Drumbeg and District Residents' Association
CEMETERY UPDATE by Tony Hegarty and Roger MacWilliam
Since our last newsletter we have picked up some more information from Belfast City Council Parks and Leisure Committee minutes.
The Meeting of 9 April 2009 was given updated information on Tier 3 ground tests at Lisleen and Nutts Corner. To analyse the data will take approximately 16 months to complete. It is anticipated that the final report will be received in May 2010
At the Meeting of 11 June 2009 Councillors were reminded that Lisleen and Nutts Corner sites were selected as the Council's preferred sites and Drumbeg and Hightown are no longer in the short list, within the context of the Council developing one large cemetery. The Council had proceeded to a Tier 3 risk assessment at both Lisleen and Nutts Corner. A Report to this Meeting gave initial findings. The Lisleen site has favourable conditions and would be likely to be suitable for development as a cemetery. The Nutts Corner site is not as straightforward. It was agreed that the Tier 3 tests continue at Lisleen and initial "data modelling" will be carried out at the Nutts Corner site. Although the interim findings have not ruled out either site, it is advisable that due to the issues that have arisen with the Nutts Corner site that contingency plans are put in place.
Possible options for contingency plans are:
To review the previously identified "long list" of sites to see if there is potential to identify a number of potentially suitable smaller sites.To advertise/seek expressions of interest from landowners who have potentially suitable sites they may be willing to offer for sale as a contingency option for further development.
It was recommended that in the first instance a desk top review of the
previously identified sites be carried out; the results of this to be
reported back to the committee in September. It seems that the Committee
has not yet received this
The meeting on 15 October was told that investigation of Lisleen and
Nutts Corner has continued, but that only 36% of the Nutts Corner site
was suitable for burials, the rest having insufficient soil depth over
rock. The Consultants Scott Wilson has recommended that the findings of
the Tier 3 investigation of Nutts Corner be assessed by Northern Ireland
Environment Agency, the successor to Environment and Heritage Service.
As NIEA have not previously carried out such an assessment, the time for
a response is uncertain.
Table Tennis Club
Drumbeg Art Club
The Annual Art Club Exhibition, held on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May, was once again very well supported. It was interesting to see some new people pop in for their first visit to the exhibition. They were so delighted they made several purchases. Thirteen members sold a total of 20 paintings, together with many of the cards and notelets.
As usual, the social side of the exhibition went well and on occasions all tables were filled with people having tea and a good chat.
As a result of another successful exhibition and several generous donations, Club members were pleased to hand over a cheque for £360 to the Church for the Fabric Fund. The members of the Art Club would like to thank all those who helped to make the exhibition such a success by coming along and supporting us over the two days.
Drumbeg Women's Institute by Ann McAdam
At the January meeting we combined exercise and fun with an evening of
Scottish dancing under the guidance of Lucy Mulholland, and in February
we were transported to exotic holiday locations with a talk by Oasis Travel.
This was followed in March when Mr Hughes from Northern Ireland Consumer
Council gave a very informative talk on our rights as consumers. In April
we had a lovely outing with a trip to the private cinema in Comber to
see the film Miss Potter. The speaker in May was Mr McClements who gave
a talk on the Monarchy and Royal events which he had attended.
Members are looking forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute with a dinner in Parliament Buildings Stormont.
In addition to the monthly meetings a group of ramblers meet in the car park at Drum Bridge every Wednesday at 10.30am and this is sometimes followed by coffee!
New members will be made most welcome.
Floral Art Class
Drumbeg Indoor Bowling Club has continued to thrive over the last year managing to sustain a very strong membership. Our Club is indeed very fortunate in that we normally attract well over twenty players each week, while some other clubs have suffered from a lack of members. The Club plays some 'friendly' matches each year and also a small league has been formed. This has been named 'The Fellowship League' and involves Ballycairn, Hillhall and our own Club, each competing for a plaque presented at the end of the year. Ballycairn have proved hard to beat so far as they have won almost every year, but we keep trying! Competitions are also played between our own bowlers, the winners are then presented with their trophies at our annual dinner during May each year.
Drumbeg Occasional Golfing Society
Some 16 golfers took part on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. Everyone had a most enjoyable day’s golf followed by an evening meal attended by several non-golfing spouses who are always most welcome. After the meal, Captain Frank Young thanked members and guests for coming along and making the day such a success and then presented the prizes.
