From the pages of the Down Recorder, January 11, 1972

From the pages of the Down Recorder, January 11, 1972

11 January 2012


STRANGFORD — Angry mothers of Strangford schoolchildren have this week bombarded the Ulsterbus company with protests over the firm’s rescheduling of school bus services. On Monday the sleepy village had its first taste of street demonstrations. Over 20 parents, with children clustered around them, stood defiantly in front of the school bus to prevent its new 8am departure for Downpatrick. It normally left at 8.30.

The parents object to their children, some aged only four-and-a-half, arriving in Downpatrick at 8.20am — forty minutes before most schools open. They kept up this physical obstruction of the bus service every morning this week and would only allow it to leave at 8.30.

Ulsterbus have altered their schedules after showing a loss in school services, and, as part of an economy drive, have cut down on the number of school buses. Irate mothers say the new system is unfair to children in the area.

The new timetable means a particular hardship for children travelling from outlying areas at Portaferry. The Recorder was told this week that three children have been forced to leave home at 6.15am.

CASTLEWELLAN — Local branches of the SDLP, the Association of Legal Justice, the Nationalist Party and the Civil Rights Association plan to hold a march from Castlewellan to Newcastle on January 23 to protest against internment and the selective arrest and method of arrest of Cathal O’Boyle, chairman of the ALJ’s Newcastle branch.

Mr. O’Boyle, a 31 year-old teacher at St. Malachy’s School, Castlewellan, was taken into custody last weekend for failing to pay a fine for not completing his census form. Mr. O’Boyle was fined £8 at Newcastle magistrate’s court on December 17 for not completing and signing his census form. He declared in court that he would not pay the fine as a protest against “the biased administration of biased laws.”

On Saturday night a number of people, most of them school teachers, demonstrated outside Newcastle RUC station and handed a letter of protest to Chief Inspector R. Smyth.

Chief Inspector Smyth refuted a report in a daily newspaper that Mr. O’Boyle had been taken into custody by “six armed and flak-jacketed policemen brimming with revolvers and sten guns.”

“The fact is that Mr. O’Boyle, who I may say was most co-operative, was arrested in accordance with an arrangement made between the police and himself by a sergeant and two constables and was conveyed to the Crumlin Road jail by the two constables. Trouble had not been anticipated and none resulted,” the Chief Inspector said.

BALLEE — Jessica Maxwell, of Ballee, is a young woman with a keen business brain and a sharp eye for taking an opportunity when one presents itself. Appointed Northern Ireland representative for the internationally known firm of Pegus Horsefoods some eighteen months ago, she was soon travelling round the country plying her wares among the horsey set.

“I’m in the fortunate position that the demand far outweighs the supply,” she says, “and with more and more people taking up riding these days I’m naturally hoping the business will continue to increase. When I first went out with the East Down Foxhounds some years ago there would be only a handful of people, yet over a hundred turned up for a meet at Teconnaught a fortnight ago.”

DOWNPATRICK — The Downpatrick and East Down Road Safety Committee which lay dormant for 15 months was revived at a recent meeting. Mr. J. H. Wightman occupied the chair during the election of officers which resulted in the appointment of Mr. F. J. Boyle as chairman, Mr. J. G. Jackson as vice-chairman and Mr. J. Byrne as treasurer.

NEWCASTLE — “An outstanding apprentice” — that’s what a top Belfast light engineering firm think of 21 year-old Peter Grant, of Bernagh Green, Newcastle. They recognised his achievements in the workshop and technical school with their ‘apprentice of the year’ trophy which Peter, a fitter/turner, received from the managing director of Parkinson Cowan.

ARDGLASS — Ardglass Festival Committee will meet in St. Mary’s Hall on Wednesday in an early effort to get this year’s event under way. After the success of last year’s festival, the committee would like to thank the villagers, church authorities, shopkeepers and all who gave their time, work and money in an unstinting community effort.

The local angling club owe their origin and popularity to the festival and it is understood they have already an extensive summer programme to be included in the schedule of events. The gardening club, which also came to life from last year’s festival, have arranged two events, the spring and summer flower shows.

BALLYNAHINCH — The Ballynahinch branch of the Belfast Savings Bank smashed all records last year when 722 new customers opened accounts and total funds were increased by £198,740. This was the largest rise in new accounts and funds since the branch opened in 1955.

TEMPLE — Thieves took £20 from Temple Service Station last Wednesday. A petrol pump attendant answered a call from a driver who said he was stranded. While the attendant took a half a gallon of fuel and helped the “distressed” motorist start his car, other men entered the garage office and made off with the cash.

BALLYGOWAN — Mr. Samuel Stevenson, a 55 year-old labourer, of Ravara Cottages, was found dead on the roadside at Tullygarvin on Wednesday night.

CROSSGAR — Mrs. C. B. Williams, president of Crossgar Women’s Institute, and her daughter, Anne, gave an interesting talk illustrated by slides of their visit last year to New Zealand and Australia. They held the interest of the members at the monthly meeting with a detailed account of their voyage on the Southern Cross which called in at many exciting ports.