From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 6, 1977

From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 6, 1977

6 September 2017

NEWCASTLE — A leading Newcastle shop was badly damaged in an incendiary attack on the town on Saturday night.

Wadsworth’s outfitters, on Main Street, went on fire shortly before midnight and three Newcastle fire appliances fought the blaze for several hours. One fireman received a badly gashed arm while fighting the blaze and as a result had to have 16 stitches.

Police believe that the fire was begun by an incendiary bomb which was planted in the gents’ ready-to-wear section of the shop during Saturday. Earlier in the evening an incendiary device was found in Neeson’s electrical shop, also in Main Street. An army bomb disposal squad was able to disarm the bomb in time, but all shop and key holders in the area were asked to return and search their shops.

Mr Fred Wadsworth returned to check his shop, but did not find any incendiary bomb other suspicious device. The bomb was only discovered when a passing police patrol noticed smoke emerging from the shop at about 11.50pm. Minutes later, when the fire brigade arrived, the building was ablaze.

The extensive damage has caused Mr Wadsworth to close his shop and it is unlikely that it will be open again for another month.

DOWNPATRICK  — Rosetta Stone, the Downpatrick pop group, will be appearing on Top of the Pops this week.

The boys — Ian Mitchell, Andy LeGear, and brothers Damien, Terry and Colin McKee — will be singing their debut single, Sunshine of Your Love, which is already selling well. It is likely that sales will double at least after the group’s appearance before a nationwide audience.

Mrs Margaret McKee, mother of the McKee brothers, said the boys were overjoyed at their Top of the Pops engagement, but were a little nervous at appearing before an enormous television audience.

At the end of the week the group fly out from London for a two-week tour of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. Following this they will have a short break of three to four days before undertaking a tour of England with Gary Glitter.

CASTLEWELLAN — Things are looking brighter for a proposal to build a concrete factory at Castlewellan. If it gets the go-ahead it will be thanks to the determination of four councillors who have fought the planners for more than six months.

The plan by Legmore Concrete Ltd was originally shot down by the planners, but after strong representations by Mrs Ethel Smyth, Mr Paddy O’Donoghue, Mr Jim Magee and Mr Eamonn O’Neill they agreed to reconsider their refusal.

This week planners again met councillors and instead of a decision they asked the councillors for guidance in reconsidering the plan.

The council answer was an overwhelming endorsement of the plan and they told the planners to give it the green light as soon as possible.

Mr O’Donoghue said he welcomed the fact that the panners had come to the council for advice and guidance. Mr O’Neill undressed the need for speed in reaching a decision since the company would shortly have to vacate their existing premises.

BALLYNAHINCH — Ballynahinch Chamber of Commerce has dismissed as “far from satisfactory” the authorities’ efforts to improve facilities in the town.

At a recent Chamber meeting, attended by 40 local business people, members expressed their dissatisfaction with projects to resurface the area adjacent to Harmony Way, the proposed new parking area in the town and the long-promised new town complex.

Members felt that there had been a certain amount of “passing the buck” amongst the bodies concerned with the furthermost of these projects.

KILLYLEAGH — Killyleagh and Killinchy District branch of the Royal British Legion has formed a women’s section. A largely attended meeting of ex-servicewomen was held recently with the intention of establishing a new section.

Addressing the meeting, Mrs M Cromie, area president, spoke of the importance and great assistance to the branch that women’s section would give. Mrs W A Rowan-Hamilton was elected president of the new section.

DRUMANESS — A Drumaness man was taken to Downe Hospital when his Vauxhall Viva van overturned after careering off the main Ballynahinch-Newcastle Road, near Drumaness.

Mr Karl Stephen Doherty, of Mullamore Drive, had to be cut out of the van by Ballynahinch firemen and he was taken to hospital where it was found he had received a broken shoulder blade, a broken collar bone and three broken ribs.

KILLOUGH — Plans for the redevelopment of parts of Killough are aimed at maintaining the character of the village, a Housing Executive spokesman has told the village committee. He stressed that the Portaferry redevelopment scheme was a good example of how local character could be maintained.

The village committee will hold a public meeting on September 27 so that people who may be affected by the redevelopment plans can be brought fully into the picture. The HE spokesman that a start could be made on house building in October.

ANNACLOY — When it comes to keeping bees, two Annacloy brothers, Pat and Ned Synett, know a thing or two. For the brothers have been keeping bees for 30 years — a long time in a business which demands patience, care and close attention to detail.

This has been a particular good year for clover honey and the brothers have been inundated with demands from local people for rich honey from their numerous hives. A sweet conclusion to yet another successful summer for these well-known apiarists.

COMBER — The opening of the new church hall at Comber Methodist Church marks the successful renaissance of a church whose congregation was once reduced to only four members.

There were many more than four people present at the opening ceremony when the hall’s builder gave the keys to Mr James Moreland, of the property board.

The new 5,000 square foot building, which includes a major and a minor hall, cost a total of £50,000 to build, £14,000 of which was raised by the Comber church. Newtownards Methodist Church contributed £5,000.

The service of thanksgiving was conducted by the Rev William Megahey, minister of the church since 1976.

KILLINCHY — The annual harvest fair and flower show at Killinchy Presbyterian Church on Saturday was bigger and better than ever and raised over £1,600. The Rev C W McKInney said: “The event was very successful. We had a large entry for the flower show and a big all-round attendance.

Proceeds will go towards the hall building fund, which will help finance a new scheme that got under way recently.

GUINESS — The retiring principal of Guiness Primary School, Mrs A Magennis, was honoured by parents, teachers and pupils at a special function.

Mrs Magennis, who comes from Downpatrick, was presented with Tyrone Crystal by Fr McAteer, on behalf of the teachers and parents. Mrs Magennis, who has been principal of the school, near Ballynahinch, for the past ten years, was also presented with a bouquet of flowers from Roisin Laverty, who was the last pupil to enrol at the school while she was principal.

TYPHOID — Typhoid struck down a 17 year-old German boy, who was on a camping holiday in Co Down and caused him to die within a fortnight.

As soon as he fell ill the boy was rushed to Downe Hospital where he was put in an isolation ward. He was transferred to Belvoir Park Hospital where he died. He is believed to be only the second person to have died from typhoid in the UK in the last 13 years.