The winning team consisted of Muriel Dawson, Johnston Stewart, Hugh Warwick, and Peter Richardson. The runner-up team was Aileen Redmond, Elizabeth Baillie, Roy Colvin and Frank Young.
The DOGS are always keen to welcome new members. If anyone is interested in joining the fun and fellowship.
Lagan Valley Investment Club
SUMMER OUTING by Margaret Hegarty
On 9th June, 26 local residents left Drumbeg for Oxford Island. It was a warm and sunny day so after coffee and scones, we enjoyed a walk in the sunshine. Next we headed for Armagh where we enjoyed a delicious lunch in the City Hotel. After lunch we headed for The Planetarium, where on the Digital Theatre's dome we were taken on a ' colourful 3D journey to Mars. Afterwards we were given a very informative tour of the Planetarium's many exhibits. Next stop was home. Everyone enjoyed the day.
VISIT TO INDIA by Adam Boreham of Drumbeg
In the summer of 2008, I was fortunate enough to travel to India as part of a team sent out by my school, R.B.A.I, in association with World Challenge.
We left Belfast on the 25h of June, accompanied by two teachers and a World Challenge Leader. We arrived in Delhi at 1 pm after a solid day of travelling. As soon as we were off the coach we were saw the extent to which poverty can reach. For two miles in either direction, the streets were lined with the homeless. We assumed that this must have been the city's entire homeless population but, as we would come to realise it wasn't even a fraction.
Before we started out on our two week trek, we were to help out at Haripur primary school where we would be spending four days doing various odd jobs. This was a real culture shock to us all, as the school was very different to anything we have in Northern Ireland.
After the four days of volunteering at Haripur we were able to start our trek. We drove to Manali to get acclimatised and within two days we were off on our trek. Attitude affects everyone no matter how fit you are. The first day of the trek made me realise just how much it would affect me. I have never been as physically exhausted as I was on the first day of walking. The campsite was a welcome sight! The two weeks flew in and the scenery was fantastic. You could be walking through arid desert like landscape and within an half an hour of walking you would be in a plush meadow.
We finished the trek two stone lighter than when we started and we were all looking forward to some R&R, more specifically, the Taj Mahal. When we arrived I was struck by the size of it and the guard towers that encircle the whole complex.
Over all I would say that India is a great place to go to if you want a real culture change, but it is not a place for the faint hearted.
I came across your website whilst searching the internet for information regarding my family in Northern Ireland. I wonder if you would be able to publicise my search in your newsletter.
My great grandfather was William Gurd. He was the headmaster of the National School in Ballylesson and played the organ in the Drumbo church of the Holy Trinity. My grandmother Annie Grace Christian Gurd was married at Drumbo church to Andrew Armstrong.
This was a short lived marriage and we know very little of Andrew Armstrong. He did survive the First World War in the Royal Irish Regiment and married my grandmother in 1917, but after that we know little. Their daughter, my mother Sheila Grace Gurd/Armstrong was brought up by her grandparents William and his wife Maria.
I know a little of William Gurd’s brother Robert Gurd and the strange parallels in their lives. He was the headmaster of the Charley Memorial Primary School and was also active in Drumbeg church.
I believe Robert was involved with the church choir for many years. I
know that Robert had children called, I think Robert and Joseph, so any
I do hope you will be able to help.
The unique exhibition, which covers every aspect of enjoying life in the retirement years is now in it its twelfth year. Thousands of retired people attended the exhibition, which took place over two days at the end of April 2009.
At the end of April a group of Drumbeg Residents were met by the Stranmillis Taxi Service and taken to Queens University who were hosting the Young at Heart Retirement Living Exhibition. There was a large number of stands giving away gifts, from a holiday draw to having blood pressure taken. We heard John Cushnie give an interesting talk on gardens both large and small. He gave many tips.
At the RSPB stand we heard a talk on birds, some from abroad and also our garden birds. You can visit the RSPB at Belvoir Park.
There was an Antiques Roadshow stand giving free valuations. One of our members had a number of small items which were valued and she came home feeling she had treasures in her bottom drawer.
Drumbeg Playschool is now open. For further email: firstname.lastname@example.org