From the pages of the Down Recorder, January 10, 1978

From the pages of the Down Recorder, January 10, 1978

10 January 2018

DOWNPATRICK — A large fire which broke out the premises of a Downpatrick builder early on Saturday morning may mean a delay in the completion of some contracts.

A spokesman for H J O’Boyle Ltd, in Irish Street, said that the extensive fire and water damage sustained would probably affect some of the work, but that business was going on as normal using temporary accommodation.

The fire, which police believe was started maliciously, was discovered around 3.50am and four fire tenders, two from Downpatrick and two from Ballynahinch, rushed to the scene.

They managed to get the fire, which started in the stores, under control by 7.30am, but it was not until 4pm, 12 hours after the fire was discovered, that the firemen were able to leave the scene.

One Downpatrick fire officer, Tony Oakes, received a minor injury when part of the roof collapsed and a loose slate fell on his arm, badly gashing it. He was taken to Downe Hospital where six stitches were ed into the wound.

Fireman Oakes then returned to the fire where he manned the pump for several hours. Over 1,000 gallons of water per minute were being pumped on to the fire.

Damage to the premises was extensive. The stores and offices were completely gutted, a tractor was burned, a lorry cab damaged and there was also extensive water damage.

SHRIGLEY — Firemen from Downpatrick and Newtownards tackled a blaze at the Atlantic Tanning Company in Shrigley, also on Saturday. This fire, which police suspect was started maliciously, was discovered shortly after 4am.

The blaze began in the drying hall where four bales of leather skins had caught fire. One estimate set the cost of the damage at £1,500. Luckily, the blaze did not extend beyond the drying halls and none of the new machinery or offices sustained any damage.

Local residents and employees of the factory also helped put the fire under control using the factory’s fire equipment.

CROSSGAR — A 14 year-old Crossgar girl was rushed to Ards Hospital when she was injured in one of several ugly scenes of football violence after Saturday’s Border Cup final between Downpatrick Rec and Drumaness Mills.

Diane Madine, of Downpatrick Street, was hit in the face with a bottle as she boarded the Downpatrick Rec supporters’ bus outside Castlereagh Park, Newtownards. The blow split the girl’s cheek, requiring five stitches, gave her a black eye, caused severe nose bleeding and knocked her out.

The day had some consolation for Diane — three of the Rec players, Shane Breen, Peter Mulhall and Paddy Kelly, visited her at home that night to see how she was.

A Downpatrick teenager, Martiin Kelly, of Struell Road, also had to have stitches in his head when he was hit by a bottle.

The trouble came outside the ground when spectatrs were faded with a mob of stone and bottle-throwing Newtownards youths.

The Downpatrick Rec supporters’ bus was also badly damaged during the journey back from Newtownards. Comber police had to intervene when supporters began to kick out the windows on the bus and although no arrests were made, names and addresses were taken.

NEWCASTLE — Newcastle’s old bus station in Railway Street may soon be turned into a modern shopping precinct. Castlewellan estate agent, Mr James Wilson, has been given building control approval for his plans to turn the bus station into small shopping units.

Mr Wilson said this week that he still had no idea when the shops would be finished, though he said he would like to see them finished for the summer. “I am hoping to provide around seven or eight units to house a variety of shops,” he said.

BALLYNAHINCH — Local planners were accused this week of cutting short a Ballynahinch man’s plans to extend his business.

The accusation comes from Down councillor Jim Magee, who is angry that planners have refused to allow businessman Maurice Walsh to extend his workshop on the Drumaness Road.

Mr Magee told a meeting of councillors that the refusal has meant that Mr Walsh cannot go ahead with plans to extend his workforce from seven to eleven.

“It would be a terrible tragedy if he is not allowed to progress,” Mr Magee said. “He has some enormous orders and it is a credit to him he has the courage to take them on.”

Ballynahinch councillor Mr Edward McVeigh agreed Mr Walsh should be allowed to expand and pointed out that tons of rock had been cut to make way for an extension.

BALLYGOWAN — Ards Borough Council is to investigate the possibility of getting a bus shelter provided in Ballygowan. A request for a shelter was forwarded to the council by the Ballygowan and District Community Association.

Representatives of the community association said they were unable to get any help when the approached Ulsterbus and the Northern Ireland Roads Service. The council decided to examine the lack of bus shelters throughout the district and to contact Enterprise Ulster.

KILCOO — The village of Kilcoo has now put well and truly on the map — at least as far has planning goes. For the first time ever a map of development proposals for the village has been published by the Department of the Environment’s planning service.

The planners say there is adequate space for future expansion of school buildings, but one big disappointment in the proposals is the news that the by-pass road, which has been planned for Kilcoo, is not now likely to go ahead within the next 15 years.

CARRYDUFF — Nostalgic members of Carryduff Women’s Institute recently created a picture of the Victorian era when they donned the dress of the age and relived the ‘Good Old Days.’

This was how they chose to spend their annual outing which this year consisted of a visit to the Belfast Arts Theatre for an old-time music programme.

BALLYKINLAR — A six year-old Ballykinlar boy, Thomas Robinson, of Commons Road, was taken to Downe Hospital when he was knocked down by a car near his home. His injuries were slight and he was not detained.

ANNACLOY — A 24 year-old Annacloy lorry driver had one of his legs amputated as a result of a road accident near his home. The man was knocked down by a car on the Annacloy Road.

KILLOUGH — The life of a Killough teacher, particularly concerned about the evil effect of sectarian bigotry upon growing minds, was remembered with thanksgiving at Evensong in the parish church of St Anne, Killough, on Sunday.

Gifts made in oak, including a book rest for the altar, a flower stand and collection plates, were dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of Miss May Nelson, who had been born and brought up in Killough before residing in recent years in Belfast.

The visiting preacher, the Rev T C Burrowes, rector of Killinchy and a former incumbent of Killough, referred to Miss Nelson’s faithfulness as a regular worshipper and her involvement in so many activities prompted by her altruistic spirit and firmly held moderate opinions.

At tea after the service, the rector, the Rev J I H Stafford, thanked members of the Nelson family for having presented memorial gifts to the church and also expressed the appreciation of the congregation at having Mr and Mrs Burrowes back in Killough.

CLOUGH — A special Christmas service was held in Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church on Christmas Day. The service was conducted by Miss L Baxter and she was assisted by children from the Sunday school.

Miss Baxter later presented the Sunday school award books to the children and special prizes for good attendance ere presented to Esther and John Robinson.