Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Titanic - Lambeg Drum

A few months ago I posted that there was at least one lambeg drum that I knew of that had the Titanic painted on it - well here it is.

The drum is owned by the Gordon family from Newtownards, a very well known and highly respected drumming family. The drum is the RMS Titanic 'The Pride of Ulster' with the drum in Memory of Alan Gordon.

I hope you enjoy the painting!


Drums at Stormont

On Wednesday 27th June 2012, I was invited along with a number of my students - from throughout Ulster, to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Event at Stormont Estate in Belfast.

Four of my students, Adam Winter, Andew Bickerstaff, Simon Menabney, Jordan Thompson and me played the lambeg drums throughout the day entertaining thousands of spectators!

Click here - Queens Jubilee - Lambeg Drums - Stormont 1hr 08 min 55 sec in where my 'boss' Ian Crozier gave an interview to a BBC reporter - with 3 of the students in the background standing just behind the drums.......

I will post more pictures when I receive them.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Muppets

Thanks to Sharon for this.

I am, as most of you know, a fan of the Muppets - here are a few fantastic cup cakes !!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Rosemount F.C. Greyabbey

Many congratulations to my old football team - Rosemount Rec. Football Club, from Greba who celebrated 100 glorious years in Football recently. It was a black tie event with a great turn out of the club and many of those who have been associated through the years with the team - fantastic achievement !!


Olympic Torch - Bangor June 2012

It was a busy few days in Bangor, over the June Queen's Diamond Jubilee holiday weekend. On Sunday morning,  we the Anderson's got up out of bed early and made our way to the Town Centre to see the Olympic Torch run past.

There was a great turn out of enthuiastic folk, eager to see the torch run through their home town, as it made its way around the United Kingdom - it also paid a neighbourly visit to Dublin in a symbolic gesture to our near neighbours in the Republic of Ireland - (yes it is a separate country)


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Mayor of Ards - Alderman Gregory

Many, many congratulations to my great friend, Brother Orangeman and Chairman of Loughries Historical Society, Councillor Hamilton Gregory DUP on being elected and installed as Mayor of Ards.

This is 'Hammy's' second term as Mayor, and thoroughly deserved. Hammy is a hard working Councillor for Ards East and may I say a constant worker for Loughries Historical Society our Ulster Scots Community Group.

I am very confident that Hammy will work tirelessly for all citizen's in the Borough of Ards, whilst continuing to promote our Orange / Ulster Scots / Pro. British identity!!

Photo's taken from Newtownards Chronicle - Thursday 14th June 2012


Black Banner Unfurling - Newry 2012

I have previously mentioned that my favoured Protestant Institution, is the Royal Black Institution - therefore when I receive an invititation to to an event, I usualy make it a priority to attend.

On Saturday evening 16th June 2012, I attended the unfurling a new banner for Mullaglass Link & Chain RBP 997 in Newry.

It was a cold damp June evening however it was a wonderful evening and I was delighted to see such a beautiful banner being unfurled in Newry, Co. Down

Order of Service

New Banner -

Preceptory & Guests 


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Orange Banner Unfurling June 2012

I have received quite a few calls, e-mails, texts, Facebook messages etc, in the last few day's expressing positive remarks about Loughries True Blues LOL 1948's new banner. 

It was a day to remember events in history beginning 100 years ago and moving on with historical events over the next 20 years.

Along with ordinary Orangemen and Women, we were joined by District, County and Grand Lodge Officers as well as elected representatives - MP Jim Shannon, MLA'S Jonathan Bell, Michelle McIlveen and Simon Hamilton, Councillor Gibson, Menagh and of course Mayor of Ards Hamilton Gregory........ now that is enough name dropping!!

I was asked to put on a few more photo's of the day's events - well here they are. I will do my best to caption them - to let you know a little of the folks that attended.

1/ Banner Unfurled - Drew Nelson Grand Secretary Orange Institution.

2/ Dedication of Banner by Robert McCormick LOL 481

3/ Explanation of banner design - Stephen Rodgers (side 2)

4/ Presentation of gift to Drew Nelson by Mayor of Ards Alderman Gregory.

                   5/ Presentation of gift to Robert McCormick by Mayor of Ards Alderman Gregory.

6/ Flowers for pianist Mrs Lesley Greenald

7/ Some of the Lodge Members prior to Parade of N'Ards

8/ Parade in High Street - Distinguished Guests upfront!

9/ Our banner and Band - William Strain William Lightbody Memorial Flute Band

10/ Orange Brethren & Sisters on Parade - great support from visitors!

11/ Greyabbey Highland Dancers - entertain the crowd!

12/ William Strain Band perform for the crowd !

13/ Stephen Rodgers piper - entertains the crowd!

