Vol 3 Issue 1 June 2006 Online
Watch Scheme To Be Launched
criminal activity directed against members of the local community has
led the Association to explore the possibility of organising a Neighbourhood
Scheme in Drumbeg.
After several meetings with the Community Police in Lisburn, it was agreed
to go ahead and develop a scheme for Drumbeg.
What does this mean?
Essentially Neighbourhood Watch means no-one is alone. Your neighbours
will look out for you, your family, your home and you will do the same
A Neighbourhood Watch scheme also helps the community to keep a check
on people in the area who are more vulnerable. Children and young people,
the elderly, and people who have been the victim of a previous burglary
Watch co-ordinators have been identified for each area of Drumbeg. They
will not only act as a means to report suspicious activities or to seek
advice from the police. But also as a link to pass on police reports on
incidents likely to affect their immediate neighbourhood e.g. burglars
in the area, bogus callers or car thieves.
Full information will be distributed shortly. Thanks to all the volunteers
without whom this would never have got off the ground.
Update May 2006 by Tony Hegarty
Last News Sheet (Oct 2005) we reported that the proposed zoning of land
at Drumbeg for a cemetery and crematorium complex within BMAP would only
be resolved by a Public Inquiry. We also mentioned that in order to properly
represent the community’s position we would need to engage professional
expertise to prepare the case .
Our funding appeal had extensive support. This enabled the DRA to appoint
on behalf of the community, after a tendering process, Dr. Dale Singleton.
He with other specialist appointees, will lead our opposition at the Public
Inquiry when and if it happens. Dr. Singleton is a Fellow of the Royal
Town Planning Institute with 25 years experience as a Chartered Planner
in the public, private and educational sectors. He has acted as an expert
witness/advocate at over 400 planning appeals and inquiries in Northern
Ireland. Significantly he and his family are residents of the area.
Many of you may think not a lot has happened over the last six months.
This is far from the truth, as regular lobbying and meetings have continued
behind the scenes to ensure that LCC and BCC are in no doubt of the widespread
opposition to the zoning. In addition the Action Group have worked tirelessly
in preparing the ground for the Public Enquiry and continue to make representations
to all local councillors. The matter has been raised in the House of Commons
by our MP Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson and of course the BBC included an item
on the proposal in its Inside Out programme.
We understand that the BMAP team recently completed their part of this
exercise and have passed the relevant information to the Planning Appeals
Commission who will be responsible for conducting the Public Inquiry.
The next step in this process is that the Commission will contact the
This will require the completion and return of a pro-forma by all those
who wish to sustain their objection. It is critical that everyone maintains
their opposition by completing and returning the form when these are distributed.
Should you have any difficulty, do not hesitate to contact one of the
members of the local Action Group. Please remember that your ‘Agent’
is the Drumbeg Residents’ Association.
The Public Inquiry is expected to be at the end of this year or early
We will circulate everyone immediately there are any new developments.
At last we have succeeded in replacing some of the trees which were damaged
a few years ago around the Drum Bridge car park. We were lucky enough
to arrange with the Ranger at Lagan Valley Regional Park and Grassroots
environmental group for some replacements to be delivered on 21st January.
A number of local residents spent a couple of hours helping the other
volunteers plant a number of trees along with supporting stakes and sheaths.
They all appear to be doing well.
We hope that with this extra visibility, the new trees will flourish and
eventually encourage more wildlife to our village for our enjoyment.
It was nice to see that some of the daffodils we planted around the car
park managed to flower this year despite their traumatic past. I would
also like to thank Dept for Culture, Arts and Leisure for having had a
quiet word with their grass cutting staff. The spring before last a would-be
Michael Schumacher on a ride on mower managed to compost over 1000 bulbs
around the car park in a few minutes. To add insult to injury they were
in flower at the time! Our requests to take more care appear to have been
successful and they mowed round the plants this time. Hopefully with a
year to recharge we may have lots
of bobbing daffs and narcissi next year.
On 8th April we held our Spring Litter Bust, so thank you to all those
who turned out. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious so we decided
to postpone until the next day. Apologies again to Jackie Gilmour who
was kind enough to offer scones and coffee at Bobby Stewarts for all those
taking part. The next morning was much more pleasant, and a group of intrepid
residents set off for a couple of hours work to tidy up the village. Sixteen
black sacks of rubbish of various kinds were collected from the roads
and hedgerows using "litter pickers" lent by Lisburn City Council.
