Drumbeg Community Association

Drumbeg News
Vol 2 Issue 2 October 2005
Online edition

Flower and Vegetable Show - Magical Success

Well it was that time of the year again. The first Saturday in September - time for Drumbeg's gardening enthusiasts to have a chance to strut their stuff at the annual Flower and Vegetable Show.
The Flower and Vegetable Show remains the centrepiece event of the community year and appears as popular as ever with local people. This year's event was the 22nd. As usual it was held in St. Patrick's Church Hall.
As has been the pattern over the last few years what had been a rather nondescript summer cheered itself up on the day. The weather was warm and sunny and there was a steady flow of entries from exhibitors throughout the morning.
As well as numbers of entries being on a par with previous years, the quality, diversity and in many classes the imagination of the exhibitors was to be commended. There were well over a hundred entries in the various classifications.
Mr John McCausland the well respected competition judge was kind enough to act as Show Judge. John is a regular visitor to the Show and is always impressed at the high standards that the local community manage to achieve.
As has become usual we had managed to persuade some special guests to come along to open the event. This year Keith Crawford from BBC Radio's Gardeners' Corner was with us accompanied by his two charming daughters Miranda and Abigail. In his opening remarks he reflected on how his own enthusiasm for gardening had developed as a small boy. He went on to say that he felt shows like ours were sadly undervalued in their role in the community and encouraged us to nuture the obvious passion that the local community had for the event. The family kindly stayed to present the Class Certificates and Show Cups at the end of the show.
While the adults were getting into their gardening stories over a cup of tea, the children were entertained in the side hall by Aldo the Magician.
Jonathan Craig the Lord Mayor, despite his busy schedule, also managed to join us for some tea and a chat.
Members of the Lisburn School of Music provided musical accompaniment during the afternoon. This proved a wonderfully fitting backdrop and was very much enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to all the gardeners, young and not so young who year after year excel, surprise and awe those of us less gifted. It is a great celebration of hard work, patience and nature. See you all again next year.
The Cup winners were as follows:
Best in Show - Dr. M. Samuel with a magnificent trailing begonia.
Best Fruit and Vegetable Exhibit - Mr. J. Johnston with his succulent bunch of red grapes.
Rose of Drumbeg Bowl - Mrs. May Irwin.
Children's Cup - Master C. Leckey for his posy in an eggcup.

Community under threat - A BMAP Update by Tony Hegarty

On the 7th September 2005 the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015 (BMAP) Team published all objections to the Draft BMAP Proposals. There is now an eight week period to 2nd November for individuals and agencies to respond to the objections raised. We have studied the representations and those affecting Drumbeg fall into two categories.

Cemetery and CrematoriumDrumbeg protest notice.....DRUMBEG - TO LIVE IN NOT DIE FOR
There were around 1000 objections to the BMAP proposal to zone land at Drumbeg for development as a cemetery. This was by far the largest number of objections received to any single element within the BMAP document. At this stage we are still waiting to see what Belfast City Council's response will be to this massive rejection of their cemetery proposal. Like everyone else they are constrained to produce their counter-objections by the Nov 2nd deadline. After this closing date the Planning Service will make their decision on how to proceed. This is unlikely to be in any other direction but toward a Public Enquiry. Right from the discovery of the cemetery proposal in BMAP it was always suspected that the matter would have to be resolved in this way.
From a community perspective this immediately creates problems because representations at such Enquires must be made by professionals. If the community want its voice to be heard and retain ownership of its contribution to the process then we will have to engage the services of a Planning Consultant to represent us. This of course will cost money. The objective of the fund raising activities which have occurred in recent months was to secure the necessary finance to explore the possibility of taking this path.

Spinoffs - Drumbeg Town?
The appearance of the Cemetery/Crematorium proposal in BMAP appears to have triggered the belief in developers’ minds that the Drumbeg area has now become vulnerable as a target for wholesale housing development. In the original Draft BMAP no additional land was zoned for development. In the publication of objections there are four submissions requesting that additional land be re-zoned for housing. Three of these identify particular sites for release for such development. If all these sites were accepted as appropriate for re-zoning for housing it is projected that the number of dwellings in the Drumbeg Townland would double. As a consequence any semblance of the area as a rural idyll would vanish forever. In fact some believe that Drumbeg as another Cairnshill could be just around the corner.


