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Drumbeg News

Volume 9 Issue 2 Autumn 2012
Online Edition

Drumbeg Residents Association would like to give a warm welcome to any new residents.

Hugh Crookshanks was nominated in the Spring for one of the 2012 Mayor's Awards for Volunteering. Hugh was nominated in the Adult Volunteer of the Year category as chairman of Drumbeg Residents Association. He was then invited to the Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony held at the Civic Centre, Lagan Valley Island, on May 24th. Awards Host for the evening was Lynda Bryans.

Of the six Award categories, by far the greatest number of nominees was in the Adult Volunteer category. The winner of this category was Elsie Vance of Greater Lisburn Ageing Well.

THE CEMETERY by Tony Hegarty
Since our last cemetery update very little has happened. Belfast City Council's consultants have been carrying out investigations re the suitability of the site at Dundrod. Earlier this year a delegation of city councillors visited the site. As yet we are not aware if the site is suitable so our position remains unchanged. Hopefully we will have some more information by the AGM in November.


We often walk or cycle along the towpath to Stranmillis. Around Autumn last year we briefly saw the seal and have been looking out for him ever since with no luck. However we were delighted to see him on Sunday 2nd September around 11am. He was around for about 1 hour floating along enjoying the sunshine.



The service on Sunday 9th September, was planned as a follow on to our Annual Show. The service was conducted by Rev. Gregor McCamley. The participants were : Mayor of Lisburn - Alderman William Leathem, Jennie of Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland, Councillors Brian Bloomfield and Brian Dornan, Suzanne

DRA AGM will be held on Tuesday 20th November 2012 at 7.30 pm in the Parochial Hall.Come and put forward your suggestions for the Drumbeg Area. There will be a presentation by ‘Greater Lisburn Seniors Together’

CAROLS AROUNG THE TREE and SWITCH ON OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS will be held on Tuesday 4th December at 7pm at Drumbeg Orange Hall. The Mayor will switch on the lights. Music by the 1st Old Boys. Hot dogs and soup. Santa Claus will appear



For many years the two low lying fields situated either side of the Drum Bridge had been unloved and neglected. Often sad looking horses had been left to graze even in times of flooding. Belfast Council had established legal title and this meant that anyone and presumably anything using the fields was actually trespassing and could be removed. This opened up the possibility of using the fields for the common good.

A much welcomed LVRP project followed and the concept of a Bird Table was born. It is well known that wild birds are in decline and the purpose of the table is to provide a bird friendly environment, within an area of flax and meadow flowers, hopefully resulting in increased bird numbers.
Over the past weeks LVRP staff had been busy clearing unwanted vegetation and rubbish from the field nearest to the Park entrance. This work also involved the laying out and cultivation of a large circular Bird Table area.

On a sunny day the 12th of March 2012, local folk and the LVRP project managers and staff gathered for the seeding of the bird table. The table project is to be ‘marked’ against Green flag criteria and will hopefully be awarded the Green flag award. This apparently enjoys the same status as the Blue flag as applied to beaches.

The planned gathering of locals went well and perhaps 30-40 souls and some children arrived in the field. A professional photographer, with his son, was in evidence and images were taken. After a short briefing by the project manager the locals were set to work. The table had been divided into six or so rectangular areas and folk were encouraged to rake in the main flax seed crop. This was carried out enthusiastically and gentle raking soon covered the seeds. Other wild flower seeds which were to be sown had not arrived and will be sown later. The flax is an historical reminder of the days when Drumbeg was an important site for linen production with its bleaching greens. I asked a man who seemed to have knowledge about the germination period for the flax he stated that “there should be a show in about two weeks”. A shower of rain would have helped and, as if by divine intervention, the next few hours provided the much needed moisture.

The well planned event went extremely well and was most enjoyable. Much thanks must be given to the LVRP managers and staff for without their interest and cooperation the table would not exist.In future years the table will bring visual pleasure to a former neglected area and a marked increase in bird numbers and activity.In the background, in the Church Hall, the ladies had prepared a magnificent spread to refresh us at the finish. Much praise must be heaped on these willing volunteers who do so much for the local social cohesion.

