Drumbeg Community Association

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Vol 5 No 2 October 2008 Online edition

The Drumbeg Rural Protection Fund by David Watson

Those of the community at the last AGM may recall that one of the items raised at that meeting concerned the adoption of ‘The Drumbeg Rural Protection Fund’ by the Community Association. However subsequent questions have shown that many people in the community don’t know much about the campaign that lead to this fund being set up. I hope this short history brings everyone up to date.

An application was submitted to Planning Services to change the designation of the large field opposite Charley Memorial School from use as agricultural land to that suitable for residential development. The scale of this proposal caused great anxiety within the community at large and the issue was brought to the attention of the Community Association at the time. A Community Action Group was formed to gauge local opinion. As a result of the obvious widespread community opposition to the proposal, the Action Group commenced to organise local opposition and plan a campaign of lobbying and action to fight the application. Amongst the main protagonists in this effort were Mr. Edmund Faris, Mr. Wilfred McClung and Mr. Jack Gilmour. As a result of their success in organising community resistance the Planning Service decided to schedule a Public Inquiry to resolve the matter.
Public Inquiries create many problems for community groups. The major difficulty is that all parties must be represented by qualified professionals. This sort of representation is expensive. As a result the Action Group created the Drumbeg Rural Protection Fund a fund specifically constituted to make resources available to the community to ‘oppose any proposed building development within Drumbeg that was seen as inappropriate to the rural nature of the locale and the aspirations of the residents’.

As someone who has lived in the Drumbeg area I know well that the community has never been afraid of David and Goliath confrontations. The community, as always generous, contributed to the fund and adequate finances were raised to employ the necessary experts to represent the community at the Public Inquiry. As part of this effort a document “A Vision of Drumbeg“, outlining a community vision of the development of the area, was also produced by the Action Group, amongst the other submissions. A date was set for The Public Inquiry. Sadly we never got our ‘day in court’ as the developer pulled out on the eve of the Inquiry. Although most of the fund was spent in the preparation phase, a residue remained. Recently the Community Association was asked to take over management of this which amounts to just over £1000. One of the founder members of the Action Group is no longer with us and another has moved away. It is hoped that this reserve may come in handy should Drumbeg be confronted with future battles to maintain its rural distinctiveness and character.

This fund has been kept separate from money raised to oppose the Belfast City Council’s plan to build a super cemetery in Drumbeg.

Revision of the Community Association Constitution
To conform to recent changes in the way recognised community organisations are monitored and administered by local government, the Drumbeg Residents’ Association has been required to make extensive changes to its Constitutional document. This process has been underway for the last six months. It is the intention of the Association Committee to request endorsement of the new Constitution by the community at large at our AGM to be held later this year. Copies of the new Constitution are available.

Silver Jubilee Flower and Vegetable Show by Margaret Jordan

Despite the dreary weather this summer there was a good turnout for the show. The number of entries in several classes were down on previous years, but the quality was still there.
It was extremely encouraging to see many new faces at the show and as there were a number of activities for young people in the adjoining Cooper Hall we were delighted to see some local families coming along. Once again there were many prizes to be won in the ballot. This year Drumbeg WI filled a table with some of the crafts enjoyed by its members and this attracted attention among the ladies.
The PSNI brought along leaflets of interest on safeguarding one’s home, safety in the home etc.
The following cups were awarded:
DRA Cup, Best in Show: Eva Orr
Drumbeg Cup, Best Young Person: Olly Ryder Moore
Vegetable Cup, Best Fruit or Vegetable: Barbara Farris
Crowe Cup, Floral Art: Sandra Abbott
Rose of Drumbeg, Special Class Prize: Eva Orr
Jubilee Cup, Judge’s Choice: Margaret Jordan
Very grateful thanks to Hugh Crookshanks and the DRA team for all the organisation involved in the show and to Colin Sloan, local poet, who opened the show.

Drumbeg Indoor Bowling Club by Hilary Branson
The club has been in existence for six years and boasts a very healthy membership. The Club has not joined a League, but is a member of a small group of four clubs who have formed a 'Fellowship League.' This involves the four clubs each playing one home and one away game and competing for a plaque presented at the end of the year. At the same time a collection of £1 per person per match is amalgamated and donated to charity. Internal competitions are also played, and splendid trophies are presented to the winners. Any new members would be very welcome on Monday evenings at 7.30p.m.

Lagan Valley Investment Club by Ralph Fetherston
The Lagan Valley Investment Club continues to meet on the third Thursday of each month, in the Church Hall of St. Patrick's Parish Church, Drumbeg. Whilst the majority of members are also members of the Church, membership of the club is open.
Since the Investment Club was formed towards the end of 2002 the Stock Market has had its ups and downs and, in spite of current uncertainties, meetings remain well attended. During the year the club runs an Annual Investment Competition among members and, on the social side, holds its Annual Dinner.
Membership currently runs at the maximum of 25 and although resignations are relatively rare the club does operate a short waiting list.

Drumbeg Occasional Golfing Society
Following the postponement of the March outing, due to poor weather, an outing eventually took place at Down Royal Golf Club on Monday 19th May.
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, please contact Captain Frank Young or Michael Boyd.

