2 Issue 2 October 2005 Online
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
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
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
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
Community under threat - A BMAP Update by
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Outing - Stepping Back in Time by
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!
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
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
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