S by Orla Maguire and Stephen Quinn, Parks and Leisure Department | Belfast City Council
Many of our seed eating birds are declining due to a scarcity of winter food. In recent years less cereal crops, such as wheat and barley are grown in Northern Ireland and many birds rely on the spilt grain and weed seeds to survive winter.

At Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Belfast City Council has created a Giant Bird Table to provide winter food for birds such as house sparrow and goldfinch. We have planted oats, flax and cornfield annuals which we will leave over winter for the birds to feed on. This project is being done in partnership with Laganscape, RSPB and Drumbeg Residents Association.

On Thursday the 12th of April there was a fantastic turnout to plant the Giant Bird Table with over fifty residents and Council staff. The sun shone and an enjoyable time was had by everyone.

Belfast City Council is preparing for Green Flag Accreditation* which is a national quality standard for parks. As part of this process we want people to become more involved in their local parks. We are looking for volunteers to monitor the birds using the plot. If you are interested in doing a short count please contact the Belfast Biodiversity Officer for more information.
biodiversity @belfastcity.gov.uk

The Lagan Valley Regional Park gained Green Flag Accreditation. Hugh Crookshanks, Margaret Hegarty and Irene MacWilliam attended the local ceremony.


"Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Celebration Drumbeg Residents Association invites you to a Jubilee Afternoon Tea Party in Drumbeg Church Hall on Tuesday 5th June 2012 @ 3pm To 5pm" These few welcoming words, in national colours, on a sign outside Drumbeg Parish Hall, informed any reader of an historical social community event the likes of which Drumbeg has not previously witnessed.

To say that the Jubilee tea party was a resounding success would be an understatement. The event was carried off in grand style befitting the skills of the Drumbeg Residents Association. A magnificent display of decorated tables laden with cake stands and wonderful sweet things had been laid out in the Hall. Fine china awaited to contain the edible delights and liquid refreshments. The tables were decorated with napkins in National colours.

In his opening address the President of the Dumbeg Residents Association, Mr Hugh Crookshanks, thanked everyone for attending and welcomed the unexpected large numbers of visitors.

Honoured quests included the local M.L.A. Mr Basil McCrea who spoke fondly of his association with Drumbeg Residents. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Lisburn, Margaret Tollerton, was in attendance welcoming everyone and praising the hugely successful event. She stated that this was one of many events that she had attended but by far the best. The Church of Ireland stand in Dean, Willie Nixon, also expressed his pleasure in being invited to take part in a celebratory party the likes of which will not be experienced again in our lifetimes. A huge vote of thanks is extended to Saint Patricks Church of Ireland for the provision of the newly decorated Hall.


On the catering side a fine balance had to be struck between expenditure and providing for unknown numbers of guests. Twelve dozen cakes of various types had been purchased and these together with kind donations of other cakes from residents, far and wide, filled the quota. Sue Wilton and Clara Crookshanks kindly provided cakes decorated with National colours, these were visual works of art and although lovely to behold still had to be gobbled up exciting the taste buds.Loads of excellent sandwiches, of a huge variety, were made and these culinary delights disappeared very quickly. Folk in the kitchen were on hand to provide sandwiches and drinks, on demand, catering for last minute visitors.

A toast to Her Majesty was signalled and a very vocal three cheers was heard throughout the Hall. Entertainment was provided by the Crescent Jazz Band and we are indebted to them for an enjoyable afternoons musical repertoire. Additionally we were entertained by two solo accomplished, ad hoc, junior Trombone players.

A well deserved thanks is extended to the Drumbeg Residents Association Team and their helpers without which the magnificent event would not have happened. An estimated two-hundred folk attended which far exceeded expectations. The large number of people presented difficulties for the catering staff but their professionalism and flexibility smoothed out any problems. A very friendly sociable atmosphere prevailed throughout the proceedings. The event was the culmination of many months of planning and hard work by many members of the local community. Well done to all. see photos click here

In closing, grateful thanks is extended to the support provided by Lisburn Council's Community Grants Scheme. Donations made at the Jubilee Tea Party raised £200 for the Childrens Hospice.