Drumbeg WI by Anne McAdam
Drumbeg W I meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7.45pm in Drumbeg Orange Hall. Our meetings are varied and interesting and help strengthen friendships and links in the community.
In January we enjoyed taking part in a session of Scottish Dancing and in February we were enthralled by the humorous stories and experiences of a retired District Nurse. The March meeting was Bend and Stretch when we did some exercises. This was followed in April by our annual outing with a visit to Ballydougan Potteries for an evening meal and pottery demonstration. It was fascinating to watch the skill of the potter. The speaker in May was a Reflexology and Aromatherapy Practitioner and spoke about the lovely oils and used some volunteers to demonstrate a gentle massage.
Following the summer recess, we resume again in September when we hope to have a Flower Arranging Demonstration and in October a visit to the Public Records Office has been arranged. As well as the monthly evening meetings a group of ladies meet each Wednesday morning at 10.30am for a walk and this is sometimes followed by coffee! New members will be made most welcome.

Gardening Club by Marbeth Young
Last September we had a conducted tour of the Belfast Botanical Gardens which included the magnificent Palm House. We had talks and slides from various speakers. We held our Christmas dinner in Dunmurry Golf Club. In June we had our barbecue and also an outing to Dublin’s Botanical Garden and a visit to Helen Dillon’s house and garden.

Residents’ Association Summer Outing by Suzanne Reid
On Tuesday 10th June, 2008 a number of local residents set sail from Drumbeg Orange Hall for an outing to the North Antrim Coast. The transport was kindly provided by Lisburn City Leisure Services. It was a lovely morning and we had a leisurely journey to our coffee stop, at Drumadoon House at Cloughmills where we all enjoyed coffee or tea and a lovely selection of scones. We set off again to our next venue at Bushmills Distillery. We had a video show and informative tour about the making of whiskey which has been distilled in Bushmills for 400 years. To complete the tour we were given a complimentary soft drink or a tot of the local brew. Members of the party who did not wish to visit the Distillery were taken by bus to a nearby garden centre. Then we were all aboard again for the journey to the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine for lunch. Lunch was excellent with very good hot food and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Next stop was Portstewart for a walk along the prom in the sea air and an ice cream in Morellis. We enjoyed the scenic drive home and arrived back in Drumbeg with full tummies ready for a quiet evening at home. Thanks are due to Margaret Hegarty for organising a great day out and our two drivers Tony Hegarty and Hugh Crookshanks. If you would like to go on one of these outings contact any of the above people.

Neighbourhood Watch
The Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the area remains very active in its efforts against crime. We are aware of recent criminal activity in the area and call for your continued support for the scheme co-ordinators. In fact, you the general public could be active in the fight against crime in that, if you have witnessed suspicious activity you should contact one of the co-ordinators who could then take the necessary steps to alert Police to your suspicions. If you are suspicious of persons or activity make the call. It is better to have it checked out rather than not and later discover a crime has been committed.
It is our intentions in the near future to host a social/informative evening in the Parochial Hall to highlight home safety now the dark winter evenings loom.

Work in the Area
Members of the Residents Association Committee met with Councillors for the area to discuss possible improvements and to ask for repairs to be made to the footpaths and roadways. Since that meeting the footpaths and verges along the Ballyskeagh Road and the Hillhall Road have been attended to giving pedestrians a much safer footing. The footpath on the Drumbeg Road was also cleaned to a degree but the Committee are not satisfied with the broken surface of the footpath and continue to press for a tarmac surface. A number of dog fouling signs have been put in place but sadly some dog owners seem not to be able to understand what the signs indicate. The Committee will continue to press the Council for improvements in our area.

News of Locals
Drumbeg couple Hugh and Clara Crookshanks have made lifestyle changes over the last 15 months. They have become healthier, fitter and are both feeling great. I asked them how they did it. "It all started when I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Slimming World," said Hugh. "I was very overweight and my health was suffering so I knew I had to do something about it. I told Clara that I was going to join Slimming World and she decided to come with me. "Both Hugh and Clara really enjoyed the food optimising eating plan and the weight started to come off, they started to walk more and feel a lot better. Clara said, "Food optimising is a great way to eat, Hugh has a big appetite and he can still eat lots of food. The secret of the plan is eating lots of fat free food and really filling up. You have little measuring, weighing and counting of points to do and that really suits us." The couple managed to loose a massive six and a half stone between them and consequently were entered into the National competition for Slimming World's Mr & Mrs competition. "Being in the National finals was great, we travelled to England to compete with the other UK regions. We didn't win but we had a great time at Slimming World Headquarters where every couple was treated like winners" said Clara. "We are now target members of Slimming World and attend the group in Moira where our daughter Jill is the consultant. Attending the group helps us keep focused and not slip back to our old bad habits. We both feel so much better now and want to stay that way for the rest of our lives." Hugh and Clara are an inspiration to anyone who wants to change their lifestyle, they both look and feel great and are avid fans of Slimming World as it has helped enhance their lives.

Lisburn Credit Union ( a brief history).
Lisburn Credit Union started in 1972 when a small group of dedicated individuals pooled their meagre financial resources in a determined move to make essential financial services available on a non-discriminatory basis from within the local community.
They have now grown to an organisation with over 6000 members and savings of more than £8 millions £3 millions of which was made available on loan for members to spend in Lisburn during 2007.

All this has been by achieved using principles like:
We are owned by all of our members.
We are not for profit but for people.
We do not discriminate on race, religion, politics, gender or nationality.
We work in co-operation with all of the local community.
Credit Union is run by and for all of its members.
We are currently engaging more closely with community groups to set up a dialogue to encourage membership. Martin Busch has recently written to most organisations within the City to ask for their assistance and would be grateful for any help you could give in this matter. The target is to increase to 10,000 by 2010.
The premises are on Bachelors Walk, just beside The Railway Station. There is parking and access for people with limited mobility. To join all you need is photo identification and a document confirming your residency of the City Of Lisburn.

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Editor; Sheelagh McRandal
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