Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ballycastle - Bathing at Pans Rocks circa 1934

Echo Heard in Bangor in 2011

DUP involved in 'cover-up' was not the title of a story about Rihanna and a DUP councillor and farmer but it did remind me of an old article that I once stumbled upon in a local newspaper:

Northern Constitution : June 16, 1934

Ballycastle Rural Council
Control of bathing at Pans Rocks

The recommendations of a committee consisting of Messrs. Black, Darragh, Scott and McCaughan, which visited the Pans Rocks bathing place situated outside the urban boundary on 6th inst. were as follows:
1. That Mr. Neal Dallat be instructed to have the springboards erected;
2. That the shelter erected for ladies in the east side of the rocks be removed and placed in a position adjoining the present bathing-box on the opposite side;
3. That these boxes be used by ladies only;
4. That Mr. Bradshaw C.E. be instructed to submit sketch of a suitable shelter for men at the place usually occupied by them, with an estimate of cost of same;
5. That the caretaker be instructed to see that the shelters provided and to be provided are used for dressing and undressing;
6. That undressing on the rocks or adjoining strand be prohibited as well as mixed sun-bathing;
7. That ladies when finished bathing be required to return to their shelter on the west side of the rocks;
8. If these suggestions be not carried out in their entirety during the present season, arrangements be made for the adoption of bye-laws under section 92 of the Public Health Acts Amended Act 1907.

The Chairman - Why?
Mr. Hayes - You will never get it carried out.
Mr. Hayes - There is sun-bathing in every other place.
The Chairman - If every other place jumps into hell I don't see why Ballycastle should do it because that's what it really means.

The Clerk (Mr. M. J. Feerick) said the committee by their recommendations were only trying to make people a little bit modest.

The Chairman said they did not object to sun-bathing so long as it took place in the shelters provided for ladies and men. What they took exception to was mixed sun-bathing.

The report was adopted on the motion of Mr. MacAuley, seconded by Mr. Price. Mr. Bradshaw, as requested, submitted a sketch and estimate of men's shelter. Mr. McAlister expressed the opinion that the cost should be borne by a special rate from Ballycastle district.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Dark Hedges, Ballymoney - An Abuse of Heritage?

click image to enlarge

Questions have been asked about a sheep-wire fence topped with barbed wire that has recently been erected at the Dark Hedges, one of North Antrim's iconic beauty spots which lies about 5 miles ENE of Ballymoney, Co Antrim. The new fencing is far more visually obtrusive than the old.

  • If such fencing was necessary could it not have been placed behind the trees? 
  • Is it currently permissible to put barbed wire atop a new roadside fence?
  • What were the terms of the application for Heritage Lottery Funds?
  • What conditions were attached to the HLF grant?

The Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, a body containing local landowners, a local councillor, a tree specialist and other interested members of the public, has received £43,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. According to the Fund, in a letter to Ian Paisley jnr MP, the project 'aims to conserve an ‘avenue’ of 150 beech trees, and to increase awareness at a local and national level of the cultural and historical significance of veteran trees'.

You Tube - The Dark Hedges

Dark Hedges to feature in Countryfile 2012 calendar

Heritage Lottery Fund Application

Summary of progress

06 Dec 2010 - "Congratulations, Heritage Trust, you have been awarded a grant of up to £43,000." .. "You must provide with the Permission to Start form evidence of a full lease .." The project must begin within twelve months of the December 6, 2010 letter and there may be penalties if the project commences prior to permission being given.

12 Oct 2011 - Even though fencing has begun the project "has not yet had [HLF] permission to start".

Ballycastle Marina Facility or Yacht Club 2?

In an age of austerity it's nice to see that the yachting fraternity have not been overlooked in the scramble for EU funding. A balcony has yet to be added and the presence of a bar on the top floor design drawings has led to speculation that we could be looking at the new Ballycastle Yacht Club. I wonder if a licence has been sought. Curiously enough, I've not seen any mention of this bar in local newspaper reports or in Moyle Council online webpages.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Price McConaghy's Praise for Health and Ambulance Services


Published** on Tuesday 13 September 2011 13:02

A FORMER Chairman of Moyle District Council has praised the actions of an ambulance crew for “saving my life” after he took a heart attack, writes Nevin Farrell.

Former Independent councillor Price McConaghy (83), also wished to praise all those who provided care for him in both the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine and Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

Price stepped down from Council earlier this year after over half a century of service to the local community but just a short time later, on June 19, tragedy almost struck.

The father-of-four took a heart attack whilst in his home in Lisnagunagh and whilst being taken to hospital the ambulance crew had to resuscitate him in the back of the vehicle as his wife Beth looked on.

Price told the Times: “I had a very severe heart attack on June 19 this year and I would like to express my complete and sincere thanks and the thanks of my family to the Health Service and ambulance staff who attended to me.

“Within 20 minutes an ambulance was at my house but within 100 yards of the house they had to stop to resuscitate me in the ambulance and I would like to thank the two people involved - paramedic Nigel Mills and emergency medical technician Tony Scullion. They saved my life and I am deeply indebted to them.

“At one stage the line on the monitor in the ambulance went flat but they kept me alive.

“I would also like to praise the attention I received in the Causeway and the Royal hospitals. The Health Service often gets criticised but I would not be here now if it was not for the care I received,” said Price.

Now that Price is out of hospital and back on the mend he felt this week the time was right to praise the health professionals who helped him.