14/ Fife section accompany the lambeg drum - entertain the crowd

15/ Young Johnny Thompson - drum solo

16/ Bobby Magreechan accompanies the fife for some traditional music.


Lambegs Played for Her Majesty the Queen's 1953 visit to Ulster

Thanks to Craig Sloan for this.

I have a copy of a photograph taken at the time 2 x lambeg drummers played for H.M Queen Elizabeth II, many years ago. However it is my understanding that Her Majesty is visiting Ulster again later this month........

I heard a whisper that lambeg drums once again will make an impact on her visit !


Integrating into Bangor Community?

Today, along with Mrs Anderson and my eldest boy Matthew, we attended Bangor Grammer School for Matthew's initial 'Welcome to the School'

Matthew performed very well in his trandfer test (something I failed to do) and gained a place at Bangor Grammer School.

We met with Mr. Wilson who took the interview and then led us to the 'kitting out area' where Matthew was measured up for all the sports gear that he will need for the new term. Whilst this was going on a realisation began to dawn on me that my chidren were Bangor Citizens!

I move to Bangor in Sept 1996 and although I have lived here - and indeed I am very happy here, I have always considered myself a Newtownards Man...... a man of the Peninsula! But something changed today, I feel somewhat different...............


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Somme Centre - Drumming June 2012

Well its June again - that means getting ready for the 'Twelfth', which is 1 calander month away!

As we have done now for around 12 years, we visit the Somme Centre (during June up until mid July) which has 6 or 7 small car parks that we use for drum practice.

We took up 3 drums to give the first night a bit of a bang! It was a beautiful summer evening not too much damp about.

I have been working with a group in Donaghadee, so a few of them, a few from Loughries and Ballyrobert drumming classes, came along to what turned out to be a great opening night.

It is all about experience and developing your own techniqu,e as well as drumming in time with other drummers - learning together.

We drummed for around 2 hours, stopping to fife a few tunes along the way!

Monday 11th June 2012 - Somme Centre

Keith (aged 10) and Me (grumpy lookin) - building / planning for the future !


Monday, 11 June 2012

Orange Banner - June 2012

Finally, Loughries True Blues LOL 1948, unfurled their new Orange Banner on Saturday 9th June 2012, in Mary Street Orange Hall Newtownards

I will blog in the next post the events of the day - however for this blog post I want to concentrate on the banner and why we choose what we did !

The following is an explanation of the banner - both sides.

This was prepared and delivered by: -

Stephen Rodgers LOL1948
Choosing a theme for a new banner is a difficult process – so many people have their own opinions and you have got to get it right as you will hopefully be walking behind it for many years to come.
I have been asked to give you an explanation of our banner design – the images we have chosen, our reasons for choosing them and the story behind each image.
Main Side – “Ulster. Defiant and Loyal”

With 2012 being the centenary year for the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the painting depicts events that occurred as a consequence of the covenant – with specific relevance to the Newtownards District. 
In 1911 the 3rd (Irish) Home Rule Bill threatened the Unionist people of Northern Ireland as it intended to provide self governance for Ireland which included Northern Ireland at that time.
                                                                                                                                               Sir Edward Carson campaigned against Home Rule. In 1912 he formed the first loyalist paramilitary group - the “Ulster Volunteer Force” in an attempt to counter the threat of Home Rule.
On 28th September 1912 he was the first signatory on the Ulster Covenant, which bound its signatories to resist Home Rule – and this is one of the images that we have chosen.  
The Covenant was signed by over 237,000 men, and the Declaration by over 234,000 women of Northern Ireland.
Despite its opposition in Northern Ireland, the Home Rule Bill was passed by the Commons on 25 May 1914 and it was awaiting Royal assent when the outbreak of the First World War led to its suspension until the end of the war.
Following the signing of the covenant the Ulster Volunteer Force received a large arms cache from Germany in 1914. 
On the night of 24th April a decoy ship (SS Balmerino) was sent to Belfast, where it was intercepted by Customs. Meanwhile a ship full of munitions, the Clydevalley, arrived at Larne where it was unloaded by the Larne Harbour section of the Ulster Volunteers.
Here some of the munitions where to be loaded onto two additional ships for transfer to Bangor and Donaghadee. The Innismurray was the ship selected for the transfer to Donaghadee and the next image depicts the unloading at the harbour.
It was the job of the 2nd battalion of the North Down Regiment (the Newtownards and Comber volunteers) to collect the shipment at Donaghadee under the direction of James Craig (Unionist Leader and future Prime Minister of Northern Ireland). Up to 1000 Ards men turned up for the operation.
It was reported that the Innismurray reached Donaghadee at 5:30am and the entire cargo of over 70 tons, was safely transferred from the vessel to waiting cars in a couple of hours. The ship then left the harbour and the cache was driven off to Newtownards, to be concealed for a time before being re-distributed throughout the district.
The Ulster Volunteer Force had pulled off the feat of the century that night by landing 25,000 rifles and three million rounds of ammunition in a single night.  And, most importantly of all, it was the means by which Ulster’s future could be assured.
At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Carson announced that an “Ulster Division” would be formed from the 80,000 already armed members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, and the 36th (Ulster) Division was swiftly organised.
There were three existing Irish regiments based in Ulster at the time - the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the Royal Irish Rifles and the Ulster Division raised thirteen battalions for these three regiments.
Our next banner inclusion depicts the 13th (Service) Battalion (1st County Down) Royal Irish Rifles going over the top in the Great War.

