Friday, 25 August 2017

QUEEN ANNE

By the Grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.


First published in September, 2013.

Monday, 21 August 2017

GEORGE I

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.


First published in August, 2013.

Friday, 18 August 2017

New DL

The Earl of Caledon KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of County Armagh, has been pleased to appoint:
Mrs Georgina WALSH
Annasamry
Summer Island
Loughgall
County Armagh
To be a Deputy Lieutenant of the County, her Commission bearing date the 25th July, 2017.

Lord-Lieutenant of the County

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GEORGE II

By the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire

First published in August, 2013.

Monday, 14 August 2017

GEORGE III

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

GEORGE IV

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith

First published in August, 2013.

Dixon Park

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park is located at Dunmurry, County Antrim, now on the outskirts of Belfast.

This fine civic park, originally Wilmont Estate, was conveyed as a gift to the City of Belfast in December, 1959, by Edith, Lady Dixon, DBE, in order to perpetuate the long association of her husband (the Rt Hon Sir Thomas Dixon Bt) and herself with the City.

It comprises 134 acres.


The mansion house of 1859 still stands, in reasonably good condition; though its future seems uncertain, since it lies disused and apparently unwanted by the city fathers.

The surrounding parkland is delightful, with mature trees and woodland, and the River Lagan.


A large section of the grounds is now used for the international rose trials, established in 1964.

The stable block now houses a ground-floor café.

The walled garden is a haven of peace and tranquillity, with a number of park benches donated by the families of deceased loved-ones, their details on metal plaques.

The fruit and vegetables which flourished here are long gone, though some original paths remain and the garden now thrives with fine flora.


On an outside wall of the walled garden, at one corner, there are three mural memorials to pet dogs.

The canine memorial above must have been erected by the Reade family, who sold Wilmont to the Dixons in 1919.

First published in August, 2015.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

VICTORIA

By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India

First published in August, 2013.

Baronscourt Fête


Hard to believe it was two years ago (June, 2015) that I travelled down to Baronscourt, the Duke of Abercorn's stately home in county Tyrone.


A summer fête was taking place within the grounds in order to raise funds for the Woodland Trust's Centenary Woods project, one of four flagship woods being created throughout the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the 1st World War.



I began the day with a visit to Baronscourt House, where there were guided tours by Lord Anthony Hamilton, the Duke's brother.



I had earlier encountered the Duke and Duchess near the stately porte-cochère outside the house. 


Stable-yard entrance

Inside the mansion house, Lord Anthony conducted tours of the principal rooms, including the main hall, the Rotunda, the long gallery at the garden front (the present garden front used to be the entrance front).



There is a charming little children's play house (below) within the formal garden beside the House.



Baronscourt boasts an array of old masters, including portraits by van Dyke and Panini, to mention but a few.


Ducal arms

I reminisced with Lord Anthony about his period as custodian of Florence Court estate, County Fermanagh, during the late 1970s.



At lunch-time I made a beeline for the stable-yard tea-room, where ladies of Baroncourt parish were providing delicious cream teas, sandwiches, and pastries.



Later, I ambled towards a display of army trucks, including one mighty beast which had two bunk-beds behind the driver's seat.



At two o'clock, Peter Archdale conducted an informative woodland walk.



Deep in the woods, there is a replica of a Russian Dacha  (the Duchess is patron of the Pushkin Trust).


Dacha replica



Irish cobs
I left for home at about four-thirty.
First published in June, 2015

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Prince Henry

A photograph of my late father, Major Thomas Ferres TD, being presented to Field Marshal His late Royal Highness The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, KG KT KP GCB GCMG GCVO (1900-74).

Prince Henry was appointed Field Marshal in 1955, so this picture would have been taken at some time in the 50s or early 60s, I think. My father was a captain at the time.

Prince Henry was the third son of King George V and Queen Mary, and thus uncle to Elizabeth II.

He was appointed potential regent for his niece, when his brother (George VI) came to the throne in 1936, and was required to stay in the United Kingdom until she came of age in case her father died and she ascended the throne under age.

HRH served as the 11th Governor-General of Australia, from 1945-47.

At his death, Prince Henry was the last surviving Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick.

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Visiting Card

A gentleman's or lady's visiting card used to be de rigueur in the past; whereas even today, in the Internet Age, they survive in the form of a business card.

Traditionally, visiting cards have been in differing sizes for men and women and I gather that the classic man's size was 3" x 1½".

They were very simply laid out, with merely the name in the centre, often the address at the bottom left, and one's club to the bottom right.

I happen to think that they still serve a useful purpose.


Cognisant of this I searched the Internet for printers who specialize in such cards; and I discovered Blush Publishing, based in Flintshire.

Nobody in Northern Ireland seems to specialize in the kind of products that Blush sells.

I contacted two in County Down and might I suggest that they have a look at the Blush web pages.

They use heavy cotton paper and the cards are printed using the letterpress method with vintage Heidelberg presses.

I can apprise you that I am delighted with my new visiting cards, which is why I'm expressing my appreciation in this article.