Monday, 25 July 2011

Ulster Scots Summer School 2011

Today Monday 25th July starts Loughries Ulster Scots Summer School at Castle Gardens Primary School, Bowtown Road, Newtownards.

This eagerly awaited event has been meticulously planned over the last few months, now thankfully it is here. This is the 5th year of the summer school, each year we build on the success from the previous year, then make subtle changes to the programme of events.

This year we have included more outdoor activities like football coaching (Bobby Murphy) Archery, golf and we intend to finish with out Ulster Scots Highland Games event. This is along with the usual Ulster Scots music, cookery, crafts, history, language, etc. etc.

Once again we have a waiting list 0f over a dozen children as our 60 allocated places were filled almost immediately.

More pics and reports later!


Saturday, 23 July 2011

Just Before The Battle Mother

A favourite tune of mine is Lorena - here is the same tune to a different ballad.

Also it is a fifing tune used by the Union forces during the American Civil War.


Pipe Bands at Bangor

Saturday 23rd July 2011 in between shopping, babysitting and Harry Potter at the Cinema - I managed to visit the North Down Pipe Band Championships.

A huge crowd turned out to watch the bands and be part of a wonderful day.

Ulster is bless with so many diverse musical traditions - the pipe band tradition being one of the oldest and best established.

Here are few snaps of the event - see if you can pick out 'wee Geordie'


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Scrabo Walk

Today I parked my van at Mum’s – Greenwell Street N’ Ards and walked to Scrabo Tower and back!

Well many years ago when I attended Victoria Primary School we used to take part in ‘The Scrabo Run’ annually, there was also a ‘Scrabo Walk’ at that time. Everyone that took part met at the square and either ran or walked up to Scrabo Tower then ran back! It was a great event at which many, many folk took part.

Well, 30 years on, my running days left firmly in the past I decided to walk – with my trusted mutt Dudley. The route I choose was Greenwell Street, Londonderry Park, New Road, and Scrabo Road, straight up the Scrabo Hill face to the Tower – this took 55 minutes and boy when I got to the top was I out of breath, I had forgotten how steep the hill was! – Then 5 minute break.

Return walk round by the Quarry Face to the Scrabo Road, across 2 fields to Ards Rugby Grounds, across to Ards Allotments, then on to the Strangford Lough shore front, back to Londonderry Park to Greenwell Street – which took me 1hr 30 minutes.

Fantastic walk ‘in touch with nature’ type walk very enjoyable and relaxing.

Here are a few snaps from my outing – enjoy!


Wet Summer Morning - Cooking

Yet another rainy summer morning, so I decided to do a spot of cooking.

1/ Potato Salad - my own home grown potatoes (smaller ones - bigger ones kept for other dishes) my own home grown scallions - mix with some mayonnaise + black pepper!

2/ German (Empire) biscuits

3/ Ulster Apple and cinnamon loaf.

Now where are the instructions for setting up a poteen still!!!

Only Joking!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Loughries Ulster Scots Summer School - 2011

With Loughries Summer School fast approaching - beginning Monday 25th July through to Friday 29th July, I found this photo from a couple of years ago.

Since the summer school commenced in 2007, we have helped over 350 children learn a little more of their Ulster Scots Culture. Many of the children in this photo (who are now in High or Grammar School) have went on to join pipe bands, flute bands, play the fife & lambeg drum, Scottish highland & country dance, play the fiddle and tin whistle - just some of the success we have achieved with our children.

It is rewarding to see the children grow and mature into young adults - playing many different instruments and enjoying their chosen musical traditions within the Ulster Scots Culture!

Looking forward to the 'Class of 2011' - should be great!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Back to Normality

Following a particularly busy 2 weeks, on the run up to the 'Twelfth' - through work and Lambeg Drum drum preparation, it is time to slow down the pace!

I spent all day yesterday in the garden (very enjoyable) - today relax with Mrs Anderson and the boys a walk in the park, read, and perhaps visit Ward Park to watch the bowls.

Saturday morning I intend visiting the Newspaper Library in Belfast, to begin another exploration of the local papers around 100 years ago - looking for interesting family and local history stories of interest.

With only 1 week ago to Loughries Summer School, I need to catch up with planning the final bits n pieces, then complete the planning of the Residential Summer School the following week.



Thursday, 14 July 2011

My Students on Parade 2011

I received an uplifting e-mail this morning from Mr. Willie Hill, head of music at Glengormley High School.

He sent me these photo's - two of my fifing students from the school, took part in the 'Twelfth' Parade in Co. Antrim on Tuesday.

Last year one one fifer (Ryan) paraded, however this year he was joined by Sam.

This is great news and something both Mr. Hill and I are very proud of - there are more in the pipeline!


Loughries LOL 1948 District Parade 12th 2011

Parading along Regent Street N'Ards - Loughries True Blues with the William Strain William Lightbody Memorial Flute Band, during the N'Ards Town District morning parade.

Just to add, and I am sure it comes a little surprise to folk who watch the N'Ards District Parade, that the Band won 'Best Band' on the 12th Day in N'Ards District - Congratulations to the SLMFB!

Thanks again to Davie McAlonan for the video.


Loughries LOL 1948

Leaving on the 12th Morning from East Street N'Ards, Loughries True Blues LOL 1948 with our band - William Strain William Lightbody Memorial Flute Band.

This was the beginning of what proved a most enjoyable and memorable day for both Lodge and Band.

Thanks to Davie McAlonan for the video.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Portavogie Boat Trip

I received a telephone call this morning from Eric (my drumming friend) to say he wanted to go out in the boat - he promised my boy's a trip a while back, he was taking the boat out of the water again on the 14th July so we had to go today.

I quickly re arranged things (still knackered) then made my way to Portavogie for 2pm.

Eric, Matthew, Christopher and I headed off for our wee trip. Eric took us around the seas off Portavogie, where we went seal spotting, wreck spotting, fishing - caught 8 fish, throwing 6 back.
Eric also had a few pots out in the water, which we checked and caught 6 lobsters!

Fantastic outing - the boy's had a great adventure

Here are a few snaps - too many to post them all.


A few snaps from 'The Twelfth' 2011

A few snaps of what was a 'Glorious Twelfth' for me - more to follow!


11th Night - The Arch N'Ards 2011

After the disappointment of not being able to drum at the arch in N'Ards the last 2 years due to rain, thankfully we were able to get the drums out - the weather was perfect.

There were around 10 drums out, 2 broke, poor Tony Wright's drum broke whilst getting it ready to drum, the other was one of my drums.

Great to see a very good crowd turning up to view this unique spectacle to Ulster, also great to see a lot of friends and family members taking the time to enjoy a wonderful part of OUR rich culture.

Thanks to Mark Thompson for supplying the photo's.