Sunday, 25 March 2012

Battle of the Boyne - Loughries Visit 2012

As planned Loughries trip to the Boyne Battlefield at Oldgrange, Drogheda, Co. Louth - took place on Saturday 24th March 2012. 

The weather was perfect - with warm early spring sunshine accompanying us throughout the day. 

After leaving Newtownards we arrived on schedule at 11am to the impressive new visitors centre, where we were met by our tour guide Mary. Sadly we were not permitted to take photograph's inside the visitors centre, however the 45 minutes or so we spent in the visitors centre was quite interesting. 

Now, the tour does not go too in-depth into the battle, but it does give a reasonable explanation of the events in June / July 1690.

There is a beautiful walled garden to the rear of the visitors centre, where we had tea, coffee and scones - in glorious sunshine!

The Battlefield site is a vast open area with a lot of picnic areas and signed walks - which many local people appear to use for exercise etc. Our group spent a couple of hours walking around the battlefield on the south side of the river Boyne, we also 'crossed the Boyne river' to the north side where King William's army had attacked from.

Following the 2 1/2 hours at the visitors centre and battle-field site we made our way into Drogheda town for  1 1/2 hours leisure time - then we travelled home arriving back in Newtownards at 5.30pm.
Visitors Booklet

Sign at the entrance to Visitors Centre

The impressive gate entrance to visitors centre

The beautiful visitors centre building

A few of Loughries members 

Inside visitors booklet - walking guide

North side of the Boyne river - where the Boyne Obelisk used to be - it was blown up by IRA terrorists.

Overview of the Boyne site inside booklet

The river Boyne midway across the old road bridge

In all, a great day out for members of Loughries - it is good to keep the group engaged with trips like this which has had a profound effect on Ulster History.

Next event on Loughries is the unfurling of our New Orange Banner in June....... keep looking in for details.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Battle of the Boyne - Loughries Visit.

On Saturday 24th March 2012, Loughries True Blues LOL 1948 will depart on our first event / trip of 2012. 

We have planned a visit to the Boyne Battlefield Site, Oldbridge, Drogheda Co. Louth. This will be our second visit to the site since 2005, however on our last visit the visitors centre was not opened, in fact it was only being discussed by our politicians at the time. The weather was particularly bad that day, with strong winds and driving rain putting a damper on the visit.

We vowed to return once the visitors centre was opened - so we have booked our usual transport man Desi Mitchell at 'Comfi-Coaches and we have planned to meet at the bus station Newtownards, at 8.30pm -  departing soon thereafter.

Here is a link to the visitors centre -

Photo's and report to follow following the trip.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Victoria Primary School - The Beatles - She's Leaving Home!

I recently started to follow Victoria Primary School - (my old primary school in Newtownards) face-book page - it was set up by Mr. Nash, a retired teacher from the school.

It has brought back so many memories for me, as each week Denis posts old photographs etc. 

I was a pupil at Victoria back in 1968 to 1975, I played in the football teams, too part in dramas / plays, I was in the school choir, etc - I was also the connect 4 and domino champion in 1974 (the only person to do the double in one year : - )) !!

Well, recently I heard this song on Radio 2 and it took me back to my P7 drama. The song is by the Beatles - She's leaving home. I played the part of the father of the girl that had run away from home, my wife was a girl called Charisse (a Presbyterian Ministers Daughter) we acted out the words of the song. 

It was a sad and poignant drama piece that lasted only several minutes, but it has left a happy memory for me from my old school days.

Now that I have reached 47 - I look back to my class from p7 with fondness, however sadly too many of my old class mates and friends have passed away - life can be all too short!


Lambeg Drum Selection

Here is another selection of Lambeg Drums from Bobby Magreechan's 'The Ulster Drum'. 

I don't have details of who presently owns drums 2 & 3 & 5 - anyone with info please drop me a line and I will update the post accordingly.  

1. The Old Rock - Carrickfergus. Owned by S. McKee from Randalstown

2. The Champion of the Birches - Portadown. Owner not known!

3. The Chiming Bells of Lisadian - Jacob Hull, Hillsborough

4/ Owned by Mr. J. Hanna, Kilkeel, Co, Down

5. The Boyne Prince, Sandy Row Belfast - owner Frank Orr. 


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Spreading the Ulster Scots Message

Today Tuesday, my colleague Matthew Warwick and I visited 2 x schools - both very different!

First off was a trip to Kilmaine Primary School in Bangor, Co. Down - there we entertained and educated over 100 pupils, in a 3 hour period on a number of elements of the Ulster Scots Traditions - including music, language etc.

Following that we raced up to Ballymena Co. Antrim to Slemish Integrated College - where we were joined by Piper Alan McCormick. We gave a series of presentations, on the Ulster Scots Culture and associated musical traditions, - to a group of International Students from Mainland Europe - Spain, Italy, France Germany, Norway, including Slemish students also.

This is part of my job I really enjoy - making a difference by challenging perception and improving a young persons education with truth and facts!

Sorry, but no photographs - I am always concerned with child protection issues.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Planting Ulster Spuds - 2012

Just planted 4 rows of 'early' potatoes.

The vegetable patch was tough to dig up after the winter, however first batch of potatoes along with for the first time some fertiliser - organic of course.

I planted with a second batch in 2 weeks time. What vegetables will I grow this year?

My peas failed last year, maybe try more this year - with broccoli a new addition this time.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Dubliners - McAlpine's Fusiliers (Live)

The Dubliners area fantastic musicians - a traditional Irish music group, who I listen to regularly

They play quite a few tunes in their repertoire - that fit well with the fife and lambeg drumming tradition.

This tune begins with a poem, with the opening line that makes me smile every time!

'In the year of 39 and the sky was full of lead, when Hitler was heading for Poland and Paddy for Holyhead' - Fantastic!!


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Letter to Queen Elizabeth II

At our recent monthly Orange Lodge meeting, it was agreed to send a letter to HM Queen Elizabeth II, (via her private secretary) - by way of congratulations, on reaching her Diamond Jubilee, see attached letter.

Lets hope for a reply!

Dear Sir;

The Officers and Members of Loughries True Blues Loyal Orange Lodge No 1948, wish to convey to Her Most Gracious and Most Excellent Majesty, many congratulations on this your Diamond Jubilee.

It should please Your Majesty, that we, your most loyal and faithful servants, greatly appreciate and uphold your Loyalty and faithfulness in service to us, your people.

May Almighty God continue to offer his blessings upon you, this the year of your Diamond Jubilee and for evermore.

God Save the Queen