Stories CD captures the heart of Strangford Lough

Stories CD captures the heart of Strangford Lough

29 November 2017

A LASTING collection of stories from Strangford Lough, told by people who live and work there, are contained in a new double CD launched by the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership.

Former BBC Radio producer Elizabeth Rice was commissioned by the Partnership to capture the essence of the lough by recording local people and places, telling the stories of their lives, their families and the wildlife and landscapes that are special to them.    

Stories from Strangford Lough features the joy of carpets of coastal wildflowers at Killard Point, growing up in a castle at Killyleagh or on an island off Greyabbey, underwater wildlife experiences and a lifetime on the ferry – the tales from more than 25 people from all walks of life are told with passion and humour.

There is a story about the “butterfly fleet” of brightly painted little boats that transported seaweed, rocks that have been squeezed and changed over millennia to shape the landscape and why tens of thousands of Brent geese come to Strangford Lough here every winter. 

The narrators include National Trust warden David Thompson, musician Brigid O’Neill, Bob Brown and Pat Boaden, conservationist James Orr, geologist Ian Enlaner, the Department of Agriculture’s Joe Breen, former Strangford Lough ferry skipper John Murray and marine biologist Lynn Gilmore.

Other narrators include former ferryman Mark Brown, Michael Faulkner, geographer Ronnie Buchanan, artist Sarah Brown, NIEAS’s Rory Mellon, Willie McEvoy, archaeologist Liam McQuillan, historian Clive Scoular, Professor Bob Elwood, Gawn Rowan-Hamilton, William Montgomery, Tom McErlean, actor, writer Roma Tumelty and Caroline Nolan from the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership. 

Partnership committee chairwoman, Isabel Hood, said the people who live and work on and around Strangford Lough are as diverse and as interesting as its wildlife. 

“The stories they tell are fascinating and the double CD is packed full of interesting information that gives a real insight to this area’s history, culture, landscape and wildlife. Thank you to everyone who contributed,” she said.

“The new Stories from Strangford Lough was made possible through the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of work to give people an outlet for their knowledge and understanding of their heritage and also to make it more accessible to the wider public.”

The Fund’s Northern Ireland chairwoman, Anna Carragher, said it is delighted to see the launch of this collection of stories on CD and online. 

“Stories and memories are a vital part of our heritage and these recordings will give people easy access to explore all the rich local stories of Strangford Lough. The recordings are an important resource now and for future generations.”

The attractively packaged Stories from Strangford Lough double CD contains over two hours of recorded material and is available from Post Offices in Strangford, Killinchy, Portaferry, Comber and Downpatrick and Newtownards Visitor Information Centres.

Priced £3.75 to cover the cost of distribution, it will make a great Christmas present for cosy fireside listening or to shorten those winter car journeys. The recordings can also be accessed online on Strangford Lough and Lecale’s YouTube Channel: CD