Thank you to all who took part, and especially to Peter, who took all
that we had collected to the Cutts amenity site.
Please feel free to contact the environmental group with any suggestions
you may have to improve our village – we can be contacted via the
website www.drumbegresidentsassociation.com or through any committee member.
A Year at
Charley Memorial Primary School by Shirley MacWilliam
Memorial wants to thank everyone who contributed clothes etc. to our Bag2School
PTA fundraising event in March. We gathered 900kg of clothes to be distributed
in Eastern Europe and raised £180 for the school.
During the year the PTA has funded school trips to the Balmoral Show,
the Folk and Transport Museum, the Lyric Theatre and the pottery café,
Paint Me Glaze Me in Holywood. Pupils have also been as far and wide as
Tayto Castle, Stormont and Tesco in Dunmurry!
Charley might be small but it is very busy. Recently pupils have taken
part in the national reading and radio broadcast of Narnia; they have
won awards in national science and writing competitions (Sentinus Science
and ICT, and Playground Poets); and, at the Lagan Valley Leisureplex in
March, Charley raised £227 - more than any other local school -
in the national Swimathon for NCH (the childrens' charity) and have won
the Schools' Cup.
As to our future - the SEELB Property Services Committee recently voted
to pursue the amalgamation of Charley, Lambeg, Drumbo and Hillhall with
a new school on the Drumbeg Road. All the schools are strongly in support
of this. We are concerned now that this plan be pursued by the Board,
the Department of Education and the planners. You might be asked soon
to sign a petition in favour of the new school this is to show widespread
support for a local rural school. The fear is that in these times of financial
pressure our long awaited amalgamation may be shelved and all the schools
unceremoniously closed. It would be a terrible loss to have no school
in such a large rural area.
Preparations are almost complete for this years Senior Citizens' Outing.
This outing has become an annual fixture in the Community Associations
calendar of events and seems to be eagerly anticipated each year. We have
an increasing number of elderly and retired people resident in the area—and
some of us are catching up fast! Old age brings with it the opportunity
to take the pedal off the gas, having with any luck launched the ‘youngsters’
on a rising curve of success and independence (Okay so there are always
a few Mummy's boys out there!). Suddenly there is the opportunity for
increased leisure time, be that pottering in the garden, globe trotting
or heaven forbid yet another round of golf. Old age is not however without
its downside. It can also be the harbinger of ill health, infirmity and
the heartbreak of bereavement. These can lead to a disconnection from
friends and family and a sense of isolation. Drumbeg as a community offers
a wide variety of opportunities to maintain contact with old friends and
make new ones. St. Patrick's Church supports a selection of very successful
Clubs and Societies to cater for diverse tastes and interests and all
ages. The Association has tried to do its bit this year with a series
of events from Tea Dances to Armchair Aerobics Classes.
As usual the Senior Citizens' Outing culminates the Association’s
calendar of spring events and is already well subscribed. However there
are still places to be had for those of you who haven't decided yet.
Where are we headed this year? Well we have arranged a double header for
you all to enjoy. With the help of some members of Lisburn City Council
we have been able to arrange a tour of the parliament building at Stormont.
This will be followed by lunch at Castlereagh Golf Club. In the afternoon
the party will visit the acclaimed Somme Centre near Clandeboye Estate.
It promises to be a splendid day out.
Remember: Inside every older person is a young person wondering what the
Did you know: The Somme Heritage Centre is The Somme Association's flagship
project. Situated adjacent to the Clandeboye Estate outside Newtownards,
the Centre is a unique visitor attraction of international significance
showing the awful reality of the Great War, and its effects on the community
The centre commemorates the involvement of the 36th (Ulster) and 16th
(Irish) Divisions in the Battle of the Somme, the 10th (Irish) Division
in Gallipoli, Salonika and Palestine and provides displays and information
on the entire Irish contribution to the First World War. The centre promotes
cross-community contact, mutual understanding, an appreciation of cultural
diversity, and is a major visitor attraction.
Did you know: To camouflage Stormont during World War II the building's
Portland stone was painted with supposedly removable "paint"
made of bitumen and cow manure. However, after the war, removing the paint
proved an enormous difficulty, with the paint having scarred the stonework.
