Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - December 30


Are you mensa material?

Mensa is offering the people of Belfast a chance to find out their own score and to see if they can also join the 23,000 other members of The High IQ Society.

A supervised IQ test session has been organised on Saturday, January 22 (10am) at Stranmillis University College for anyone interested in finding out their own IQ score for just £17.50.

To reserve a place on the test you can book online by visiting the IQ Test section of the Mensa website at Alternatively you can contact Helen Oliver on 01902 772 771 or email for more information.

Everyone who scores within the top two per cent of the population is invited to join Mensa. More information about Mensa and IQ testing can be found via the Mensa website at

Free gift for cat owners

Attention all Belfast cat owners, give your cat the gift of neutering this holiday period — for free.

Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, is offering all Belfast cat owners the unique opportunity to have their cat neutered completely free.

The offer is open to all residents living within the BT1-BT16 postcode region and will run for a limited time only — so it’s ‘first come, first served’.

Northern Ireland campaigns manager for Cats Protection Janice Watt said: “Last year alone, our small adoption centre received approximately 1,000 calls a week requesting assistance with unwanted cats and kittens — this is a totally unmanageable and the only solution is to neuter.

“It’s the kindest gift a cat owner can give to their cat as it has so many practical and physical benefits for them.”

For more info, contact the Neutering Hotline on 08458 734780 or visit their website

Robert Burns at Linen hall

Belfast’s Linen Hall Library is holding a free exhibition, Burns and Burnsiana, from January 4-31.

The Linen Hall Library holds the unique position of having the most comprehensive Burns collection of material outside of Scotland.

The Library’s Burns Night Celebration on Tuesday, 25 January at 7pm, costs £10 per person. Carrying on a tradition that began in the late 18th century, this is a Burns supper not to be missed featuring ‘Address to a Haggis’, bag pipes and more.

Strangford talk

Also at the Linen Hall Library — Islandmore, Strangford: An Illustrated Talk on Island Life is on Wednesday, January 12, at 6pm. Admission is free and the bountiful and beautiful Strangford area is the focus of this talk, organised by The Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society.

Titanic port

On Tuesday, January 18, the focus at the Linen Hall Library is on Titanic Port — The Illustrated History of Belfast Harbour at 6.30pm for a free talk from author and Belfast Harbour expert Alf McCreary.

WWII veterans urged to apply for funding

Veterans from the Belfast area still have the chance to apply for funding to make special pilgrimages to WWII battlefronts after the programme was extended by the Big Lottery Fund.

The ‘Heroes Return 2’ programme ensures World War Two veterans can make their personal commemorative journeys to the places they saw action.

The extra funding for the scheme will help make sure Belfast veterans still to apply are able to journey in the year ahead to revisit the scenes of WWII events, such as the forthcoming 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.

Joanne McDowell, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI director, said: “The popularity of Heroes Return is reflected in the many emotional letters we have received from veterans and their families. It is clear how valuable these journeys are in helping veterans come to terms with traumatic events and experiences and to remember those lost almost 70 years ago.”

Brian Maguire, Northern Ireland manager of the Royal British Legion, said: “The Heroes Return 2 programme gives World War Two veterans the opportunity to go back and pay tribute to those comrades who did not return. I would encourage our veterans who have not yet applied to the programme to do so.”

War widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible, and carers and spouses can also receive funding to travel with veterans. For more information on how to apply call 0845 00 00 121 or visiting

Hike your way to health

You are invited to take part in the Belfast Hill’s Partnership New Year’s walk of Divis and Black mountain on Saturday, January 8. Kicking off at 10am and finishing at 1pm, begin 2011 as you mean to go on — shed the season’s excesses and feel good again.

Adults £2, children £1 and ‘Friends of the Belfast Hills’ go free. The walk’s starting point is at Divis car park, 12 Divis Road. To register your interest contact Belfast Hills Partnership on 9060 3466 or email|


First aid course

Newtownabbey Borough Council is hosting a Community Capacity Programme — Emergency First Aid For Appointed Persons from 6pm-9pm on January 18 and 25 at Mossley Mill. It’s free to take. Upon completion of the course you can be the appointed person for your group/organisation to take charge of the first aid arrangements, including looking after the equipment and facilities, and calling the emergency services when required. For information contact Lois: 9034 0208.

Sleeping beauty

Sleeping Beauty is on at the Courtyard Theatre, Doagh Road, Newtownabbey, from Friday, January 14 until Saturday, January 22. The Dove Drama group once again bring you lots of music and laughter when they present their annual pantomime. Prices: £8 & £5 concession. Tickets available at the door.

Belfast Telegraph


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