Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

Thank you to all you wonderful folk who find time to visit my wee blog.

During the first 2 years I had 20, 000 visitors, however in 2012 alone, I had 27,000 visitors!

Perhaps what I contribute some folk may find a little interesting.

In 2013 there is going to be ( i hope ) some significant changes in my professional and family life - so keep lookin in!

Also Loughries Lodge/Society are planning fundamental changes to our work - keep lookin in!

Hopefully Loughries will have a FaceBook page to promote our work.

Happy New Year Folks.

HMA

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Newtownards 400

In 2013 my old home town of Newtownards and indeed the Borough of Ards is 400 years old!

King James I - back in 1613 bestowed the Royal Charter upon this area and to a number of other areas in Ulster.

There will be quite a number of events taking place to celebrate this historic event in 2013, however more on that later.

I was at the newspaper library recently looking at some family history matters and came across this  - what do you think?



 ????

HMA

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Newtownards Christmas Rhymmers 2010 - 2

A few weeks ago I posted about the Christmas Rhymers who were planning to perform - update.

I was able to assist Darren Gibson with 2 x schools for the Christmas Rhymers -

1/ Movilla High School - the rhymers performed at the annual Carol Service and 1 local nursing home - Mrs Kelso and Mr Forbes worked extremely hard over a number of days to get the children released from class in order to rehearse and prepare. It was all worth it as the rhymers were very well received - well done Movilla.

2/ Castle Gardens Primary School - the rhymers performed for their parents and other classes with in the school, also they had a visit from the BBC A Kist O Wurds (Ulster Scots Programme) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pcrqn who duly recorded the children's performance, this also went down very well with the school - well done to Mr. Mawhinney and staff.

This project was planned and carried out without any help, guidance or assistance, financial or other ways from any organisation - just good work by dedicated / interested Ulster Scots Folk Fae The Ardes -Mark Thompson, Darren Gibson, Laura Spence - with a little bit of help from me.

But a huge thank you must go to the principals, staff, children and parents of both the schools for taking on the project, developing it and doing such an excellent job.

Well done everyone!!

A few snaps will follow soon.

HMA

Monday, 17 December 2012

Mud, Blood and Bullets

I have been continuing my research into the Anderson Family Tree over recent weeks, a few bits n pieces at a time. I have been concentrating on the enigma and perhaps a bit of a family mystery, however ever so slowly I am getting to the bottom of William Anderson.
 
To help me understand what it may have been like for some one to enlist, then be selected/transfer/drafted into the Machine Gun Corps back in 1915/16. William as I have previously stated was in the 13th Battalion RIR, however with his motor cycle background he ended up in the Motor Machine Gun Corps until he was gassed by the Germans in France in 1917.
 
I recently blogged about the Time Team Channel 4 TV programme about the base and training ground for the Machine Gun Corps at Grantham in England, so in order to learn a little more I have bought this book to read over Christmas to further familiarise myself with what life may have been like for William.
 
Details below - Lookin forward to the read!
 
 

It is 1915 and the Great War has been raging for a year, when Edward Rowbotham, a coal miner from the Midlands, volunteers for Kitchener's Army. Drafted into the newly-formed Machine Gun Corps, he is sent to fight in places whose names will forever be associated with mud and blood and sacrifice: Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele.
He is one of the 'lucky' ones, winning the Military Medal for bravery and surviving more than two-and-a-half years of the terrible slaughter that left nearly a million British soldiers dead by 1918 and wiped out all but six of his original company. He wrote these memoirs fifty years later, but found his memories of life in the trenches had not diminished at all.
The sights and sounds of battle, the excitement, the terror, the extraordinary comradeship, are all vividly described as if they had happened to him only yesterday. Likely to be one of the last first-hand accounts to come to light, Mud, Blood and Bullets offers a rare perspective of the First World War from an ordinary soldier's viewpoint
 
HMA

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Loughries Summer School 2012 - At Greenhill YMCA


This is a wee late post, however I have been meaning to do a post on Loughries Summer School since August - but sadly never got round to it.
 
However, once again Loughries residential summer school took place in August - when we travelled back to Greenhill YMCA, in Donard Park, Newcastle, Co. Down. There were 18 young people and 3 leaders, Heather, Jonny and myself.
 
It was a fun filled packed programme of events including laser tagging, deep and medium bouldering, archery, climbing wall, rafting, cookery, musical items, quiz and a visit into Newcastle town centre.
 
