On Saturday 1st October, I went for a walk up to Scrabo Tower, on the outskirts of Newtownards. This landmark has towered over much of my life, living and working around the Ards area. The tower was built in 1857, 540 ft above sea-level, as a memorial to the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, Viscount castlereagh, Charles Stewart. The tower is situated in a country park, close to Scrabo Golf Club, and is approached by car only as far as the golf club entrance, then by foot up a steep path to the summit. Thankfully, there are resting places on the ascent!
Being October, the road up to tower ran beside fields that had just been baled, – which provided my image of the day, and set the scene for my exploration of the towers surroundings.
Continue reading Photo-Essay ‘Scrabo’
St Patrick’s Grave
On Tuesday, 22nd September, I had occasion to visit Downpatrick, Co.Down, and after I’d completed my work there I went for a walk around the grounds of Downpatrick Cathedral. Unfortunately the cathedral building was closed, so no interior shots, but there were plenty of visitors and tourists around the building and in the adjoining churchyard, for Downpatrick is the (alleged) burial place of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick. Continue reading St Patrick’s Grave
A Walk in the Park, Down Memory Lane
On Friday 12th September 2015, between appointments, I took a stroll through Alexandra Park, in north Belfast. It was a poignant, nostalgic break in an otherwise mundane day, for I hadn’t gone to this park to exercise my legs, but to exercise my memory. My grandparents, Bob and Jeannie Kirk had lived in this park, in the gardener’s house, in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Bob Kirk had been the foreman gardener at Glenbank Park in Ligoneil (where I was born) and his move to Alexandra Park as forman gardener would have been seen as a promotion. He took up residence in the Park Lodge, and remained there until retirement in 1965. While they lived there, I spent many happy days and evenings with them, travelling over by bus, down the Falls Road, and catching the No.77 Belfast Corporation Bus, (That famous bus route that wound through the streets of Belfast from the Gasworks to the Waterworks) alighting at the Waterworks.
Continue reading Photo-Essay – A Walk in the Park.