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

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

7 November 2018

DRUMANESS — Deadlock over the future of the old Drumaness Mill was finally broken this week with news of a £30-£40,000 deal which promises to bring many new jobs to the area.

A Belfast timber firm, Lyttle and Pollock, has moved in with a substantial offer and, providing there are no last-minute hitches, it seems certain to take over the five-storey building, currently owned by  Dale Farm Dairies Ltd.

A spokesman for Sydney Mawhinney estate agents of Lisburn, who are selling the premises for Dale Farm, has confirmed that an agreement has been reached and stressed that a hold-up could only develop if legal complications arise.

“Negotiations have taken place and an agreement, which has still to be clarified, has been reached with Lyttle and Pollock,” he explained. “A selling price has been agreed on and we are now waiting for everything to be tied up at the legal end.”

Although the spokesman for the agents was not prepared to give the exact figure obtained for the old mill, he did point out that it was between £30-£40,000. This figure falls short of the vendors’ initial asking price, which was believed to be around £45,000 when the building was put up for pubic auction by Dale Farm in August.

Mr Stuart Pollock, one of the directors at the Belfast-based firm has given an assurance that if the old mill is acquired new jobs will be created in the Drumaness area.

NEWCASTLE — Newcastle’s Brook Cottage Hotel was the scene of a little more celebration than normal this week. Their receptionist, Dolores Malone, has just been voted tops at her job.

Dolores was named Receptionist of the Year at a special dinner, bringing the first such glory to the Newcastle hotel.

The competition was organised by the NI Hotels and Caterers Association and Dolores had to undertake two interviews before being named the best.

A Dromara girl, Dolores moved to Newcastle two years ago after getting married. She won the area heat of the competition and then competed with four others in the final at the Culloden Hotel last week.

Her prizes included a £200 holiday cheque, an engraved Tyrone Crystal vase and a winner’s medal. The Brook Cottage hotel received a special certificate and a trophy, which is to be kept for a year.

DOWNPATRICK — The night a group of Down councillors visited a Downpatrick housing estate was described this week as “absolutely frightening.”

The councillors, on an official visit to the Model Farm estate, came up against 20 youths brandishing makeshift lighted torches and dancing around a council-owned rubbish skip which had been turned into a “blazing inferno”.

Burning remnants of clothes were scattered over the main road and rubbish was strewn over a 400-yard area. The officials discovered animal remains in the fire and cut short their visit by declaring the area a fire and health hazard to nearby residents.

The Model Farm was chosen as an experimental location for the skip to help stop dumping on neighbouring farmland. It’s an experiment which failed abysmally and this week councillors agreed to clear up the site immediately and remove the skip.

CROSSGAR — Police were called out on two occasions during the past week to search public houses in Crossar after warnings that bombs had been planted.

On Saturday police received an anonymous telephone call from a man saying that a bomb had been placed in Magee’s bar, but nothing was found after the premises were searched.

On Monday they received a similar call warning of a bomb in the Villager public house, but again nothing was found after a thorough search.

BALLYNAHINCH — A Ballynahinch man who has fought doggedly to clear a smoke problem in his Carlisle Park home finally came face to face with the councillors he has blamed for lack of action.

Mr Gerry Rice and his wife, Gemma, were invited to a council meeting to air their grievances. Armed with samples of brick taken from the walls of his house, Mr Rice traced the catalogue of faults and problems he has encountered since he bought his “dream house” in 1976.

He told of spending almost £4,000 on repairs to stop the smoke coming through from an adjoining house and successfully mastered a number of questions put to him by councillors.

He left the meeting after 20 minutes, leaving councillors to discuss privately, with no press facilities, the case which has taken up more council time and man hours than perhaps any other which has come before them.

STRANGFORD — An Ulsterbus and a car were extensively damaged when they were in collision at a notorious corner near Strangford. No-one was injured in the accident at Crangle’s Rock corner on the Downpatrick Road, but both vehicles were badly damaged.

Fortunately, no passengers were on the bus, which was returning to Strangford after the early morning school run. Crangle’s Rock corner has been the scene of many accidents over the past number of years and is known as an accident black spot in the area.

BALLYGOWAN — It will be all systems go for Mrs Isobel Carse from Ballygowan when she takes her place on a space rocket at the Lord Mayor’s Show in London on Saturday.

Isobel will be the only Northern Ireland representative among 30 girls who will be ‘blasting into space’ on the Commerical Union Assurance Co Ltd’s specially prepared rocket.

Isobel, who lives with her husband David on the Ravara Road, worked at the Commercial Union’s Belfast headquarters and her name was one of ten put forward as the province’s representative.

“I was thrilled to hear I had been chosen,”Isobel said. “I’m looking forward to the event very much. It’s a chance to see the Lord Mayor’s Show in close up and yet to be a big part of it.”

DUNDRUM — The parish priest of Dundrum for the past 13 years, the Very Rev Fr Bernard Brendan LacLaverty, passed away on Saturday night after a long illness.

He served many years of his life at parishes throughout Ireland and was greatly respected by local people during his time at Dundrum.

Fr MacLaverty, who was ordained in 1930, served in Strangford and Kilclief for five years between 1933 and 1938. He was appointed parish priest in Dundrum in 1965 and staged there until formally retiring last July.

The funeral service took place to Ballykinlar Cemetery following Requiem Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Dundrum.

SEAFORDE — Thousands of competitors and visitors came to Seaforde for the 35th Northern Ireland Ploughing Championships. 

Held over two days on the estate of Mr Patrick Forde, the championships attracted ploughmen and ploughwomen from all over Ireland.

It wasn’t until the second day that a local winner emerged. Joseph Gill, representing Listooder Horse Ploughing Society, won the overall horse drawn event, with Samuel McKee of Kircubbin finishing in second place.

The event also provided the many visitors with the opportunity to browse around the various trade stands and admire the various tractors on the demonstration plots. One of the largest tractors on view was worth over £3,000 and owned by Elliotts of Portaferry.

KILLYLEAGH — A £100 cheque was handed over to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as a result of a special charity concert held in Killyleagh High School.

The concert was organised by Mr Richard Lowry, music teacher at the school, and the cheque was presented by Mr Tom McAuley, principal, to an area representative of the NSPCC.

COMBER — Hundreds of bird lovers flocked to the Andrew Memorial Hall in Comber on Saturday for the annual show organised by Comber and District Cage Bird Society.

The society has attracted a high number of members since its formation 26 years ago and it was evident on Saturday that this number is increasing. Eight judges had the difficult task of picking winners from hundreds of entries and 76 plaques and cups were presented to the best of them.