It took seven years to remove the "paint", and the exterior
facade has never regained its original white colour. While most traces
of it were removed from the facades (though having done damage that can
be seen up close) some of the remains of the paint survive in the inner
courtyards and unseen parts of the place.
A resounding success.
Shortly after Christmas St. Patrick’s Church launched a Youth Club
for the young members of the community, a group that has been sadly neglected
in the past. This was very much experimental because despite having circulated
the local community for its views it was uncertain whether there was a
real demand or not. The answer is now very clear. The Club ran in the
Hall every Saturday evening up until the Easter school break and gained
a widespread popularity with all the children who came along. Activities
went from dance mats to indoor football! 15-20 children attended regularly
and appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves. It all culminated with a
very successful B-B-Q. Thanks must go to Lance Owens (Church Warden) and
other church members. Without Lance’s unswerving faith in the project,
it would never have got off the ground.
Anyone interested in helping next year contact the Church or DRA.
Not a Million
by Elizabeth Rice
While on holiday recently, I decided to go for a walk along a riverside.
It was a golden evening – you know the sort – when the sun
casts that pink gold light over everything, making the landscape seem
almost magical … a bit like being at the end of a schmaltzy Hollywood
As I walked along the riverbank, the first thing to hit me was the heady
smell of Wild Garlic. It’s quite a sweet smell and just hits the
senses every few steps. Nestling beside the random patches of that white
flowery plant were bunches of vibrant yellow Marsh Marigolds and the paler
yellow Celandine. Further
along, dotted here and there, was Lady’s Smock, that beautiful pale
delicate flower whose colour can only be described as a blushing white.
Lords and Ladies were waiting to come out and beside them were the first
shoots of Himalayan Balsam – another of those Victorian imports
which include Rhododendrons, Azaleas – mostly all pink by the way!
Another pink wildflower to look out for in July is Rosebay Willow Herb
… tall, spiky and beautiful which grows alongside our roads as well
But where was I? Not in lush rural England, or walking the hillsides of
Austria but along the towpath in Drumbeg. We often forget just how fantastic
our own places are. The towpath has everything you could want in a rural
Further along the path I sat down on one of the benches and just listened.
In the early part of the morning or evening your ears will be swamped
with birdsong … blackcap, songthrush, the sharp loud call of the
tiny robin, the warm throaty call of the wood pigeon, so redolent of Summer
and of course, the raucous rooks.
It really is a feast of music accompanied by the gentle rush of wind through
the trees and the river running alongside – perfect Wind in the
Willows (if only we had toads, water rats and moles!)
But the biggest treats are the bigger mammals and animals. Imagine my
absolute delight when I spotted the bright-eyed, whiskered face of an
otter! Yes, an otter. It swam lazily alongside the banks, dipping and
diving and occasionally blinking up at me. Then it swam off and sadly,
I haven’t seen it since. However the towpath has other wildlife
.. rabbits, the increasingly rare red squirrels, foxes and the crème
de la crème, the jewelled turquoise flash of a kingfisher. If you
hang around the bridge at Newforge you’ll have a good chance of
spotting them. But it is just a flash out of the corner of your eye –
but what a spectacular blue.
So forget exotic places; walk along that path where, not that long ago,
horses pulled barges filled with cargo for Belfast; where lockkeepers,
blacksmiths and linen barons all plied their trade, on or around that
pathway which is still there for all of us.
Drumbeg Art Club held its 5th Annual Exhibition of Painting recently in
the Church Hall. This hugely popular event again drew a steady stream
of visitors over its two days. Around 200 having come through the doors
by its close. The talent and ability of our local amateur artists is the
envy of those of us who don’t know one end of a paint brush from
the other except if its got white gloss on it. Twenty-three club members
contributed over a hundred entries to the show. The standard was very
high and the exhibition included works in diverse styles on a wide variety
of themes. Almost forty of the works were sold during the exhibition.
Framed prints of original oils, illustrated notelets and cards on sale,
also went like hot cakes. Charley Memorial School pupils had a splendid
display of their work. Well done to all the children. The Exhibition raised
nearly £500 for the Parish Church and its Cairo Hospital Appeal,
donated by the artists from the proceeds of the event. As usual it was
a happy occasion for all those who attended, spending time enjoying the
display and the chat over tea and coffee. See you again next year.
Vol 3 Issue
1 June 2006