MUMS IN MAY by Rosalind Bloomfield

In the Spring the Mothers’ Union launched an initiative to raise funds to support project work across all the Church of Ireland Dioceses in Ireland, Worldwide work and support for trainees to the Church of Ireland Ministry. As well as holding Afternoon Tea Parties, members were encouraged to sell copies of the MU Cookbook called Tea time Treats. Rosalind Bloomfield held an afternoon tea party on Friday 22nd June in her home and raised the sum of £108 from donations.

With the sale of Tea Time Treats Cookbooks through Lambeg Mothers’ Union, Rosalind and her daughter Clare and the contributions from the afternoon tea party, a cheque for £448 was passed on to the Mothers’ Union Connor Diocese.

Many thanks to all who supported this effort in any way, either attending the party or purchasing a cookbook. It is very much appreciated.

OUT AND ABOUT with Drumbeg Gardening Club by Betty Morrison

In late spring we leave the confines of the church hall and head outdoors to visit gardens and enjoy our annual barbecue. 2012 was difficult weather-wise but we were fortunate. Our first outing was to the Richardson Walled Garden at Greenmount where the tour was conducted by Alan McIlveen whose commentary both entertained and informed us. This Spring, growth was slow and there was still a chill in the air but we were buoyed up on our arrival by pale evening sunshine highlighting the gardens. Our wellies and raincoats were not needed.

The annual barbecue was held in early June. It was too damp to be outside but we braved it out and took refuge in the hayshed where we all enjoyed meat cooked to perfection by one of our members and an array of salads and homemade bread provided by the committee. Later we went indoors to finish off the evening with coffee and a cake made to celebrate the club’s 20th anniversary.

The weather deteriorated as June progressed. There was yet more rain and as the date of our summer outing approached there was apprehension about our visit. It is a day we all look forward to. Apart from a skiff of rain in the afternoon and residual dampness from previous downpours, the day of the outing was dry and we set out in high spirits to explore Margaret Glynn’s garden in Ballymena, Benvarden near Bushmills and Dorothy Brown’s garden in Ballymoney.

Margaret invited us into her home where we had tea, coffee and a splendid selection of scones, cakes and biscuits. Her warmth and hospitality were greatly appreciated. Margaret guided us round her inspiring garden, imparting valuable information and answering our many garden queries. We left filled with admiration and I plan to return to peruse the diverse planting and plant combinations.

After lunch at the Bushmills Garden Centre we visited Benvarden where we were welcomed by Hugh Montgomery whose family has lived there for 400 years. It is an old established garden with wonderful mature trees and shrubs. The walled garden was particularly interesting but there was much else to see. The Bush river was in full spate and the riverside walk from the more formal gardens to the iron bridge was rich in plants that thrive in wet areas. Perhaps we will all be planting these in future.

Our final destination was Ballymoney to visit Dorothy Brown’s garden. It was a veritable cornucopia of plants. The diversity of the planting gave us all much to mull over and the ingenious garden design showed just what is possible when someone as knowledgeable as Dorothy is in charge.

I learnt a great deal and I cannot imagine that anyone who went on the outing did not come home enriched. So many plants were purchased that the bus was like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon on the way home.

We are keen to have new members join us and we extend a warm welcome whatever your interest in gardens. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in Drumbeg Church Hall.

ANNUAL OUTING by Jane Steele and Margaret Hegarty

On Tuesday 19th June, 28 local residents of Drumbeg went on our annual outing. Weather wise we could not have picked a better day. Two mini buses, driven most professionally by Peter and Brian, drove to Larne and down the coast road to Carnfunnock Country Park. There we had a walk around the walled garden with interesting sun dials and flowers. After an hour we went on to the Half-Way House for lunch. It was most enjoyable and we were impressed by being served by the famous boxer, Dave Boy McAuley, the owner. As we were leaving we were serenaded by a group of musicians from Ballymena who come to play together in the summer, just for the ‘crack’. On again to Glenarm Castle and a walk around a beautiful garden. Not a weed to be seen. Then it was time to go home along the beautiful coast road, looking its best in the warm sunshine.

We all enjoyed our trip very much and send our thanks again to our careful drivers.

These 2 phots were taken in April and show that he has lost his antlers. He does not seem to have been around during the summer months



Editor; Sheelagh McRandal
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