From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 25, 1973

From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 25, 1973

25 September 2013

DOWNPATRICK — Police want shopkeepers to be more alert in protecting their premises against the planting of incendiary devices. The warning came after the detection of a device which failed to go off in a Downpatrick drapery shop on Saturday.

In recent weeks incendiary devices caused serious fires in two Newcastle drapery shops and in a third the device was discovered before it became active. A police spokesman says shopkeepers should remain on the premises to check through stock after closing hours each day. “A shopkeeper’s vigilance and good sense are his best protection against incendiary devices,” he said.

The device which failed to go off in McAlinden’s shop in Irish Street was first noticed by Mrs. McAlinden in one of the fitting rooms. It was under a ruffled part of the carpet. Mrs. McAlinden’s husband removed it to the yard at the back of the premises, which is next door to the police station, and the police were informed.

It is understood to have been about the size of a thick paperback book and to have contained four batteries, a watch and weedkiller-type explosives. It is believed the device had been planted in the shop two days previously as a diversionary tactic to draw security forces from a 30lb bomb planted at the Royal Air Forces Club in Church Street.

On that occasion nearby residents were evacuated from their houses — with the exception of one bed-ridden person whose physical condition prevented his removal. Because of that an Army expert performed one of his quickest defusing operations.

CASTLEWELLAN — Housing Executive officials were yesterday asked to clear away a Castlewellan ditch which has become a breeding ground for rats which are pestering a nearby estate. Residents in the St. Malachy’s Crescent area say the rat problem cannot be cured until the ditch is taken away.

At a town committee meeting on Monday, the local councillor, Mr. Seamus Fitzpatrick, promised to raise their complaints at a meeting with Housing Executive officials. He said he had already brought Mr. Frank Nixon, public health officer, to see the site and he had been disgusted by what he saw. Mr. Nixon promised that action would be taken to kill the rats.

Dr. Moore said the Housing Executive must be persuaded to clean up the whole site. “There is no point in cleaning out the rats if their breeding ground is left the way it is,” he said.

Mr. Fred Patmore said that on the new estate a number of unlawful tenants were dumping rubbish behind the ditch because the council refused to empty their bins.

CROSSGAR — Sunday’s torrential rain storm caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage in Crossgar when a main sewer overflowed and flooded two homes.

Occupants of the houses in Downpatrick Street were up all through the night tying to save their possessions from the sewage which was forced back along connecting pipes and bubbled up from gratings at the rear of their homes.

By Monday morning, when council workmen came to clear the blockage which caused the overflow, carpets, furniture, electrical fittings and shop stock had all been ruined. It was the third time since the new sewer was laid along the main street that their homes had been flooded.

Said Mrs. Anne Bell: “This happens every three years. It started on Saturday night this time when we began to get the first throwbacks from the main sewer as it became blocked up. Then when it started to rain last night it got really bad. We were up most of the night trying to keep control.

Mr. Tommy Skeffington had just finished redecorating his kitchen and living room before both were flooded.

“On Saturday night I had parked my car right over the grating at the back of the house and the weight must have kept it down. But on Sunday night it came through the back door in a tidal wave.”

KILLOUGH — Killough Village Committee met during the week to consider a plan for Killough harbour put forward by Down Council Council. The plan entails repairs to the existing quay wall and construction of an additional breakwater running in a north-east direction from the end of the existing quay.

The area thus enclosed would be deepened and fitted to accommodate small sailing craft, while a proposed concrete sill would run from Killough to Coney Island quays, keeping the inner bay covered by water at all states of the tide. After completion of the initial work, further development in the way of moorings, boat-building yard and shore ancillary works would be required to make the harbour an appropriate port of call for passing yachtsmen.

Mr. E. Nelson, chairman of Killough Village Committee, said: “This is great news. My committee, which has harped on this theme for years, will be delighted. Now they can see some result of their labours, which so often seemed like crying in the wilderness.”

KILLYLEAGH — Mrs. Rebecca Adelaide Boggs, Killyleagh’s grand old lady, has died just a few weeks before her 107th birthday. Until taken to hospital a week ago, she had lived with her son, the Rev. J. Clifford Boggs, minister of Second Presbyterian Church.

Born on the island of Drumfin, Co. Sligo, Mrs. Boggs was a schoolteacher in Londonderry before coming to live in Killyleagh in 1928. Her mother lived to be 97 and three sisters were all in their nineties when they died.

Until recently she enjoyed a drive in the car with her son and she was able to do a little needlework. She loved reminiscing on the days of her youth on the family farm at Drumfin.

On her last birthday she was asked what she would do if she had her life to live over again. “I suppose i would probably be a teacher again, but I think I would do things a lot better this time,” she said.

When she married at the age of 34 she gave up teaching to become a housewife. She had been a widow for 45 years. Mrs. Boggs is survived by three sons, the other two being the Rev. Ernest Boggs, of Eglinton, and the Rev. R. J. Boggs, now living in Toronto.

BALLYNAHINCH — Ballynahinch lost the second ‘father’ of its congregation this week when the Rev. Joseph Lavery made his retirement official at a farewell presentation at Edengrove Presbyterian Church Hall. His retirement after 22 years of service followed hard on the heels of the Rev. R. E. C. Colhoun, the town’s longest serving minister, who retired at the end of June after 28 years’ service.

BALLEE — At the beginning of a new session of school and parish life, boys and girls of the grouped parishes of Ballee, Bright and Killough joined in worship at Ballee Parish Church on Sunday evening. Gifts were brought to the sanctuary to be given to Downpatrick Special Care School.

The lessons were read by Claire Gill and Maurice Irvine, and intercessions were offered by Shirley Orr, Gail Ferguson, Lorraine Edgar, Gordon Ennis and Arnold Ennis. Acting sidemen on this occasion were James Milligan, Jack Orr, Hugh Hamilton and David Law. Miss Helen McCann played at the organ and the service concluded with the blessing, given by the rector, the Rev. J. I. H. Stafford.

PORTAFERRY — The opening night of Portaferry Camera Club was held on Monday. The guest speaker was Mr. A. Jennings, who gave a talk on the four seasons across Canada and illustrated this with colour transparencies.

It was an interesting and enjoyable night. Mr. D. J. McNeill thanked the speaker. The next meeting is on Monday night when Mr. D. Erwin will give a talk on underwater photography of Strangford Lough.

DOWNPATRICK — Downpatrick Round Table said ‘au revoir’ to Douglas Montgomery at Monday night’s meeting. Douglas, who is stationed at Bishopscourt, is moving to Prestwick. The chairman, Gerry Curran, presented him with a parting gift and paid tribute to the energy and ability which had marked his membership of the Table.