From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 10, 1979

From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 10, 1979

10 July 2019

NEWCASTLE — Hotels and guest houses in Newcastle and across Down District are preparing to do a roaring trade this summer, with party and business bookings already up on last year’s figures.

In Newcastle, the heart of the area’s tourist industry, the manager of the Slieve Donard Hotel said he was optimistic that tourists will be flocking to the seaside resort once again.

“We have several foreign tourists coming in during the summer, including a large party of 88 from 

Belgium,” Mr McDonagh said. “We also have several small conferences booked for the summer months and we are expecting many parties from the South of Ireland.

“We are designed more for the conference trade than for the tourist business, but things would certainly indicate that we are ion for a busy season.”

The Burrendale Hotel, also in Newcastle, has reported a high number of bookings for July and August.

“We have received many bookings for the summer,” a spokeswoman said. “Our bookings are definitely up on last year’s figures and we are expecting August to be our busiest month, although we had full houses throughout June.”

Two other Newcastle hotels, the Brook Cottage and gthe Donard, show the same pattern. Both say that a big influx of tourists in expected.

Business at guest houses n the district also seems set to do a roaring trade. Many of them are already on the way to filling all vacancies and they will again cater for the cheap family holiday.

“I have been informed that the guest houses have got off to a better start this season and it should be a fruitful and busy summer for them,” Miss Lorna Nutt, secretarial assistant for the Heart of Down Accommodation Association, explained.

BALLYNAHINCH — More than 2,000 antique hunters flocked to the ‘sale of the century’ at Montalto House, Ballynahinch, last Wednesday.

The auctioneers, Osborne King and Megran, were hoping to raise between £80,000 to £100,000, but by the end of the day almost £150,000 changed hands.

Business was brisk for some of the finest treasures in the 400 lots. Many of the buyers were from Europe, Dublin and London. Prices ranged from £5 for a two-door safe with no key to £15,000 for a Louis XV bureau bought by a Co Down businessman.

Lord and Lady Clanwilliam were not present to see their possessions come under the auctioneer’s hammer.

The auction follows the sale of the 17-bedroom Georgian manor and surrounding 500 acre estate after Lord and Lady Clanwilliam decided to move nearer their family in the west of England. The estate was sold recently to a business consortium for over £1 million.

CROSSGAR — Former Crossgar man Kenneth Kerr — battling to cross the Atlantic in a tiny rowing boat — has been whisked to safety after spending two horrific days capsized in the icy Atlantic.

Kenneth’s solo bid to conquer the Atlantic ended in disaster 700 miles off the coast of Newfoundland — but he was clutched from death after a Concorde plane picked up his distress signal.

The 27 year-old former Royal Navy submariner was tossed from his 13-foot rowing boat, Bass Conqueror, and was left to survive in a tiny inflatable liferaft. The constant washing of the chill Atlantic waters over his feet created severe circulation problems and for a while it looked as though he was sure to perish.

But 60,000 feet above him the cress of the Air France Concorde Zero Zero One had been sipping coffee on the flight deck when the bleeps of the distress burst into the aircraft’s communications system.

The radio operator logged the origin of the signal and radioed the coastguard. Twelve hours later their message of mercy brought the lone oarsman’s ordeal to a welcome end. He was hauled aboard a lifeboat from a 32,000 ton German container ship cold, soaked and exhausted.

The first words uttered from the mouth of a relieved Kenneth were: “Glad to see you.” Now he is recovering from his amazing ordeal on board the ship which is heading for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

At her home near Edinburgh, Kenneth’s mother, Mrs Gladys Johnstone, said: “I really thought I was never going to see him again. I tried to persuade him not to go in the first place, but he has a mind of his own. I just hope that this has got it out of his system.”

KILLYLEAGH — Killyleagh scout leader Clive Scoular has been appointed a member of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland. The appointments was made by the Secretary of State, Mr Humphrey Atkins recently, and will last for a period of three years.

Mr Scoular is the leader of Killyleagh Parish Scout troop and last month he was appointed County Commissioner for Scouts.

DERRYBOY — More than 350 people attended a presentation evening in Raffrey Church Hall to mark the retirement of Mr Sam Allen as headmaster of Derryboy Primary School.

Parents, former and present pupils and friends gathered to see Mr William Cunningham, a former pupil, present Mr Allen with a colour television and cheque. His wife was the recipient of a cut glass decanter from Lesley Martin, the youngest pupil at the school.

Among the various speakers were the Rev T Anderson, minister of Raffrey, and the Rev Martin Smyth, who was minister at the time of Mr Allen’s appointment.

CLOUGH — A verdict of misadventure was recorded on a youth who died as a result of a road accident near Clough last September.

Andrew Stephen Martin (19), of Ascot Park, Belfast, was involved in a head-on collision on the Blackstaff Road and was taken to Downe Hospital where he died from multiple injuries.

DOWNPATRICK — A local man, Seamus Killen, has recently been appointed Divisional Nursing Officer (Psychiatry) in Oxford. This is one of the largest divisions in the British Isles and has established an international reputation.

Mr Killen is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Patrick Killen, of Magheralagan, Downpatrick. He was appointed Senior Nursing Officer at Fulbourn Hospital in Cambridge in 1975. He has written a book on community nursing which is to be published shortly.

CARRICKMANNON — Carrickmannon Primary School’s parent-teacher association organised a social event recently to mark the retirement of the principal, Mrs S Davison. Mrs Davison spent 19 of those years at Carrickmannon where her total dedication to her job was one of her outstanding features.

This was underlined by Mr Hamilton McKeag, mayor of Ards Borough Council, who said that her effort, along with those of the parents and the school’s management committee, had been instrumental in keeping the school open in the face of threatened closure.

Mrs Davison said she was looking forward to an active retirement and thanked everyone who had made her stay at Carrickmannon so good. She welcomed her successor, Mr Montgomery.

SPA — Spa Young Farmer David Dodd has qualified for the finals of an area sheep and pigs judging and assessment competition organised by the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.

STRANGFORD LOUGH — A 50-foot replica of a Viking longship, en route from Norway to the Isle of Man, was forced to cancel a proposed visit to Strangford Lough on Monday.

The longship, Odin’s Raven, was due to stop at Strangford Lough, but it overturned after being hit by a freak wave off Skye and had to be toed into harbour for repairs.

The boat left Trondehim in Norway recently on a 1,500-mile voyage to Peel on the Isle of Man to mark 1,000 years of parliamentary government on the island.

KILLINCHY — Killinchy Presbyterian Church succeeded in raising over £3,000 at two separate venues on Saturday. More than £1,800 was raised at an auction in the church hall, while a team of caterers raised the remaining £1,200 at a race meeting at Kirkistown organised by the Lightweight Motorcycle Club.