This morning - just back from my holiday's and nursing a very sore back, I travelled to Newtownards to do a few chores, as we have a busy few day's ahead. I took the time to get the Matthew and Christophers hair cut and whilst waiting I read the local Newtownards Chronicle.
In the paper I read about the launch of the Ulster Scots Tourist Trail around Ards and North Down - the launch took place recently with the great and the good being there to promote the event. Now, I was fortunate enough to see the artwork for the tourist display boards recently and they looked magnificent.
So after hair cuts, it was up to the Ards Tourist Office to view the display. I was very, very impressed with the display, the graphics, artwork, wording maps etc, was fantastic - the history was just jumping out at you as you looked at the display.
I managed to persuade my children - Matthew and Christopher to pose just long enough to take 2 x photo's, to give you a taster of the display. It was great to see the Hamilton / Montgomery / Thomas Smith history projects come to life once again.
I took the time to speak to the ladies working in the tourist centre and they were almost overwhelmed by the volume of people visiting the shop this morning to see the new display.
Loughries Historical Society organised a pilot Ulster Scots Tourist Trail 'Aforenoon Aroon the Ards' last October, as part of our Mini Ulster Scots Festival - it was very entertaining, informative, and a great morning out, exploring our local history.
The next step I would like to see would be a children's version of the Sir Thomas Smith and Hamilton Montgomery local history projects, all coming to life, lets hope someone has the vision to promote and develop this living local history and take it into local schools, community groups and library's etc.
Well done to Mark Thompson - for the trail blazing work in this field, ably supported by his back up team and support staff - they being his close friends and confidants!
I look forward to assisiting Mark T and others, as we aim to continue building upon the strong foundation stones - for local Ulster Scots, being laid by hard working and dedicated folk!