Another successful event - my thanks go to Heather, Jonny, the children and the parents for showing continued faith in Loughries as we strive to provide a learning opportunity for our young people in a safe, fun and friendly environment.
 
Plans are well advanced for Loughries Summer Schools in 2013 - there will be a distinct change to the planning and direction of both summer schools, however more on that in the new year!!
 
Laser Tagging
 
 
Deep Bouldering Gang



Rafting at Castlewellan Lake 1
 


Rafting at Castlewellan Lake 2


Loosing rafting team


 
No Fear at deep bouldering!


A musical interlude



 
William on the bagpipes
 

 
 
 
 
HMA

Saturday, 8 December 2012

What If!

As 2012 begins to draw to a close, as always it is time to reflect to the last 12 months. Perhaps we reflect on matters that were successful, enjoyable and that's we hope to repeat or continue the following year.

Then of course there are 'things' that get you down, are upsetting and were a mistake - I think we all at some point have the same thoughts.

So as Christmas, another birthday and the New Year approaches I will be taking time to reflect and make some very important decisions that will have a huge affect on my professional and family life.

Here is a very interesting YouTube clip that has had a degree of influence on my train of thought.
 
Alan Watts - What if money didn't matter




I will spill the beans (explain more in depth early 2013)

HMA



Rock'n'roll I Gave You All the Best Years of my Life

I had a lovely email through the week regarding my last musical post - Neil Young and my confession that I had never taken or even tried illicit drugs. The person who sent the email reminisced about their misspent youth, sitting up late at parties enjoying a glass or two of wine and a good old sing song, etc !

Well, that brought many distant memories flooding back to me, of similar evenings I used to enjoy - long before I met the present Mrs A of course.

Here is a tune that brought all those memories back - it is by Kevin Johnson - Rock'n'roll I Gave You All the Best Years of my Life!

In the last verse he refers to meeting a girl called Susanne who sympathetically listed to him, visited hotel rooms as he searches forlornly for a record company to sign him up, eventually as many girls have to do - that is to save men from themselves - she took him by the hand and told him.......... he was never going to be a star................ (It is called a reality check)
 
I believe that ever man needs a Susanne at sometime!!



 
 
 
 
Ever happened to you?

HMA


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Neil Young - After The Goldrush

Well, with only a couple of weeks to work until I ........ well, here is a tune to help me unwind and prepare for the holidays.

Now, before you contact me, I have never taken illicit drugs, ever - This is another song that I listen to that mentions drums 'drummer drumming' is the words he uses in this song - like Linda Ronstadt with the Stone Ponies 'you and I travel to the sound of a  'Different Drum', you get me, OK too deep - but it is a wonderful song and one my good friend Brian Jamison performs.

Relax and enjoy!!


 
 
 
HMA

The Ulster Covenant

If you are unsure of the events surrounding the Ulster Covenant here is an excellent T.V. programme, presented by William Crawley. I am a fan of the BBC, but I am not a fan of the news / journalism / current affairs departments of the BBC in Northern Ireland - with, in my opinion, biased Republican reporting.

I watched the Ulster Covenant programme on BBC NI recently and was pleasantly surprised and somewhat pleased with the presentation and content of the show - a rare gem. The BBC NI should report the facts and let the viewers make their own minds up, not the BBC deciding what they think the story should portray.

If you have an hour to spare have a look............. and make your own mind up!



 
 
HMA

The Dubliners The Old Orange Flute

My late Father Blakely loved this song, I think he prefered the tune more than the words of the song, nevertheless it is a great tune/song.

Here is The Dubliners version of the Aul Orange Flute.... I have been playing along this evening on my whistle - great !



 
 
 
HMA

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Orange Standard Song Book

I came across this little gem last evening. It is an old tradition tune / song book 'containing 18 Selected Songs' - by Richard Hayward.

It is a Scottish song book with Copyright Mozart Allen, Glasgow.




Any tune look familiar?

HMA

History Ireland

Over recent months I have been buying History Ireland magazine fom my local Eason's store. It is an award winning bi monthly history magazine edited and printed in Dublin.

At £6.00, perhaps I thought at first a little pricy, however it is packed with great history stories and I do feel it is great value for money.

Front cover of the last 2 editiopns of History Ireland magazine
 

If you are interested in history this is for you and with Christmas just around the corner why not get your other half to buy you a yearly subscription!

