Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dunseverick - the Slock by the Millton

My father used to talk about his generation going to swim at 'The Millton'. I was never quite sure where that was but eventually I came upon the Milltown at the junction of Causeway Road and the road that leads down to Dunseverick Harbour at Marchfoot. 'March' here is the boundary between the townlands of Currysheskin and Templastragh.

The harbour is at the bottom right and there are cars parked on the road fornenst The Slock.
[Google satellite]

More recently I came upon 'The Slock', the large deep pool where families go swimming on a warm sunny summer day; the small shallower pool to its left is called Betty's Hole. Younger folks appear to call it 'The Slots' - but what would they know :)

The Dictionary of the Scots Language gives a definition for 'slock': 'A creek or gully in the sea, a long deep inlet between rocks often revealed at low tide' with its origin stated as the Scottish Gaelic sloc, slochd, hollow, dell, pool. The Slock on the image has pools as well as a long inlet.

MacBain's Scottish Gaelic Dictionary: sloc, a pit, slough, Ir. [sloc]: [*slukko-], for [*slug-ko-], root [slug], swallow, as in [slug], q.v.  Skeat derives hence Ag.S. [sl�h], Eng. [slough].  Ger. [schlucht], hollow, ravine, is referred by Kluge to the root [slup], lubricus.

Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary: sloc, a hole, a pit, a hollow, a slough; Sloc na Mara, the channel between Rathlin Island and the mainland.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Moyle District Council - on Cloud 9

I don't have a smartphone so The Cloud is a tremendous bonus when I wish to blog or access the internet away from home. Two of the free-to-use hotspots shown on the map are in Moyle Council facilities in Ballycastle: the council offices at 7 Mary Street and the new marina building at 14 Bayview Road down by the harbour. I can obtain a wi-fi connection up to about 100 metres from the premises and it's usually quite easy to get a parking spot just across the road.

Richard Lewis, MDC CEO: "Regarding the “Cloud”, the council pays £15.50 per month for each of these 2 hotspots and this is certainly something we would consider for our new TIC in Bushmills. At present we are still waiting for our “letter of offer”, but this is expected very soon. On receipt of this we will then be able to go out to tender fairly quickly."

The other hotspots in Ballycastle appear to be in shops and in B&Bs. These hotspots would be very beneficial for business people and visitors so it would be good if the Council could find a way to extend the Cloud to other parts of the council district.

Brighter Bushmills Project

This is the time of year when local residents and businesses renew the appearance of their properties. Unfortunately, many buildings had become the victims of developer blight and the main street had acquired a very down-at-heel appearance.


There was an initial negative response when the Brighter Bushmills team commenced its work but now there seems to be a feeling that it's for the greater good.


Those who had drawn on their own finances to keep up appearances have been let down by those who bought properties, boarded up windows and allowed decay to take its course.

Moyle District Council should be bringing the Cloud to Bushmills in the near future and this will be a great benefit to visitors and business people who wish to access the internet via a wi-fi connection; some local businesses may also see a benefit from the Cloud or similar facility.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ballycastle - On the Trail of Danny McGill


The audio clips have been temporarily removed; they ought to be left in place as 'a taster of what is still to come'. Apparently the guides were stored in an inappropriate location.

When the physical trail is complete, this virtual site will go live to provide you with some additional heritage information via audio clips to help you to enjoy the natural environment, the architecture and the heritage story of Ballycastle.

[click title]

Some of the signage is now in place 
and the newly surfaced river path is open

Click here to listen to Danny's audio guide 
for panel #3 at the start of the river walk

[to enlarge: right click on image > 
open in new tab > click on new image]

The River Walk begins behind Moyle District Council
 offices on Mary Street, Ballycastle

Just follow the signs

If you have a smart phone, just scan the virtual trail guide icon
on each panel for an audio or video guide to that part of the trail.

Project is behind schedule: "All works are due to be completed before Easter 2012."

A small glitch in the press release (it's been reported): "The Ballycastle Heritage Trail commenced in November 2012"

For those who also want to go 'off the beaten track' 
they can head east from the town, past the golf course, 
along Carrickmore Road - the old colliery road - and then over
rougher terrain to Fair Head. Look out for this little twite that Danny spotted.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Causeway Coast - a Place of Inspiration

Where the Bush Water flows 
into the ocean on Black Rock Strand

[click on title]

Lois Elsdon
"Most of my novels are set in an imagined landscape, and most of them are set in the imagined seaside town of Easthope, the neighbouring city of Strand, and the fading industrial town of Castair. Strand is totally imaginary, and so is Castair; Easthope is on the coast and in my imagination it is a little like Portballintrae and Bushmills in County Antrim, but squished together into a fantasy place."
On Monday, May 14, Lois adds:
"Several years later in 1995, as we were contemplating where to take our two tiny children on holiday there was a travel programme on the television, where a very wet but lovely Jill Dando, tried to persuade the viewers to visit Northern Ireland. It was raining, the skies were grey but the land was green and going to Ulster from Oldham in Lancashire wasn’t a difficult journey. We booked, we travelled, we fell in love."
Tyche Kane is one of Lois' heroines and Kane is a common family name on the Causeway Coast. The Ui Catháin had strongholds from west of the River Bann to east of the River Bush - and there's also Mac Catháin and Mac Eáin.

Here are some more images for those who might like to write stories:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

British Newspaper Archive - includes Belfast News-Letter

Many thanks to Kate for bringing this archive to my attention. The advanced search engine is very versatile; unfortunately the transformation of the text image to text isn't that good so searching is a bit hit-and-miss. Local people will be able to fill in many of the gaps but not all of them so a visit to Ballymena Central Library or other Belfast News Letter resource may be necessary!

A search for 'liscolman' brought up this unusual entry from Belfast News-Letter, Wednesday 28 April 1886:

Liscolman Temperance and Conservative Flute Baud, Toberkeogh Presbyterian Flute Band, and Bushimills Masonic Flute Band. The several bands paraded the town .

I've never heard of these bands. 'Toberkeogh' is Toberkeigh and 'Bushimills' is Bushmills.

A search for 'bendooragh' brought up this BNL entry for 18 May 1876:

rs of Bendooragh Sabbath school in favour of closing public-houses on Sundays

"near armoy" brought up this BNL entry for 24 January 1891:

nian near Armoy, between the gamekeepers of the Alterichard Mountain, the property of Captain Montgomery., Benvarden, and a number of poachers, one of the latter