Category Archives: In The News

Hope House partners web solutions provider to boost donations

A cancer patient support charity has revealed plans to extend its provision in Islandmagee. Hope House, founded by Roy and Dawn McConnell, offers free self-catering accommodation to cancer patients and their carers during or upon completion of their treatment for a short time of rest. Details of the proposal were revealed as the charity announced it has partnered with Flint Studios, a web solutions provider, to develop a website enabling it to accept donations online. Dawn said: “We have plans to convert a second, smaller property, also in Brown’s Bay, towards the end of the year. This will sleep two people and will be really helpful in catering to the demand for the service we provide. We’re hoping to start the renovations as soon as funds become available.” Since completing renovation of its centre in Brown’s Bay in October 2018, Hope House has raised £12,000 through the website and local … Continue reading

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Some unusual, poignant and frightening memories passed on from two world wars

Following the recent anniversary, e-mails about the German Luftwaffe’s Easter blitz on Belfast in 1941 are continuing to arrive in Roamer’s mailbox and along with an unusual First World War tale from Portballintrae today’s page consists predominantly of wartime memories. At the beginning of May, reader Jim Wallace told us about a brass hand-bell engraved with the letters ARP which had belonged to his family since the 1950s. ARP Second World War hand bell from Jersey They’d often wondered what the letters ARP stood for, until another reader shared details here from several Second World War Air Raid Precautions booklets. According to the ARP booklets, brass hand-bells were rung by Air Raid Wardens to announce, “the cancellation of local gas warnings” when they were to be “rung throughout the streets”. The main warnings were made by sirens, but the wardens also used whistles and wooden football rattles to alert the … Continue reading

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Old photos tell the story of a world wide movement that started locally

The oft-used adage “every picture tells a story” has marvellously surpassed itself since two old black and white photographs adorned this page on February 20. Sent by regular contributor Selwyn Johnston, the photos showed two groups of immaculately dressed men and women gathered outside a large house. The men of Crocknacrieve Each picture was dated 1913 and captioned ‘Crocknacrieve’. Selwyn asked: “Anyone know where these might have been taken, and why?” Almost immediately a reader’s email pinpointed the location: “There is a farm and large house on the left-hand side of the road from Enniskillen to Ballinamallard, about half a mile from Ballinamallard. It may or not be what you are looking for!” A second email confirmed that Crocknacrieve was in Fermanagh and was described back in 1833 as “a nice new built house on the summit of a noble elevation, standing above a demesne of about 100 Irish plantation … Continue reading

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Larne and Carrick hosting ‘Bike Bonanza’ events

Cyclists of all ages are gearing up for Mid and East Antrim Borough’s ‘Bike Bonanza’. To celebrate Bike Week, council is hosting free events in Larne and Carrickfergus. This year, the initiative has new inclusive equipment thanks to funding from Disability Sport NI so that all abilities as well as ages can take part. Tuesday, June 11, sees Larne’s Broadway Bandstand as the focal point for the town centre family cycle and bike health checks 7-8pm. On Wednesday, June 12, Shaftesbury Park in Carrickfergus will come alive with pedal power. The event will feature a family bike ride, bike advice from Madigan Cycling Club, bike health checks and entertainment 7-8pm Saturday, June 15, is the day for inclusive bikes to shine at Shaftesbury Park with a family cycle. There will be bikes suitable for people with a disability and entertainment running 11am-12pm. And a similar event will take place on … Continue reading

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Cairncastle Ulster-Scots to hold music festival

Cairncastle Ulster-Scots 2019 Bluegrass and Folk cross-community festival will commence on Tuesday, July 23, at 8.00pm, in Cairncastle Presbyterian Church Hall with old tyme dancing. On July 24, in Halfway House Hotel, there will be a multi-cultural music and dance display featuring Irish and Highland dancers, Slovakian, Greek and Ugandan musicians and dancers, starting at 7.30 pm. Musical evenings will commence on July 25, in Halfway House Hotel, featuring: the Blood Washed Band, Fiddler Adam and Willie Drennan’s Ulster-Scots Band. On July 26, there will be Bluegrass featuring: Blue Stack Mountain Boys (Dublin), Geordie McAdam and Wilson Davis Duet and Watery Hill Boys (Drogheda) followed on Saturday, July 27, by a soirée featuring Scottish, country and Irish musicians. A series of music and history workshops will also be held in the Halfway House Hotel. The festival will come to a close with hymns and Gospel songs in Cairncastle Presbyterian Church … Continue reading

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