HMA

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Newtownards Christmas Rhymers 2012

When I was a young lad, around 9 or 10 years old, I was a primary 6 or 7 pupil at Victoria Primary School Newtownards. We were very fortunate to have many great and memorable teachers, one teacher that springs to mind instantly was Mr. Morrison - famed for is bushy eyebrows and great sense of humour, he was very much a local man.

Here is Mr. Morrison (white blazer) at the annual sports day at Victoria Primary School
 
 

I recall each year at the school either watching or when taking part in the annual school play called 'The Christmas Rhymers'. The performers would learn their parts in the play during late November / early December, this would not take too long as each part lasted between 3 or 4 lines of dialogue (except for the 2 main parts). We would also prepare our costumes and props - then it was time for the performances. The troupe of Christmas Rhymers would gather in Mr Morrison's room then in turn visit P1 then onto P2 and so on, right through the school to P7.

Christmas Rhymers, taken from 'Six Miles from Bangor - the story of Donaghadee & Copeland Islands.

  

This was all a distant but pleasant memory, until Christmas of 2011 when Mark Thompson sent me and Darren Gibson, a copy of a 'Christmas Rhymers' article that had appeared in a local history book about Donaghadee. Over that Christmas as I visited family and friends I introduced the subject of Christmas Rhymers and we had a great time reminiscing about the play and our 'aul school days' at Victoria Primary School.

I thought no more about the article until during one of my weekly visits to Lisneal College in Londonderry (to teach Lambeg drum and fife). Over a cup of tea Darren Gibson and I had a chat about the Christmas Rhymers play and suggested trying to re-establish the Christmas Rhymers play in a few local Schools in Newtownards - this is where I come in.

With my work as a peripatetic music tutor and experience as a Ulster Scots enthusiast with Loughries Historical Society in Newtownards, I made 2 telephone calls to schools in the town and they were very interested and keen to run with the play.

I will post another blog item on the Christmas Rhymers in a few weeks time and name the 2 schools involved and give you an update on the play.

 HMA

 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Forgotten Gunners of WW1: A Time Team Special

Delving into family history has been very interesting indeed recently!

I have identified a Great Uncle William Anderson who is somewhat of an enigma. When I initially spoke to living family members about 'The Anderson's' most were very forthcoming with information about the family, however one family member said I would be best not to look too closely into William Anderson..... well.

Me being me, I have decided to, yes, look into William's life a little closer.

Along with other details he joined the 13th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles in 1914, I was informed that he was a dispatch rider and came home safely.... wrong! He did join the 13th Battalion RIR however he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps later in the war. There is a lot to this past relative that is rather private that I won't post, nevertheless his war record is interesting.

Channel 4 are showing: - The Forgotten Gunners of WWI: A Time Team Special, about the creation of the unit, where they trained, etc, and yes Great Uncle William was in this unit. I will be glued to Chanel 4 tomorrow in order to find out a little more about this unit and the kind of  war they fought.
 



Taken of the Channel 4 Site;
 
Golfers at a popular East Midlands golf club now know that a huge wooded bank beside their fairway is a rather special area of 'rough'. Time Team's experts discovered, that 90 years ago it was a machine gun firing range - and buried in the bank are tens of thousands of spent bullets.
 
Belton House near Grantham may be one of Britain's finest stately homes but during World War I, the grounds were home to thousands of men training for front line duties. It was where the Machine Gun Corps was created and its troops were trained.
 
The Corps was set up as a response to German superiority in using these deadly weapons and became vital to the war effort. Most of the Machine Gun Corps' records were destroyed, first in a fire and then in the Blitz in World War II.
 
Today almost nothing is visible above ground. Tony Robinson and the Team have quite a task to locate the hundreds of barrack blocks, kitchen blocks, roads, social centres and shooting ranges.
To the Team's relief, the dig is rich in finds, revealing glimpses of the men's lives in wartime; whether from the site of the YMCA, where a cup of cocoa could be had for a few pence, or from the hastily erected huts where they lived for their six weeks of intensive training.
 
They uncover stories of young men who went so bravely to their deaths. Of the 170,000 who trained here more than 12,000 were killed and another 50,000 injured. The Corps' nickname was 'the Suicide Club'.
 
The sound of a Vickers gun reverberating around the park for the first time in 90 years provides a shocking but fitting tribute.

HMA

Friday, 26 October 2012

Long As I Can See The Light !

From time to time I think we all look back to try to see things we may not have seen at the time, however in the end 'Long as I can see the light' - A little cryptic I know but.................... ?






HMA

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Ulster Surnames


Family History anorak back on again!
 
