Night At The Museum – Should you be afraid?

Every nook and cranny of North Down Museum will be filled with Arts activity to experience, participate in or observe. Stumble upon Arts in every space from the Viking Room to the Cinema. Participate in clay work, printmaking, drawing activities and painting or just sit back and enjoy some good music. This is an event for all the family!
We will be open throughout the event for yummy light refreshments.

Sounds Fishy

Sometimes a notice appears, you are not too sure when but you ignore it. Then one day it catches your eye.

Belfast Corporation act 1930 prohibiting the gathering of shellfish from the shores of Belfast Lough due to the risk of contamination by sewage pollution.

Also the warning of the risk due to incoming tides, perhaps an unusual occurrence which we need to be made aware off.

However, it is the risk of sewage pollution that is the most startling. Given the millions spent on sewage treatment works, not to mention the other millions spent on storm water management I would have thought that problem was well and truly sorted.

Anyone for a swim?

Never Ending Story

Yet again the pavement lights on Bangor’s Main Street are receiving attention. There must come a time when the maintenance costs of the lights exceeds the original cost of installation. Money is not so much being thrown down the drain but down the footpath, is it time to end this never ending cycle of expenditure and admit this lighting project has been abject failure?

Either do the job right or admit defeat.

Post Office Queue Unacceptable

Queueing is a part of modern life, but when does it become unacceptable? Certainly I felt this was so at Post Office on Main Street. The queue stretched outside the inner door when I joined, but immediately afterwards reached the outer door. Surely by any yardstick this is unacceptable.

For elderly folk and those with mobility issues standing for such extended periods can literally be a pain and presents an unacceptable face of customer service from Post Office. Since privatisation Post Office overriding concern is for profit , service to its customers is a mere inconvenience and it shows.

It is somewhat ironic that whilst Post office takes on more banking functions, perhaps one reason for extended queues,   Ulster Bank is to close which can only exasperate the situation.  Perhaps like the banks, Post Office would rather we did everything online. Never to darken their door, not sure how that is going to work with letters and parcels! Is that an Amazon drone is see hovering outside my front door?

Must always finish with “our postmen are wonderful”

Imposing Structure on Coastal Path.

Having not visited the coastal path for a while I was somewhat shocked to see this imposing structure under construction in close proximity. Couldn’t help asking myself how did it receive planning permission without the usual uproar from local rag, FABB and the rest. Unclear at this stage how tall the finished product will be but it certainly seems substantial. Blot on the landscape?

Another death on the A2

On Monday 23 January the A2 claimed another life. Another family ripped apart by this killer road, when will it end?

Politicians are understandably shocked and saddened by this fatality calling for investment along the A2 which carries 45,000 vehicles per day.

Transport NI are called upon to take steps which will lead to improved safety and to stop further tragedies occurring. Honourable sentiment where it not for the fact that the A2 is tinkered out and needs to be replaced.

When an accident does occur and the road closed the surrounding country roads are overwhelmed causing widespread misery as far as Ards where already at capacity roads are swamped..

As we have seen from the RHI scandal money can be conjured from nowhere to feed such schemes. The brutal truth is the A2 needs to be replaced something that can only be achieved with political will. As we saw with the terrorism in our province there appeared to be an acceptable level of violence, similarly, there appears to be an acceptable level of death on the A2. Only when this mindset changes will we see the badly needed alternative. Until then the condolences from our politicians will continue.

Better Representation?

Down Hospital, County Down
Down Hospital, County Down

Recently I made my first visit to Down Hospital, Downpatrick. A remarkable facility in what was probably a green field side on the other side of Downpatrick from ourselves.

Contains an emergency department, day procedure, cataract, Children’s,  and many many more. In addition there is provision of Doctors and Dentist surgery.  It even has a shop of sorts and a restaurant.

It is however, a long drive from Bangor and would require a number of bus journeys perhaps even a taxi service. Only suitable, for us, if there is personal transport available.

We in Bangor have by contrast a closed, never to open again hospital. Patients are forced to travel, in case of Downe, some considerable distance for treatment. Considering the population of Bangor and surrounding areas it is simply scandalous that such a facility is not available on our doorstep.

But it does beg the question as to who receives the Better Representation from the respective politicians?

Better never than late?

grass-cutting

Grass cutting is under way along Bangor’s ring road. So what you say, that is as it should be. Trouble is that it’s some months to late, the grass should have been mown over the summer when it was at its peak. At that time our roads were in a disgraceful state, weeds everywhere. Put simply it was an embarrassment to our town, we can only imagine what our visitors thought.

Now it appears the mechanisms of government are in action, but is it too little too late? The weeds have already gone to seed ensuring a bumper crop next year. The grass has already fallen back ready for winter.

Weeds and grass are now firmly established within every crevice on our roadside leaving it, in places, impossible to distinguish the division between road and verge. It is a future maintenance nightmare.

So why cut now when all is lost, the only people to gain are those at the receiving end of the contract. If the money was available why was it not spent when needed? Or, were the roads in other areas simply more important.

 

Streets paved with gold

wjm_2759

Yet again the money flows to Kilcooley, this time in the form of a proposed £80,000 new play park. We will all agree that money allocated towards playgrounds for children is money well spent. But I believe there is already provision in Kilcooley, at least two playgrounds.

Over the years I have tried to be advised on the sum total of money flowing into kilcooley but cannot be told, certainly the streets should be paved with gold by now and a child’s playground on every corner. If not where are the millions going?

However the main thrust of my concern, as it has always been, is the inequality of funding especially towards the Abbey area now part of Bangor Central.  Shipperstone Hall has received a new roof yet what was really needed was extra space. What electors, or other visitors, will have noticed is that is simply a one room affair and cannot accommodate two events at once.

The Skipperstone playground is a meagre affair fitted into a corner adjacent to the hall and without the protective fencing evident in other areas. It is well used, I visited it four times to take the above photo without children, (even then this girl turned up but the time I got out of the car).

Perhaps it is time for a redistribution of wealth!

Considerate Constructors?

considerate In today’s world it is sometimes difficult to be sure where responsibility lies. In a given contract with perhaps many sub contractors confusion can reign.

The new sewage works in Castle Park could be an example. The boarding displays a very prominent banner proclaiming that the works are being carried out by a Considerate Constructor who protects the environment.

Such catchy logos are perhaps the norm in the corporate world suggesting a cosy relationship with the client which is sometimes open to interpretation. “Every little hurts” is perhaps an example.

“Considerate constructors protect the environment” Yet, a centuries old tree was felled to make way for the project. Considerate or what?