From the pages of the Down Recorder, February 12, 1980

From the pages of the Down Recorder, February 12, 1980

12 February 2020

KILLYLEAGH — The opening of a pool hall in Killyleagh now looks on the cards after a surprise turn-around in attitudes over the weekend.

The change in attitudes comes this week after a visit to the town by the man who plans to open the pool room, Mr Robert Bunting, from Carryduff.

Some High Street residents had drawn up a petition objecting to the opening of the hall because they were afraid it would bring with it a sinister element and an increase in vandalism.

But in a bold move, Mr Bunting called and talked with some of the objectors and he feels he has succeeded in taking the heat out of the situation.

Planning approval for the pool room was withdrawn at a meeting of Down District Council last week, but Mr Bunting now hopes this will be reinstated and he can open up for business early next month.

Mr Bunting called with some of the objectors on Saturday and he said he can “understand”  their feelings. He hopes, however, that he has allayed their immediate fears by stressing that he would not tolerate bad behaviour on his premises. He was willing to give a lead to stop it.

He made the point to objectors that the “sinister element” was already in the town and he did not want trouble any more than other shopkeepers or residents who had suffered at the hands of vandals.

DOWNPATRICK — A young Downpatrick pop group has made a spectacular comeback on the local music trail after a two-year layoff.

The former Sunbeams, now calling themselves Memphis, have been travelling up and down the country fulfilling engagements in halls, clubs and hotels.

Ironically it was transport problems which forced them off the road in 1978 but they have since been organising their comeback and are now better equipped and more experienced.

Their repertoire is packed with the latest sounds and such is their wide selection of numbers that they played non-stop at a function last month for five and a half hours.

The group is fronted by the delectable and talented Janet Wilcox who is joined by her brother Stewart (lead guitar), Patrick McAuley (rhythm guitar), Danny Skeffington (bass guitar) and Philip Hynds (drummer).

Up to now most of their engagements have ben south of the border but they are now ready to make their mark up north, particularly around Co Down.

BALLYKINLAR — Portaferry Dramatic Society will present the play ‘Is the Priest at Home’? in the Parochial Hall, Ballykinlar, tomorrow night at 8pm.

Written by the internationally famed Joseph Tomelty, himself a former resident of the town, the play is set in a priest’s home in a small in Northern Ireland during the early 1950s.

It is currently enjoying a very successful run in parochial and community halls throughout the Ards and Lecale peninsula, and indeed, in response to public demand return performances are being planned at some venues.

Two of the playwright’s brothers are members of the society, with Jim Tomelty playing the leading role of the curate. The three-act play is produced by H Matthews and there is a cast of 11.

The full cast is comprised of: James McMullan, George Magee, Kathleen Mason, James Tomelty, Jean Byers, Gemma McMullan, Robert McMullan, Terry Conlan, Noreen Murray, Hugh Mathews and P J Trainor.

STRANGFORD — Residents in Strangford are being invited to a public meeting in the village on Monday night to reform the village committee.

The meeting will be held in St Joseph’s Primary School, starting at 8pm, and everyone in the village is asked to come along.

The idea to reform the committee was sparked off by the Department of Environment’s decision to turn the island in the village into a roundabout.

Local shopkeepers and residents began to kick up, and mown they have decided to join forces and elect a proper committee, so that Strangford can have a strong voice to challenge the ‘powers to be’.

The main complaint about the new roundabout system is that it shows no consideration for villagers says one irate shopkeeper. His claim is that the system means that through traffic has been accounted for, whereas local traffic hasn’t.

“Traffic to and from the ferry has a straight run through the village,” he said, “but villagers will have to use the roundabout system to get to into the main flow of traffic.”

“It’s almost like a Strangford bypass,” said another shopkeeper.

LOUGHINISLAND — Dr Hugh Quinn, formerly of Loughinisland, was recently inducted as chairman of the Northern Ireland Regional Group of the British Junior Chambers of Commerce, at a dinner in Belfast.

Educated at St Patrick’s High School, Downpatrick, and Queen’s University Belfast, Dr Quinn joined the Derry Junior Chamber in 1973 and so distinguished himself during the first year, that he was elected to the post of honorary secretary of the Chamber for the year 1974/75.

In 1975 he became senior vice-president and in 1976/77 became president of the Derry Junior Chamber.

The election of Dr Quinn is not only a great personal honour but also for the Derry Junior Chamber, as he is the third Derry presentative every to hold this high office.

DRUMANESS — President of the Drumaness Women’s Institute, Mrs Wallace, welcomed the guest speaker, nurse Audrey Anderson, a district nurse in the Ballynahinch area, to the February meeting.

Nurse Anderson told of her experiences when she nursed for a year in a general hospital quite often under very primitive conditions.

During her time in Zambia, nurse Anderson did manage to see quite a bit of the country and get to know some of the tribes living there.

She said that her year’s experience was well worthwhile and something she would always remember.

The talk was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and illustrated the benefits we enjoy from our up-to-date health service.

CARRYDUFF — The well-known Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, of Carryduff, although heading the Grade 2 for Ulster bands, has not been upgraded yet.

Members were told this at their annual dinner in the La Mon House restaurant, where 18 pieces of silver was on parade — the results of a very busy 1979 season.

The Field Marshal B band will almost certainly compete in Grade 4 contests and to assist them they include two female pipers.

TOUR — The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Rt Rev Dr William Craig, has started his province-wide tour — and has visited the area.

The Moderator visited Newcastle and Castlewellan on Friday morning and has plans to visit several churches in Down Presbytery before the end of the month.

Dr Craig’s visit to Newcastle and Castlewellan came as part of his tour of the Iveagh Presbytery. He visited Castlewellan High School and Castlewellan Primary School and then the local police station, where he was presented with a plaque to remind him of his visit.

While in Newcastle the Moderator visited River House, the Presbyterian residential trust, Mourne House, the old people’s home and several retired ministers living in the seaside resort.

He also met local ministers and their wives and had a meal with the in the Enniskeen Hotel.

Dr Craig’s next visit to the area will be on Saturday, February 23, when he will be attending the third annual conference of Down Presbytery’s Ruling Elders Fellowship at First Saintfield Presbyterian Church.

The conference will commence at 2pm and will be opened by the Rev James Lamont, of Ballynahinch, whois the moderator of Down Presbytery.