Researching my family history has been very enjoyable, frustration, sad, surprising, but not boring.
 
I recently purchased this book 'The book of Ulster Surnames' by Robert Bell. An authentic old library book all dog eared - with that old bookie smell, that I don't quite get with my iPad.
 
Obviously my first stop is Anderson... then Devlin (my mothers maiden name) the Girvan my wife's maiden name.
 
Anyone interested in their surname drop me a line and I will scan your surname and e-mail it to you.
 
 


HMA

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Newspaper Library Visit

Whilst visiting the newspaper library recently with Mark T, I came across a few 'unusual but interesting' newspaper stories - Newtownards Chronicle - here is one of them: -
 
 




I would like to point out that this was in the local newspaper and therefore in the public domain........ please don't attempt any court action against me even though this took place in 1926!!

HMA

Monday, 22 October 2012

Green Glens of Antrim

Monday I travel to Ballymoney then onto Kilrea, a beautiful part of Ulster. Here are a couple of snaps I took on the road at around 8.30 am this morning........

1/ Slemish Mountain



2/ Countryside and the Glens of Antrim in the distance.




And the green glens of Antrim are calling to me...............................


HMA

Friday, 12 October 2012

A wee bit o drummin

 
Am, new computer and still finding my way around it - here is a short video of a wee bit o drummin at the front of Stormont 'Parliament Buildings on Covenant Day.
 
 
 
video


HMA

Friday, 5 October 2012

Newtownards Ulster Covenant Exhibition 2012

This is my final post regarding the Ulster Covenant Centenary.
 
Ards Borough Council commissioned an exhibition to mark the Centenary of the Ulster Covenant.
 
Mr. Mark Thompson was the man behind a wonderful exhibition, well designed and with excellent balanced content. A number of wee factual gems were unearthed by Mark's group - of highly knowledgeable and professional team.
 
The exhibition was launched at the Town Hall, Newtownards on Monday24th September 2012 with a great turnout of local folk.
 
As well as the pop up slides, there is a computer linked to PRONI web site - where you can check to see if your relatives signed the Ulster Covenant and if they did where they signed.
 
If you live in or around the Ards Peninsula, take time to visit the exhibition, it will be visiting a number of villages in the coming few weeks - you won't be disappointed.
 
Very well done to Ards Borough and the Mark Thompson team!!
 
 
 
 
 









 
 
 



HMA

Ulster Covenant Parade - Belfast 2012


I had a magnificent day at the Ulster Covenant Centenary Parade on Saturday 28th September 2012.
 
I resisted the opportunity to get the Lodge bus up from Newtownards, however I elected to travel by train from Bangor to Great Victoria Street train station. When I arrived it was a surreal experience, Orangemen sitting with their sashes and collarettes on reading the paper, having tea & coffee and relaxing.
 
The crowds I witnessed were extraordinary, tens of thousands of people - patiently waiting at Sandy Row Belfast to rake part in the parade. Each County was allocated a side street along Sandy Row, I was with County Down. Now I have been to many rugby internationals, premier league football and huge outdoor concerts and I personally estimated the crowds at Sandy Row to be in excess of 50,000 !
 
We marched proudly through the streets of Belfast, where many, many thousands of Ulster folk lined the street to watch this magnificent spectacle pass by - I am told it took over 4 1/2 hours for the parade to pass any one spot, a truly wonderful sight.
 
I stood and took part in the religious service and I was greatly heartened to hear my Presbyterian Ministers in great voice and spirit - especially the Rev. Mervyn Gibson who shouted NO SURRENDER at the end of his address - hear hear I say!!
 
I have selected a few snaps from the day...... I could have posted another dozen or so, however to give you a flavour of the day I have posted the pictures below.
 
Co. Down Orange waiting at Sandy Row.
 

 
Newtownards District entering the Stormont Estate


 
Older and wee brother Clarke and myself at Stormont


 
Magnificent view of the parade entering Stormont grounds from the Carson Monmunent


 
The platform party - Bro Drew Nelson reading the Ulster Covenant


 
The crowd at the religious service
 


 
A drummer in full flow - Lord Carson drum

 
The hustle and bustle of the drummin men


 
Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Standard
 


 
The parade resembled and leaving to head home



The magnificent - Dunloy Accordion Band



HMA

Mr. Nelson McCausland & The Ulster Covenant


On the 12th July 2010, I stood in the demonstration field at Londonderry Park, Newtownards, listening to the speeches from the platform party, I don't always have time to listen to the speeches or take part in the religious service, but this time I made a special effort to be there and listen.
 
