Monday, 24 January 2011

Loughries Burns Supper 2011

Loughries Burns Supper has been planned and will take place on Saturday 29th January 2011 in the Londonderry Room, Town Hall, Newtownards at 7pm.

Once again we have had to stop taking orders for tickets - so once again a sellout.

Guests are to gather 7pm with welcome by our Chairman Hamilton Gregory at 7.15pm sharp, following Grace - starter will be served. Then the piping in of the Haggis by Stephen Rodgers with the Haggis being addressed by Mr. Wilbert Magill. Main course and dessert will be served with myself saying a few words, then Wilbert reciting 2 x poems. Champion dancer Michelle Johnston will perform a few dances with Ulster Scots Group Risin Stur, supplying the music.

A short recces later in the evening with a quick ballot - all monies going to Help The Heroes.

If you want a ticket, sorry you are too late - perhaps book earlier for 2012!

Report to follow.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Ulster Scots Poem

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Darren Gibson on my travels in 2010. Darren lived in the Ards Penisulsa for many years, before emigrating to Londonderry. Darren penned this poem and has kindly allowed me to post on my blog - here with a few words of brief explanation

Its only 3 verses long. I had originally intended it to be a lament and indeed the first 2 verses were written after I had returned from few days 'at hame' in the low country. As I drove through Graba, Portavoigie and Cloghey. I was dismayed by the rash of new housing that betrayed my childhood memories - therefore the reference to Exodus 2:22.

However, I am not naturally inclined to the dirge so I put the poem aside unfinished. Which was a good job as a few months later, after association with a few stout soles like yourself I held a more positive outlook for the future, which is reflected in third verse.

Oor ain strange lan

Na mere the taak way herd as weans,
Noo aa but gan frae freenly hames,
Loast amang mere recent claims,
Left ahind an mossy stanes.

An mere than taak is loast an gan,
For aftin wurds prescribe the maun,
An leeves iz noo at dailygan,
Strangers in oor ain strange lan.

Yet still anaw a wheen are fun,
Who held their ain whun aa gave grun,
An kept alive their faithers tongue,
In hapes of better times tae cum.

D. Gibson 2011


Saturday, 15 January 2011

George Douglas Holmes MBE - Lambeg Drums

During the week I received a call from Myrtle Holmes, wife of the late George Holmes - my aul drumming partner, so today I visited Myrttle to pick up one of Georges lambeg drums.

Needless to say George had amassed a room full of old musical instruments banjo's, guitars. bodhrans, lambeg drums, skins, pipes, etc, etc. There were also a lot of books, booklets, manuscripts videos DVD's audio tapes - in fact a treasure trove of 'stuff'

I collected the drum - which looks OK and I have to pick up the other drum from George's Mothers house next week - what ever happens or who ever buys the drums - they will remain in the Ards area for the drumming fraternity to use, particularly as there are a number of young drummers coming through.

I fine legacy for George - more later!


Boys' Model School Web Page - Fife & Drum Report

Lambeg/Fife performance

On 26th November, 3 of our pupils were invited to attend a conference by Mr Nelson McCausland MLA. Dale Pankhurst and Simon Menabney, both from 12A1 and Daniel Menabney 8A2 went to La Mon House Hotel where they had been asked to play the Lambeg drum and fifes.

These boys have been taking lessons with Mr. Mark Anderson from the UlsterScots Agency and they were delighted to be given this opportunity to perform to a number of politicians.

Mr. McCausland’s presentation highlighted the importance of bringing culture into our schools and our pupils have been able to become more aware of their culture by having lessons in these instruments.

Dale gave a short speech explaining how much he appreciated the lessons on Lambeg drumming and how he has been able to get involved in a drumming club outside school.

The boys gave an excellent performance of two tunes and were also introduced to First Minister Mr. Peter Robinson.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Private John Condon RIR 6322 - Dr. David Lyttle

I have a great interest in WW I and enjoy reading, watching and in this case listening to stories, poetry, songs, etc.

Here is a beautiful tune that I picked up from a post by my friend Dr. David Lyttle, who was quote - 'Honoured to play a few notes on it'



Sunday, 9 January 2011

Loughries - Burns Supper 2011

Loughries Historical Society Newtownards, are hosting our 3rd Annual Burns Supper, at Newtownards Town Hall, Saturday 29th January 2011, meet 7.00pm - eat 7.15pm.

Music by Risin Stur, traditional sword dance / highland dance display by champion dancer Michelle Johnston, haggis address by Mr. Wilbert Magill - haggis piped in by Stephen Rodgers.

A limited number of tickets are available from me, if you want to have a great night out drop me an e-mail.

We will be graced by the attendance of the Mayor Cllr Smyth and local MP Jim Shannon - with a few mixed celebrities scattered around the audience!!


Back to Work

Well, Christmas and the New Year is but a distant memory now, once again I look forward to a new year at work - Yes, truly I do, I really enjoy my job, especially being self employed as it provides me with a degree of flexibility.

I am contracted to an organisations, however additional work has presented itself to me - I look forward to developing that in the coming months. There are a lot of projects planned by various schools and groups, I will play my part by providing fife & lambeg drum, workshops, tuition and advice throughout the year to a high professional standard.