Sunday, 31 July 2016

Blue Trail Walk

Today is a Jazz in the Garden day at Mount Stewart, the National Trust's beautiful property on the Ards Peninsula, County Down.

However, my purpose was to walk the brand new Blue Trail.

This new trail doesn't officially open until next Wednesday, I gather, though visitors are being treated to a preview.


The trail passes a field of barley and a derelict cottage with a rusty corugated iron roof.

I searched for the ruins of an ancient church in a field close to the Glen, though all I could find were several large stones.


The trail meanders through lovely woodland till it joins the Red Trail at a junction which leads to The Folly, where I lunched this afternoon.

I sat on a wooden chair in the folly, had a beaker of tea, and ate my fresh fruit.


Thence I walked along the track, past a wild-flower meadow with cornflowers, past the old piggery, and back to my car.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Gloucesters in Ulster

Wednesday, 27th July, 2016.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester attended the Clogher Valley Show, Augher, County Tyrone, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone, Mr Robert Scott OBE.

Their Royal Highnesses visited Enniskillen Airport, County Fermanagh, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Fermanagh, the Viscount Brookeborough.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Barr Hall Bay

I spent the morning with a number of other National Trust Strangford Lough volunteers at a field beside Barr Hall Bay today.

Bar Hall Bay is located near the southern tip of the Ards Peninsula in County Down.

We were cutting Dock and Ragwort.


I spotted a bee nest (top) and if you look closely you'll see two bees emerging or hovering at the entrance.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Gloucesters in Fermanagh

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have arrived in Northern Ireland for a two-day visit to counties Fermanagh and Tyrone.


This afternoon TRH visited Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, to mark Four Centuries of Service to Education, and were received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of County Fermanagh (the Viscount Brookeborough).

TRH were greeted by the Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA, First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Weir MLA, Minister for Education, the Right Rev John McDowell, Lord Bishop of Clogher, and Neil Morton OBE MA, Headmaster of Portora.

Their Royal Highnesses later visited Waterways Ireland, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen.

The Duke of Gloucester afterwards presented The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service to Ballinamallard United Football Club, 70 Enniskillen Road, Ballinamallard, Enniskillen.

The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened the Sensory Garden at Killadeas Day Care Centre, Lackaghboy Road, Lackaghboy, Enniskillen, and was received by Mr Roland Eadie (Deputy Lieutenant of County Fermanagh).

where they were greeted by the Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA, First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Weir MLA, Minister for Education, the Right Rev John McDowell, Lord Bishop of Clogher, and Neil Morton OBE MA, Headmaster of Portora.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Green Island

Braddock Island

Today was another fine summer's day in County Down.

I motored down to Killinchy, turned left at Balloo House, and travelled over the drumlins to Strangford Lough Yacht Club at Whiterock.

There were about ten of us today - National Trust volunteers - and we were going to Green Island and Inisharoan Island.


Half of us, including myself, spent some time on Green Island, not far from Ringhaddy.

There is another Green Island closer to Killyleagh.

We embarked at the jetty at Whiterock and motored past Braddock Island, where the Andrews' have a holiday home. St Patrick's Flag flew proudly.

Sir Dennis Faulkner, CBE, brother of the Lord Faulkner of Downpatrick (Brian Faulkner, last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland) lives near by at Ringhaddy.

Sir William Hastings, CBE, and Lady Hastings also live near by, on Simmy Island.

Green Island is very small, probably about fifteen acres, with a hill at the top.

On the eastern side, opposite Great Minnis's Island, there is - or was - a pond.


It had become totally overgrown, so our task was to commence digging it out in preparation for livestock.

The entire island is overwhelmed with thick grass and undergrowth, so cattle are required to control the growth.


I lunched most contentedly on home-made chicken and stuffing sandwiches, with redcurrant jelly, on buttered wholemeal bread.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

New DL

APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY LIEUTENANT

The Earl of Caledon KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, has been pleased to appoint:
Mr Simon Thomas Alexander DOUGAN
Ballydougan
Portadown
County Armagh
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, his Commission bearing date the 5th day of July, 2016.

Signed:

Lord Lieutenant of the County

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mermaid Kitchen


I've had mixed weather at Portballintrae, one of the Province's seaside resorts on the Causeway Coast in County Antrim.

Earlier I motored into Portrush, arguably our principal resort, and made the customary beeline for the celebrated Ramore group of restaurants at the harbour.

They must have five or six distinctive restaurants, included the latest, Neptune & Prawn, across the road.

The Wine Bar was very busy and buzzing, as ever. 

I heard the patrons in front of me in the queue being advised that they might have to wait 45 minutes for a suitable table.


It was suggested that I go upstairs to The Mermaid Kitchen and Bar.

I was shown to a low counter at the bar, table-height, where one has a good view of the staff making cocktails.


Tonight I opted for the Royal Fish Pie, comprising scallops, prawns, cod, salmon and lobster, served with a rich, creamy Thermidor sauce and a medley of fresh vegetables.

 I enjoyed it. 


For pudding I had the salted caramel and toffee tart with chantilly cream and chocolate; another good choice, not too heavy and delicious.

The bill came to £1.40 for tomato juice; £14.95, the seafood pie; and the pudding, £5.95.

New PC

The First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA, has been appointed a Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council.

House of Alexander

The elder branch of this family was ennobled in 1663 by the title of EARL OF STIRLING, in the person of WILLIAM ALEXANDER, of Menstrie, secretary of state for Scotland in the reign of CHARLES I.

His lordship's ancestor,

ANDREW ALEXANDER, of Londonderry, was attainted, in 1689, by the parliament in Dublin held by JAMES II after his abdication.

From him descended

NATHANIEL ALEXANDER, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William McClintock, of Dunmore, County Donegal, and had issue,
William;
Robert;
JAMES, of whom presently;
Eliza.
The youngest son,

JAMES ALEXANDER, having filled several important offices in India, was elevated to the peerage, in 1790, by the title of Baron Caledon, of Caledon, County Tyrone.

In 1797, his lordship was advanced to the dignity of Viscount Alexander.

In 1800, this nobleman was further advanced to the dignity of an earldom, as EARL OF CALEDON.

In 1774, he had married Anne, second daughter of James Crawford, of Crawfordsburn, County Down, and had issue,

DUPRÉ ALEXANDER, 2nd Earl; Knight of St Patrick (KP); Lord-Lieutenant of County Tyrone; colonel, Tyrone Militia.

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Frederick James Alexander, styled Viscount Alexander (b. 1990).
Seat ~ Caledon Castle, County Tyrone.
Town residence (19th century) - 5 Charlton House Terrace, London.

The town residence of the 7th and present Earl is 3 Petyt Place, London, SW3. 

The Caledon Papers are deposited at PRONI.

Caledon arms courtesy of European Heraldry.   First published in March, 2012.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Rt Hon

RIGHT HONOURABLE

To my knowledge, the prefix "Right Honourable" (usually abbreviated to "Rt Hon") is historically and traditionally accorded to all peers and peeresses of the third, fourth and fifth degrees, viz. Earl, Viscount, and Baron.

Members of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council - Privy Counsellors - are styled "Right Honourable".

If a peer is also a privy counsellor, the letters "PC" follow their title.

The Lord Mayors of London and York have been styled "The Right Honourable" since time immemorial.

Other lord mayors are so styled only when granted this privilege by The Sovereign: these are Belfast and Cardiff.

The Lord Provosts of Edinburgh and Glasgow are also styled "Right Honourable".

The remainder of lord mayors are styled "Right Worshipful".