The keynote speaker was Mr. Nelson McCausland MLA, the then Minister for DECAL (Dept. Culture Arts & Leisure) at Stormont. During what turned out to be the another rousing speech from Nelson, he mentioned something that stuck with me to this day, and something I decided to act upon. Nelson described the upcoming Centenary of the Ulster Covenant Celebrations in 2012 as 'very important to the us as Ulster-men and women' and further went on to use the term 'Birth Certificate of Northern Ireland' and everyone from the Unionist Family, should come together and celebrate this momentous occasion.

Well that's what I did, now not only me, but I had a great deal of help from my good friends Jack Greenald, Mark Thompson and Hamilton Gregory. Our planning began early and as the months rolled on the bits n pieces that we had discussed began to come to fruition - what did we do? - well quite a lot as it turned out 

1/ The Ulster Covenant was signed in many places around the Borough of Ards including the Town Hall. We lobbied the Council to erect a brass plaque in the Town Hall foyer to mark the signing of the Ulster Covenant 100 years ago. This duly took place on Monday 17th September 2012 - incidentally unveiled by the Mayor of Ards Alderman Hamilton Gregory!

2/  Ulster Covenant Exhibition - this was the brainchild of Mark Thompson, but assisted along the way when needed were - Jack Greenald, myself and a few other intelligent folk. The  exhibition has been a great success and very professionally put together. Having spent 2 weeks in the Town Hall, Newtownards, it is now on a tour of the Ards Peninsula. 

3/ Ulster Covenant Centenary Dinner - we (Loughries) planned a dinner and musical evening to celebrate and commemorate the Ulster Covenant in the Town Hall. Newtownards. This duly took place on Ulster Day, 28th September 2012, 100 years to the day when the Ulster Covenant was signed in the very building. The dinner was a sell out - with 2 speakers Drew Nelson Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and MP for Strangford Mr. Jim Shannon. Other VIP's were in attendance including MLA's, local Councillors and dignitaries. We also raised £330.00 for the Mayor's Charities !! 

4/ Ulster Covenant Centenary Parade in Belfast - we did not plan this event, however along with over 100,000 other Ulster folk, we made our way to Belfast and participated in the Orange Parade from Sandy Row Belfast, past City Hall, to Stormont grounds. I have been a member of the Orange Institution for 30 years this year, and it was the greatest parade and event that I had the pleasure to attend - it was magnificent ! One of the speakers on the stage was Rev. Alastair Smyth Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland..... Rev. Smyth married my wife and I 14 years ago !!

5/ Ulster Covenant Centenary Church Service - this was held at Grace Free Presbyterian Church Newtownards. Service conducted by Rev. Ron Johnstone Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church with the help of Jack Greenald - and a wonderful supper was provided in the new Church extension
 
Well as you can read, I was very busy on the run up to the Ulster Covenant and indeed just as busy during and after the event. That said, it was a remarkable week and a huge success. My sincerest thanks are extended to Jack Greenald, Mark Thompson and Hamilton Gregory, also to all the other folk who helped quietly and supported our events.
So from a few words on an Orange Platform by Mr. Nelson MCCausland tin 2010, and with 2 years planning later, we were able to put together a number of Ulster Covenant Events, that proved to be wonderfully successful  and will live long on the memory.

It pays to listen to speeches........ well sometimes !!!

HMA   

Friday, 28 September 2012

Ulster Day Poem

Rudyard Kipling's momentous poem.

Ulster 1912.

The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
To every evil power
We fought against of old.
Rebellion, rapine, hate,
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate,
By England’s act and deed.

The Faith in which we stand,
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives, and land
Are given for reward
To Murder done by night,
To Treason taught by day,
To folly, sloth, and spite,
And we are thrust away.

The blood our fathers spilt,
Our love, our toils, our pains,
Are counted us for guilt,
And only bind our chains.
Before an Empire’s eyes
The traitor claims his price.
What need of further lies?
We are the sacrifice.

We asked no more than leave
To reap where we had sown,
Through good and ill to cleave
To our own flag and throne.
Now England’s shot and steel
Beneath that flag must show
How loyal hearts should kneel
To England’s oldest foe.

We know the war prepared
On every peaceful home,
We know the hells declared
For such as serve not Rome—
The terror, threats, and bread
In market, hearth, and field—
We know, when all is said.
We perish if we yield.

