From the pages of the Down Recorder, November 6, 1979

From the pages of the Down Recorder, November 6, 1979

6 November 2019

DOWNPATRICK — The growth of pirate trading in Downpatrick has helped bring forward plans to establish a licenced one-day mini market in the town before Christmas.

Local councillors and shopkeepers believe that a properly controlled market, away from the shopping precincts, will be better than the threatened wholesale illegal trading which is building up in the town’s busiest street.

There are real fears that with the Christmas rush just around the corner, more and more pirate traders will be moving into the Downpatrick area in search of rich pickings.

Several traders have already been operating illegally since September on council-owned property at the entrance to the Market Street car park and friction has been building between the stallholders and local shopkeepers.

This week Down councillors decided to wage war on the pirates and legal action against one of them is to be brought before Downpatrick court next week.

Chief public health officer, Mr Frank Nixon, said several of his staff had visited the area on a number of occasions and warned stallholders about illegal trading, but it still continued over a six-week period.

On one occasion, Mr Nixon, himself, was accompanied by police officers but because private council property is involved the police are powerless to physically remove offenders.

KILLOUGH — Down councillors are to seek talks with the management of the vacant Tyrone Poroton brickworks in Killough.

More than 40 jobs were lost at the brick-making plant several months 

ago when production stopped and, except for a skeleton managerial staff, it has been empty since.

Controversy has always surrounded the closure because of the massive financial state backing it received and now local councillors want to hear the management’s side.

If talks materialise the councillors will be joined by representatives of the local Industrial Development Committee, which has already discussed the Killough situation with Industry Minister, Mr Giles Shaw.

A joint Council and Development Committee deputation met Mr Shaw at Stormont recently where they were told there had been a rationalisation of the industry in the province.

The deputation told the Minister of a recent newspaper article which suggested that there had been some difficulty between the timing for the manufacture 

of Tyrone Poroton’s product and the introduction of building regulations which required thermal insulation of properties.

Mr Shaw told the deputation that it is up to a company to make a decision on whether or not a market exists for its products and the Department is quite prepared to consider a proposition if the company finds that production is an economic proposition.

NEWCASTLE — Seventy years ago, a Town Committee in Newcastle offered a prize of £100 to the first person would could fly a machine for three miles.

A gala sports day was organised for the first time to coincide with the big occasion and attracted the largest crowd ever see in County Down.

The only contender for the prize was Mr Ferguson, who was a Co Down man born at Lake House Crowell, which is equidistant from Dromore, Dromara and Hillsborough.

At that time he had made a name for himself as a amazingly successful mechanic, motor-racing driver and cyclist.

He had commenced to experiment with flying during the previous year.

The Newcastle Committee obviously had Mr Ferguson in mind when they put up the prize and as the only contender, there was no doubting his resolve to win, which he did after many mishaps which would have daunted a lesser man.

Mr Ferguson went on to become a world figure as an engineering genius and as an inventor, especially in the development and production of tractors.

SAINTFIELD — The Down Recorder boasts tens of thousands of readers, but a golden retriever dog has strong claims to be the most unusual of all.

Dora, the family pet of Mrs Sarah Shaw, of 91 Middle Road, Saintfield, can’t wait for Thursdays so that she can get a read of her favour newspaper.

Well-known in the district for fetching and carrying things, including mail from the postman, Dora has a special love for collecting the newspaper. And in this instance she not only collected the Recorder, but insisted she gets a read of it first.

Mrs Shaw also explained that Dora just loves to be dressed up. Flat cap, spectacles and pipe have been part of her fashions since she first began the fad as a pup.

She doesn’t actually smoke the pipe, but just likes to swank it a bit, said Mrs Shaw, tongue in cheek. “She is also interested in the television, paying particular attention to films, advert or documentaries in which animals can be seen.”

But what type of stories impress Dora? Well, she naturally likes any kind of animal story but the bit about the Ballynahinch triplets really tickled her. Indeed, she couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about — after all, dogs have been having triplets for years.

MOURNES — Members of the RUC Mountain rescue team, the Mourne Rescue team and a unit of the Ulster Defence Regiment worked by torchlight to rescue a cow which had plunged into an old quarry on Slieve Binnian on Sunday afternoon.

When the cow, belonging to Mr Adam Agnew, of Head Road, Annalong, was found, the rescue teams were alerted and they made their way to the quarry, under the leadership of Constable W Brown.

And as the light began to fade, the rescuers were forced to use torchlights to complete the mission. Altogether it needed three hours to bring the cow to safety, and a five barred gate was used to transport it half a mile down the mountainside to a waiting tractor and trailer, which conveyed it to Mr Agnew’s farm.

DOWN HIGH — Down High School has won the Northern Ireland public speaking finals, and will now represent the province in the United Kingdom finals in London, on Saturday, November 24.

The team comprising chairman Helen McCartney, speaker Irene McBride and third member Gwynneth Savage, talked their way to the top when competed against teams from Ashfield Girls Secondary School, Dominican College, Portstewart, Dungannon Girls High School, Parkhill High School, Antrim, Portadown College and Columba’s High School, Portaferry in Saturday’s finals at St John’s Hall, Belfast.

The competition is organised by the United Kingdom Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, and a total of 70 schools took part in this year’s competition in Northern Ireland Down High’s trio won the local heat and the area heat before registering Saturday’s victory in the Northern Ireland finals.

The Down High team, who spoke on the subject Communications, were on Walter Love’s Day by Day radio programme on Monday.

CHESS — Although the chess season is barely under way, and the Ulster League programme has not even begun, already members of the Downpatrick chess club have been notching up notable successes.

In the Williamson Shield, a prestigious individual tournament held recently in Belfast, Downpatrick junior Stephen Davison was declared outright winner of the award for players in the third grade.

This was an outstanding achievement for a young man with only one season’s competitive chess behind him, especially as Stephen’s four points out of a possible seven included draws with former  Irish champion Ray Devenney and with Newcastle’s captain, Pat Carton.

Stephen’s score was, in fact, equal to that of Downpatrick club-mate Martin Lennon, who emerged from the competition as joint winner of the second-grade award.

There seems certain to be an interesting tussle between these two teenagers for No 1 spot in the Downpatrick league team this year.

The club’s’ first match this season is a home fixture against League newcomers Shorts, scheduled for Tuesday next at the usual Denvir’s Hotel venue.

This is followed a fortnight later by an encounter with old rivals Bangor, who always seem to provide a hard-fought struggle.