An active life is a healthy life.
Sadly for us all, as we get older we also get slower and more sedentary. The walking shoes get dusty from neglect on the shoe rack, the belt is let out yet another notch and we seek the comfort of the car at every opportunity, even for the shortest of journeys. We all know exercise is good for us but we seem to build up an increasing aversion to it as the years go by.
This year the community association were able to secure a small grant from the Health Promotions Agency to encourage the community, particularly our senior citizens, to take a little more exercise and get out and about a bit more.
Two groups have already enjoyed Boat Trips on the Lagan and several other events are planned including a short history walk in Drumbeg to be lead by local historian Matt Neil and an 'armchair aerobics' class to be held in the Church Hall. Dates will be published later.

McIlroy Park Opened
The official opening of McIlroy Park, named after local sporting hero Jimmy McIlroy, recently took place at Ballyskeagh.

Become a letter writer
We would encourage all residents who are committed to preventing the Cemetery/Crematorium development to write to their local councillors and MP to express their views.

Senior Citizens' Outing - Stepping Back in Time by Molly Nesbitt
The fickleness of our summer weather was all too evident on the day of the Community Association's Senior Citizens Outing. The morning of Monday the 13th of June had more in keeping with blustery March than early summer. Despite the inclement conditions, twenty-seven intrepid senior citizens climbed aboard two buses and headed for the Folk Park at Cultra. Despite the weather, spirits were high and there was a tangible bubble of excitement. Everyone was looking forward to the day out.
On arrival at the Park we were welcomed by a member of the staff who gave us a short talk on the Park's history and development. Before striding forth and braving the elements to explore we all had some tea and scones.
After the warming cuppa everyone dispersed in different directions going where their curiosity took them. There is so much to see, making a choice wasn't easy. The most popular attractions turned out to be the old school and the church. What strikes you is how lovingly all the buildings and their interiors have been recreated to echo their place in time. Everyone remarked how these buildings and some of the houses we visited brought childhood memories flooding back. It is really only when you visit a place like this that you begin to recognize how much our lives and world have changed in a few hundred years.
Sadly the weather didn't really encourage a long stay and we were all grateful to clamber back on the buses out of the wind and showers and head for lunch at the Royal Hotel in Bangor. The meal was delicious. But looking out over the wind and rain swept marina it was clear that some revision of the schedule would have to be considered!
The grand plan had been to visit a Garden Centre in Donaghadee. Such visits have always proved popular and often the returning buses have resembled jungles on wheels. However the weather conditions being what they were it was decided to visit Bloomfield Shopping Centre instead. This proved a popular alternative and many had considerably lighter purses and wallets when we re-embarked and headed home. A tired but happy bunch of adventurers arrived home around 6.00 pm-in plenty of time for Emmerdale!

The Funding Appeal
During June and July an appeal was launched to raise funds to meet the cost of a community based submission to the anticipated public enquiry should it be necessary. This money is currently lodged with the Ulster Bank (Finaghy) as the 'Drumbeg Cemetery and Crematorium Fund'.
Tenders are now being sought for the position of Planning Consultant to act on our behalf at the Public Enquiry. This will be our only opportunity to fight this imposition. To any households who have not and might wish to contribute to the fighting fund contact any DRA Committee or Action Group member. Money can be paid directly into the account.
The consequences which will be wreaked upon this community by a failure to prevent this proposed development are unimaginable. We need everyone's support.

BBC TV in Drumbeg
You may have noticed a film crew around Drumbeg during early October BBC current affairs are preparing a programme INSIDE OUT looking at local community issues. In the case of Drumbeg it is the BMAP cemetery proposal. It will air at 7.30 pm 24th October. Arrangements are being made to screen this programme segment (8 minutes) at the AGM which is being held on the same night.

Mayor Councillor Craig and Elvira Tulip
2005 Birthday Honours List
Mrs Elvira Tulip Vice-Chair, Lagan Valley Regional Park Committee was awarded an MBE for services to Nature Conservation and to the community in Northern Ireland (Drumbeg).
Mayor Councillor Craig and Elvira
at the 2005 Drumbeg Flower and Vegetable Show


Drumbeg News Volume 2 Issue 2 October 2005


Editor; Sheelagh McRandal
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