Believe, we dare not boast,
Believe, we dare not fear
We stand to pay the cost
In all that men hold dear.
What answer from the North?
One Law, one Land, one Throne
If England drive us forth
We shall not fall alone!

One hundred years later it is still as powerful - our cry was No Surrender !!

HMA

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Centenary Plaque

On Monday evening 17th September 2012, I was invited by Ards Borough Council, to the unveiling and dedication of a new plaque - at the Town Hall, Conway Square, Newtownards.
 
The plaque was erected to commemorate the Centenary of the Signing of the Ulster Covenant - which took place in the building 100 years ago.
 
Mayor of Ards, Alderman Hamilton Gregory performed the unveiling ceremony.
 
Following that Dr. David Hume gave an excellent talk on the Home Rule Crisis, that was ongoing in the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th Century....... an excellent well balanced lecture with a great turn out of local folk
 
Am.................... In the background over several months Jack, Mark and I had discussed then lobbied the council to mark this significant event in Ulster History in this way....... it was very satisfying to see our idea come to fruition.
 
Also during the evening, the upcoming Ulster Covenant exhibition was given a sneak preview...... it was very well received and will be officially launched next Monday 24th September 2012, again at the Town Hall Newtowards. A great piece of work from the very talented Mark T and his team!!
 
I will blog a piece later.
 
 

Alderman Gregory - who unveiled the plaque.
 
 
 
The Plaque.
 


HMA

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Homegrown

 
Home grown - it is with a great deal of satisfaction and looking back on all that hard work throughout the summer months, weeding, slug hunting and tending the vegetables - it is enjoyable to pick then cook your own vegetables.
 
Here are a few items I picked for cooking over the wekend - white & red onion, peas, shallotts, scallions and beetroot - they tast so much better than shop vegatables!!
 
 


I have managed to eat all the potatoes, well not me alone.... the family - so just a few bits n pieces left

HMA

Newtrownards & The Ulster Covenant


In the coming weeks the town of Newtownards and its environs will commemorate and celebrate the historic signing of the Ulster Covenant.

There were two venues for signing the Covenant in Newtownards Town - Town Hall and Guild hall. In total 14,625 signed either the Covenant of the decloration in the Borough of Ards.

Ards Borough Council have invested quite a considerable amount of time and resourses into the upcoming events -

Loughries and I will of course play our part in these events.

Here is a flyer prepared to advertise the events - for further information click on the link below.

http://www.ards-council.gov.uk/

HMA

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Runrig Live - Loch Lomond

I have had a bit of time to catch up with things over the weekend and last few days, I installed me new all singing all dancing PC and have decided to revamp all my files, etc.

I have been listening to quite a bit of music as I have been busily working away, so I thought I would share this tune and group with you..... this not my favourite track by this group - I will post that later but here is a rousing version of the old traditional Scottish folk song.... Loch Lomond.

A Scottish group I enjoy listening to from time to time is Runrig.  They are deeply proud of their Scottish roots, history, music and culture - they don't dress themselves up as anything else!
 
Others should take a leaf from their book - don't pretend to be something you are not and won't be!!

 

 
 
 
HMA

Birthplace.

As the years slip past folk, - including myself, begin to look back as much as they look forward and this is certainly true when you begin to delve into some family history, here is a little snippet.


Naturally you begin where you were born - and for me it was Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. I was born and spent the first 2 years of my life in picture No. 1 - Wallace's Street No. 1 or if you are local it was known as 'The Front Deed' - I don't know why!

There was another street that ran parallel to Wallace's Street No. 1 and that was Wallace's Street No 2 ! - it was affectionately known as 'The Back Deed' and renowned for housing many local characters. including the famous or should I say infamous 'Back Street Band.

These two streets ran between the Donaghadee Road and Movilla Street with Brown's Lane running between the two, linking them together.

We - The Anderson's lived just where the car in Picture No. 1 is parked. I don't recall living here as I was too young and moved when I was around 18 mts old/ 2 years, but I do recall playing in and around the houses when they became derelict in the late 1960's / early 1970's

Pic. 1 Wallace's Street No. 1 - 1970 ish


Pic. 2 Wallace's Street No. 2

 Pic. 3 Browns Lane.


By contrast I was in the area recently and took a few photo's of how it is today........ it is not pretty, and they call this progress.

Pic. 3 Wallace's Street No. 1 - 2012




Browns Lane and Wallace's Street No.2 are long gone with only one side of Wallace's Street left. It is quite sad to see it knocked down...... maybe best before the houses fell down, but it's always good to look back and reflect.

HMA