The 13th  battalion formed in County Down in September 1914 from the Down Volunteers, they trained on the Clandeboye Estate and came under orders of  what was the 108th Brigade in 36th (Ulster) Division.
On 1st July 1916 the entire 36th Ulster Division suffered losses of 5104 men. The heaviest losses within the Division were the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles which reported 595 casualties. Total British losses for that day amounted to a horrific 19,240 dead, 35,493 wounded, 2152 missing, and 585 prisoners.
It is reported to be the greatest ever British loss for any one single day during the war.
Our next image shows the  ULSTER TOWER -  near Thiepval, France
The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division.  And is a very close copy of Helen's Tower which stands in the grounds of the Clandeboye Estate where the men of the 108th Brigade of the 36th Ulster Division trained before moving to England and then to France early in 1916.

Our Central Image is the CARSON STATUE
In July 1932, Carson and 40,000 others witnessed the unveiling of a large statue of himself in front of Parliament Buildings at Stormont. It was erected by the loyalists of Ulster as an expression of their love and admiration for Lord Carson.
We have included an inscription that reads – “This we will maintain” –
As this story has told us – Ulster has remained defiant and loyal for over 100 years.
As so many before us have given so much for their country -  
As Protestants, Orangemen and Orangewomen we must maintain this loyalty to our Queen & Country and continue to defend our protestant faith.
As this story has told us – Ulster has remained defiant and loyal for over 100 years.
As so many before us have given so much for their country -  
As protestants, Orange men and Orange women we must maintain this loyalty to our Queen & Country and continue to defend our protestant faith.
The Reverse side - King William side

The Reverse side - King William side
As you all know, all of our orange banners have an image of King William III (King Billy) to lead us to the demonstration field on the 12th July.
Our chosen image is of - what was at the time - “Prince William of Orange”, landing Torbay in 1688 to depose James II from the throne of England.
James was a Roman Catholic, most English - who were predominantly Protestant, disliked him.
In July 1688 a group of prominent Englishmen invited Prince William of Orange and his Wife Mary (who was James II’s protestant daughter) to come to England with an army and help the people rise against King James.
William landed at Torbay on 5th November, 1688 with an army of 15,000 and quickly gathered support as he crossed the country. At the same time King James’ support dwindled and the eventually fled to France.
In January 1689, it was declared that James II had abdicated, and King William III and Queen Mary II were declared joint sovereigns.
Being a Roman Catholic, James had a lot of support in Ireland so he returned there in 1689 in an attempt to recover his throne. A series of events eventually lead to his Jacobite army taking on the Williamite army at the battle of the Boyne on 1st July 1690 – and we all know the result of that one!
This is the explanation of our banner.

S. Rodgers

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Poignant Song - Sad !!

There has been a bereavement in the Anderson Family.

All I want to say is............... well just let the song say it!


Monday, 4 June 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee - Bangor, Sunday 3-6-12

Bangor was a very busy town today - the arrival of the Olympic Torch at 650am, through to some army / navy / coast guard / RAF etc, events at the Eisenhower area of the harbour.

Plenty for the family to get involved in - there will be a lot more festivities happening on Monday, more pictures to follow!


Sir Edward Carson - 3rd Home Rule Bill for Ireland

I may revisit this in more detail later in the year - however keeping the banner in mind?

This video clip will give an all too brief description / insight of the history surrounding the 3rd Home Rule Bill for Ireland - the affect of which can still be felt in Ulster today - 100 years on!!


Ulster 1912 - Rudyard Kipling

Well, on the run up to the unfurling of Loughries True Blues LOL 1948's New Orange Banner, to be held on Saturday 9th June 2012 - this will help set the theme and tone.

Sadly, I am still sworn to secrecy regarding the painting, therefore I can't disclose its content, other than to suggest that a series of a 'Centenary of Comerations' may have a bearing on the banner.

Keep looking in - I will post photo's of the unfurling event and the banner, soon after the event.