Saturday, 9 October 2010

Betsy Gray - 2

Well, as planned Noel Roulston and I, visited Betsy Gray's cottage at Ballygrainey (6 road ends)on Friday afternoon 8-10-10. We parked at Summerfields Private Nursing Home - owned by the Warden family and walked the short distance down narrow lane way to the old dwelling house.

From the car park Noel and I pick up a companion, a 3 legged collie (we named tripod) who accompanied us on the short walk to the cottage.

It was a dry, sunny and blustery Autumn afternoon - the trees around the cottage and lanes were being blown wildly in the gusting wind.

Sadly the cottage is in a very poor state of repair – I was rather shocked as to its dilapidated state. As you can see from a few of the pictures, it is a virtual ruin.
It is very sad that we as a society (or the powers that be) decide what is historical and worthy of restoration and preservation and what is not.
Noel is an architect and master builder (retired) - he pointed out many parts of the building and explained what the general function of the different areas of the buildings were used for – I was very interested and intrigued by Noel’s vast knowledge!

Having delved somewhat in local history place like the cottage should be preserved – this period in our history perhaps seems somewhat confusing to the general populous today, however it was the beginning of the shaping of our general society as we know it today. I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the political – social – religious realities of that era; nevertheless if you read some local history, I hope you would agree that this house would need to be looked at in a sympathetic and compassionate way.

A view from the Newtownards / Gransha side of the cottage - obviously an old road / track

A view of the front of the cottage from the 4 roads side - again another old road / track

Me posing at the front of the cottage - note the wellies!

Thanks to Noel for arranging the visit - Noel read one of the books about Betsy Gray - that he bought last week on out Aforenoon tour of the Ards and has caught the local history bug!

Hope you enjoyed the report and pictures.


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