From the pages of the Down Recorder, February 7, 1978

From the pages of the Down Recorder, February 7, 1978

7 February 2018

DOWNPATRICK — A fresh campaign is to be launched to press for a new general hospital in Downpatrick.

The recently established review body on hospital services in the province is to be asked to meet a deputation of Down councillors to hear their case for a new hospital. Councillors are also determined to put their views direct to the Department of Health and the Eastern Health Board.

The plea for a new campaign came from Mr Sean Quinn, who has led the public outcry on the defence of hospital services in Downpatrick throughout the past three years.

He told councillors at a meeting this week: “We must show again our concern for facilities in Downpatrick and campaign vigorously to have a new general hospital as soon as possible.

Downpatrick councillor George Flinn, recently retired as the boss for health administration in the Downpatrick area, also threw his weight behind the campaign.

He told councillors that the present Downe Hospital was built in 1834 and cannot be expanded any more. “We need a new hospital and we have the site for it,” he said.

Mr Flinn pointed out that there might be staffing problems with a new hospital, but these could be sorted out later.

CASTLEWELLAN — Army technical officers were called to called to Castlewellan on Monday morning to deal with a bomb scare. 

A suspicious parcel was found near the Orange Hall at Mill Hill. Technical officers evacuated the area and gave the all-clear within two hours. The parcel turned out to be a number of books which had been delivered nearby by John Menzies, the newsagent firm.

DRUMANESS — Teddy, the golden labrador from Drumaness, doesn’t mind leading a dog’s life because it’s his hobby to carry his young master’s schoolbag.

Every day Teddy can be seen setting off from his home at Shanvalley Way to meet his master, Teddy Tweedy, coming out of the primary school on the Belfast Road. Both can be seen returning to the village and it’s a certainty that Teddy the dog will be carrying the schoolbag.

In fact, the labrador has earned himself quite a reputation in Drumaness for being helpful. Some residents say they can set their watches by the dog’s daily trip.

DRUMAROAD — The success of Sunday evening dances in Drumaroad’s community centre has angered at least one resident in a small housing estate nearby.

Mr P Doherty, who lives in Assisi Gardens, an estate only several hundred yards away from the centre, has complained to Down Council about the noise and car parking problems caused by the dancers.

In a letter to councillors Mr Doherty aid he was unable to get to sleep until after 2.30am and pointed out that police had refused to come out and look at the problem. Mr Doherty didn’t want his name made public, but councillors refused to consider his letter without his name being read aloud.

Cllr Ethel Smyth said she had been approached by people in the area and had been in touch with the Housing Executive, but nothing had been done.

Newcastle councillor Paddy O’Donoghue pointed out that the hall committee had made every effort to help the situation and had provided the largest car park in the area beside the hall.

BALLYKINLAR — It will probably be business as usual tomorrow morning for Ballykinlar garage owner Charles Mount, whose small agricultural repair business has flourished over the past two years and is tremendously popular with local farmers.

Despite his success, Mr Mount will be wondering if he is going to be allowed to remain open. 

Since he established his workshop in 1975, he has been fighting a losing battle with planners in a bid to obtain approval for his business.

This week, his fight took another turn when his latest application for planning permission was turned down by local planners. However, after strong protests by Down Council vice-chairman Eddie McGrady the planners have agreed to reconsider their decision.

Mr Mount was turned down on the grounds that the area he was operating in had not been zoned for commercial development. This decision was upheld by the Planning Appeals Commission, even though they praised the layout of the garage and its cleanliness.

In urging the planners to reconsider, Mr McGrady said Mr Mount was “performing a very useful function to the farming community.”

KILLYLEAGH — A special retirement presentation was made to a Killyleagh man recently after 13 years of service to Downe Hospital as a porter. 

He is 65 year-old Mr David Hanna, of Shore Road, and on Friday the staff at the hospital thanked him for his 

long service.

The presentation was made by Miss M C McKay, nursing officer, and Mr Leonard Kelly, a unit administrator.Mr Timmy Doyle, a former porter, also attended.

Mr Hanna worked for a long time as an Ulster Transport lorry driver and now he intends to relax and possibly visit some of his relatives who are abroad.

SAINTFIELD — Old newspapers serve a variety of purposes, such as providing fuel for fires, parcelling up fish and chips and cleaning windows.

But it’s a fair bet to say that Cecilia Stephens, from Saintfield, is the only local person who weaves them into wallhangings after she has finished reading them.

Cecilia, who lives on the Listooder Road, is a thoroughly modern craftswoman carrying on the centuries-old craft of weaving — and adding a new dimension to it.

At a traditional foot-operated loom installed in a bedroom at her house, she weaves strips of old newspapers, rushes, reeds, linen threads and posters to create highly original wall-hangings, blinds, table mats and lamp shades.

Cecilia admits that experimenting with strange materials is the most interesting part of her craft.

COMBER — Andrea Quinn, from Comber is Miss British Legion for 1978/79 after winning the title in Dungannon on Friday night. Andrea beat all-comers in the Northern Ireland final with her bright personality and good looks.

Her first prize included a cup, a sash, a cheque and a box of tights. If she wins the national final in Blackpool in May she could come home with much more.

Twenty four year-old Andrea is a secretary in Bennett’s, High Street, Comber, and enjoys reading and music in her spare time.

TOLLYMORE — Anyone planning Easter holidays in Tollymore Forest Park better hurry if they haven’t booked. Although the holiday period is still over a month away, caravan sites at Tollymore and at Castlewellan Forest Park are booked up.

“All the caravan sites were booked out a moths ago,” a spokesman said. “There is still room for campers, although with Easter being early this year, it depends on the weather as to how many will come.

BALLYNAHINCH — Edengrove Presbyterian Church, Ballynahinch, held its annual meeting and congregational social last Wednesday night at which many members were present.

The minister, the Rev W N Duncan, conducted the opening devotions and proceeded to review the work of the church during the past year. 

Reports were also presented by Mr Robert McCalla, clerk for the Kirk Session, and by Dr Winston Shaw, secretary for the congregational committee. 

CROSSGAR — Crossgar farmers can be well pleased with their showing so far at the Balmoral Spring Show and sale of pigs which got underway this week.

Mr Hugh Gabbie took first and third positions in both the large white gilts and landrace boar classes. In another class for large white boars Messrs W Gabbie and Sons came first with Ballywoollen King David 93rd.