“I got out after a couple of weeks and was not allowed to climb the stairs for six weeks but I'm doing very very well now,” he told the Times.

And Price is back out and about again contributing to community life with his vast experience, Even though he is in his ninth decade he is involved in the Bushmills Townscape Heritage Initiative and attended an event in recent weeks.

[**This article is published courtesy of the Ballymoney and Moyle Times]

Monday, 12 September 2011

Giants Causeway, Bushmills and Dunseverick Community Fun Day

Saturday - 24 September 2011

12 noon to 5pm

Members of the Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills and Dunseverick 
Community Associations get ready for their fun day 

The Giants Causeway, Bushmills and Dunseverick Community Associations are having their first joint Fun Day on 24 September at Innisfree Farm, Causeway Road, Bushmills from 12 noon to 5pm. Please mark this on your calendars and plan to attend.

There will be Scottish music and dancing, Irish music and dancing, Zumba dancing and live music all day by our DJ, Allister Kyle.  

For the farmers amongst us there will be the chance to show off your skill of Jeep and Trailer Handling and then catch up with the local chat amongst the vintage tractors, cars and lorries on display.  

The ladies can browse through the variety of stalls on display.  There will be a Fancy Dress Parade by the local school children and this will be judged at 2 o'clock.

There will also be  farm animals, face painting,  bouncy castles and a barbecue. 

At 4.30pm the highlight of the day will be a Tug-of-War with teams from the three Community Associations taking part, so please come along and support your community.

Admission is £2 per adult and £1 per child

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Carrickmore Road, Ballycastle - Presentations to Moyle District Council, 25 July 2011

Presentation by Poval Worthington - Moyle District Council - 25.07.2011

DRD Minister opposes abandonment

Return of the Tardis

Moyle District Council Agenda 12 September 2011

"11. Fairhead Coastal Walk - Public Right of way - Propose that Council assert the Public Right of way along the coastal walk from Carrickmore Road through to Fair Head, promoting free access to the shoreline
(Requested by Councillor Cunningham)"

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Silver Cloud in Ballycastle Bay, 3 September 2011

Should or could Moyle District Council do more in its welcome for cruise ships? The information in this document is taken from the Silversea website. There is a sparcity of information about Ballycastle compared with Oban.

The Hebridean Princess is scheduled to arrive in Ballycastle Bay on the evening of September 23 with onshore visits the following day.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Rachel Henderson - The Pride of Croaghmore


In North Antrim there is a long poetic tradition. The process of composition is locally called 'making a poem'. This one was 'made' by James (Poet) McGowan of Broughgammon, 4 miles west of Ballycastle, and his subject was a young lass from nearby Croaghmore. The poem would also have been sung in the unaccompanied style of the district. I published this poem along with some family history in BBC NI's Your Place and Mine a few years ago.


I am a bold undaunted youth, I live in sweet Ramoan
In Magheracashel I was born and bred and there I am well known
I fell in love with a pretty maid and her I do adore
She is the daughter of James Henderson and lives in Croaghmore

The first time that I saw my love I knew not what to do
For to address this handsome maid I straight did her pursue
I asked her name and where she dwelt, some questions three or four
She says, "I am Rachel Henderson and live in Croaghmore"

My love's a sparkling tall young girl, her age is scarce nineteen
If I was heir of Erin's Isle sure she would be my queen
Or was I Duke of Cumberland with whips of gold in store
I'd freely share with that young maid who lives in Croaghmore

Her teeth are like the ivory, her hair is a nut brown
For wit and good behaviour her equal can't be found
Her eyes shine bright like stars by night, she has wounded me fullsore
I'm sorely pained by that young dame who lives in Croaghmore

Jacob served seven years for Rachel to be his own
His father-in-law deceived with Leah 'tis well known
And for the sake of Rachel, Jacob served seven years more
For that same name I would serve the same, she's the pride of Croaghmore

I courted her with compliments, her favour for to win
The more I did pursue my love, the more she did me shun
Was I to live a thousand years instead of a few score
I ne'er could find one to my mind like the maid of Croaghmore

Now to conclude and finish, I mean to end my song
I asked her off her parents, they said she was too young
But if I don't gain this handsome maid, I'll leave my native shore
And bid farewell to all my friends that live round Croaghmore


This version of the poem/song was copied in Philadelphia, PA., USA in January 1898 by A.A.J.B.

[The Duke Of Cumberland mentioned in verse 3 was William Augustus, second son of George the Second, King of England. He was known for his harsh methods in quelling the rising of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745.]

Rachel, daughter of James Henderson and Annie Greer, was baptised by the minister of Toberkeigh Presbyterian Church on 21st June 1849. The poem could have been written about 1868 and it is told that James (Poet) Magowan once transported Rachel into Ballycastle on his cart and this event inspired the poem.

On 18 February 1871 Rachel married William Brown and they lived at the Hillhead, on the outskirts of Ballycastle. They had eight children - Daniel, Annie, Margaret, John, Charles, Catharine, Mary and James - born between 1872 and 1892. Daniel, who was born at Cloughcorr, and Mary both married McGowans and Catharine married James Taggart of The Poole, Ballyoglagh, Mosside, son of James Taggart and Margaret Martin.

Rachel died on the 9th October 1945, aged 96, and was laid to rest in the burial ground of Ramoan Presbyterian Church at Moyarget, Ballycastle.

Here's another poem rooted in the same Croaghmore.