From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 13, 2000

From the pages of the Down Recorder, September 13, 2000

9 September 2020

BALLYNAHINCH— Schoolchildren and elderly residents in Ballynahinch are dicing with death as they try to cross the town centre’s busy streets, it has been claimed.

The claim has been made by local politicians who are angry that a vital pedestrian crossing was not in place before the start of the new school term.

Roads Service officials have promised the crossing will be provided at Windmill Street in two months’ time, but the politicians and local parents are concerned about the interim period.

Last week, an elderly pensioner was forced to stand at the side of the road for 12 minutes before she was able to cross and schoolchildren had to dodge speeding vehicles as they made their way to school.

One local principal has already written to the South Eastern Education and Library Board asking it to provide a temporary patrol person to police the Windmill Street area until the new pedestrian crossing is in place.

Mr Leo Flanagan, headmaster of St Patrick’s Primary School, said he shares the concerns of local parents, politicians and the elderly, and hopes the promised crossing will be constructed as soon as possible.

SAINTFIELD – Vandalism in Saintfield will top the agenda at a special meeting in the town’s library tonight.

It has been called by angry residents who live at Listooder Road and is the second which has been called within the past two weeks to discuss the behaviour of unruly teenagers.

The first was held last Monday at the town’s Sports Club at the Demesne where teenagers are driving cars around the hockey pitch and smashing bottles on the adjacent cricket pitch.

Local councillor, Robert Burgess, said he is appalled at what is happening and has revealed he even tried talking to the youths involved in a bid to make them see the error of their ways.

He hopes tonight’s meeting will address the problem and provide concerned residents with an opportunity to air their views in public, but he believes they do not have all the answers.

CROSSGAR – Crossgar residents have vowed to step up their campaign against a proposed cattle incinerator for the village.

A steering group will be set up by Crossgar Community Association, following last week’s annual general meeting, to deal with the public’s concerns about the incinerator which was first proposed four years ago.

The controversial plan to build the incineration plant on a farm on the outskirts of the village has been vehemently objected to by members of the community group, concerned about the possible pollution problems the scheme might bring to the village.

Residents have urged planning officials to reject the £2m scheme.

But it emerged at last week’s meeting that the proposal is unlikely to be dealt with by the Planning Service until 2001, with planning appeals currently running nine months behind schedule, leaving the group plenty of time to develop a firm anti-incinerator strategy.

NEWCASTLE – The future of two Newcastle primary schools at the centre of a merger debate remains uncertain at the start of a new academic term.

St Mary’s boys’ and girls’ primary schools have been at the centre of the debate since late last year, following the South Eastern Education and Library Board’s decision to fund a nursery unit if the two schools are amalgamated.

The merger proposal proved controversial, with a group of parents claiming they were being excluded from the decision-making process regarding the future of their children’s education.

However, there was also strong support for the merger, which trustees and boards of governors feel would secure the future of Catholic education provision in Newcastle.

A final decision about the St Mary’s schools, which underwent public consultation in June, has not yet been made and is currently being considered by the Department of Education.

CASTLEWELLAN – Ten years after the first steps were taken towards regenerating Castlewellan, new and exciting projects are being developed in the town.

The annual meeting of Castlewellan Regeneration Limited heard last week that the project creating the most interest is the Peace Maze – a scheme to construct the world’s biggest maze which would be dedicated to the Good Friday Agreement.

Described as an “imaginative and significant idea” by the chairman of Castlewellan Regeneration, Mr Eamonn O’Neill, the £500,000 project will be the size of two football pitches, will have two miles of paths, be constructed of 6,000 yew trees and is expected to be open by spring.

Beverley Lear, the woman who first thought of the proposal, attended Wednesday’s meeting in the Corncrane Building, and said she is hoping for major input from the local community into the project.

PORTAFERRY – The closure of a well established Portaferry store is a blow to the town, according to an Ards Assemblyman.

Mr Kieran McCarthy says the closure of the furniture and hardware store of Stewart and James will leave a gap in the town which will be hard to fill.

“The firm has been part of the Portaferry scene for a very long time, providing the community with all sorts of merchandise”, said Mr McCarthy.

“Stewart and James also provided a delivery service to the many building contractors and indeed individuals who were engaged in modernisation of properties and new developers.”

He also paid tribute to the Stewart family and their staff for their friendly help to local people over the years.

RAFFREY – The first Raffrey Flower Show of the new Millennium attracted the usual display of blooms and produce at the Martin Church Hall on Saturday.

The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs J Harper, of Ballygowan Presbyterian Church, with Rev Conkey leading the devotions. Young Sarah Lennon presented Mrs Harper with a gift.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Mr Billy Morrow, Clerk of Session, and seconded by Mr Thomas Robinson, church treasurer.

A vast array of flowers, fruit, vegetables, cakes and jam was quickly purchased by the large number of people who attended the event.

The children’s section proved particularly popular with vegetable faces on paper plates, tray bakes, flake meal shortbread and designs on boiled eggs.

DOWNPATRICK – The East Down Institute will continue to provide local people with a first class education service.

The promise was given last week by Institute Director, Mr Tom Place, during the annual higher education awards ceremony in Downpatrick.

Addressing students, staff, invited guests and Board of Governors representatives at the Institute’s Adult Education Centre at the Downshire Hospital, Mr Place said he remains “enthusiastic and committed to the further education service.”

He said while further education and indeed the East Down Institute have their critics, Mr Place warned it will not be detracted from continuing to “expend every effort and apply every ounce of knowledge and expertise in providing the local community with a first class service.”

KILLYLEAGH – A special interdenominational service of thanksgiving was held on Sunday night to mark the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Killyleagh YC football club.

St John’s Parish Church in the town was the setting for the service.

More than 100 people including the chairman of Down Council, Mr Albert Colmer, councillor, Mr Sam Osborne, and Amateur League treasurer, Mr David Martin, attended the thanksgiving service.

The service was conducted by the Church of Ireland rector, the Rev Jerome Munyangaju. The prayers were led by the new Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Fr Paul Strain, with Mr Oliver Priestly, a vice-president of the club, bringing greetings on behalf of 2nd Killyleagh Presbyterian Church.

LISBANE – Residents in the Lisbarnett and Lisbane area will have the opportunity to enrol in a series of classes at the community house this week.

Lisbarnett and Lisbane Community Association and East Down Institute have set up at least seven classes with enrolment taking place during the week.

Courses to improve lifestyles include aerobics, cookery, first aid and yoga and it is possible that an aerobics class could take place on Tuesdays with a crèche.

for hands on experience there are crafts such as upholstery and skills such as photography and guitar playing. Fly tying for fishermen is also being considered and other subjects may be possible if there are enough people interested and time is available.