ground - actively working against Loughries - a small inconvenience, however when you receive these words in support of our work it drives us on all the more.
Later in September / October, Loughries will hold a Mini - Ulster Scots festival, funded by Ards Borough Council - we have 3 events planned really to see if we could sustain a larger festival. Time will tell of course with the attendance numbers and quality of the events, we are up for the challenge and look forward to the support offered from family, friends and the wider supporters of Loughries and of course the Ulster Scots folk in Ards.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
The sparrowhawk is one of the smallest birds of prey in Europe. Today it is one of the most frequently encountered birds of prey. The female is twice the weight of the male and has 20% bigger wing span. Interestingly, while the female takes prey up to pigeon size, the male doesn’t catch anything bigger than the mistle thrush.
Perhaps you’ll see it again!
Monday, 9 August 2010
Sunday, 8 August 2010
What a song, what an album - Do you have 'Bat out of Hell' in your CD / Record Collection?
Well, this does it for me it did in 1978 - listening to Radio Luxembourg under the blankets late on a Sunday Night, if my Dad had caught me!
This is a fantastic tune, great meaning. Did anyone ever get 3 out of 3?
Even fiddlers will have this in their record collection!
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Here is another favourite track of mine - big hair and crazy days!
There is a lyric in the track -'We used to live, like there was going to be no tomorrow' now 20 - 30 years later - I live - hoping there is going to be a tomorrow.
Video a bit ropey but great song
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Here he proudly stands outside the Palace with Neeve, Connor, partner Jane and Lauren having received the Medal from Prince Charles.
Well done Big D - don't forget about your wee brother! Excellent piece in the Newtownards Chronicle to further enhance the profile.
He had just turned 16 and had received a new set of golf clubs for his birthday, he and his brother set of for a round of golf just like many other folk do each day – sadly this was his last day alive. His brother Connor played a golf shot and the ball travelled a short distance and struck Chris on the head and he immediately collapsed. He was rushed to the Ulster hospital then onto the Royal Hospital for emergency surgery, sadly he passed away on Thursday 29th July 2010.
When Loughries Ulster Scots summer school stated 4 years ago Chris Woods was one of the first children to registrar – his Grandfather is a member of Loughries. He spent the week with us and thoroughly enjoyed his week learning about his tradition. A pupil of Regent House School and talented golfer & footballer, Craig was a wonderful boy and a great example to many of his age.
As the Leader of Loughries summer school I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the Woods and extended Graham family, at this very sad and difficult time.
Sunday, 1 August 2010