Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - December 30


Recycling over the festive season

The council's household recycling centres have published their holiday arrangements over the festive period.

The centre will be closed on Saturday January 1. It will be open again on Monday, January 3, 2011.



Care to join a networking group set up by Bangor artists and creatives to share your ideas, opportunities and have a bit of banter? Anyone can join, all are welcome and you don’t need to live in Bangor, (though it does help for the monthly meets.)

The group try to meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays (hence firsty) of the month for a pint, or a coffee, or a pint of coffee at The Rabbit Rooms in Bangor — whatever tickles your fancy. It's up to members to organise themselves, using their Facebook group. There's a monthly emailed newsletter, written by a different member each issue.

It's about being friendly and getting us all out of the house.

To join the Facebook group type Firsty? into your Facebook search engine.


Birdwatching, Castle Espie

This Thursday, December 30, sees a Birdwatch Morning at Castle Espie, outside Comber.

It begins at 10.30am, admission is adult: £5.55 concession: £4.23,child: £2.77 (4 -16 years) family: £15.00 (2 adults & 2 children, 4 - 16 years)

T: 028 9187 4146 or see

New Year’s day walks

On New Years Day there will be tours, at Castle Espie at 12pm and 3pm

Normal admission charges apply (as for birdwatching, above)

New Year's Day will also see a Winter Woodland Walk at Mount Stewart, just outside Newtownards.Children and dogs welcome.

The walk is from 2 - 3.30pm.

Admission: Adult £10, child £3, family £22 (2 adults & 2 children) (Hot drink included). Not suitable for children under 7 years.

T: 028 4278 8387


Are you mensa material?

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

A supervised IQ test session has been organised on Saturday 22 January (10.00am) 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 Christmas — 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 their Neutering Hotline on 08458 734780 or visit their website

Robert Burns at Linenhall

Belfast’s Linenhall 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 £10per 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 Linenhall 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 Linenhall 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.

Donaghadee’s Laurel Cottage publishing company will be giving a presentation on Thursday 20 January at 6pm.Laurel Cottage is a small family run publishing company which publishes books under the imprints Cottage Publications and Ballyhay Books.

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