Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - January 5


Event to inspire group trip organisers

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is calling all group trip organisers to attend a ‘Days Out Fair’ on Saturday January 29 designed to showcase the best that Northern Ireland has to offer with great ideas for day trips and group visits.

The event at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum will cater for group organisers from all walks of life from church groups to sports and social clubs, community groups to retirement associations, from gardening groups to Rotary clubs and many more; with each group that registers being offered two free tickets to attend. Free transport will also be provided on a first come, first served basis by local members of the Federation of Passenger Transport NI.

Elaine Groves, NITB Product Marketing Officer feels this unique event offers a great opportunity for those in charge of group travel to be inspired.

She said: “We want to showcase the best that Northern Ireland has to offer group day trips. We have such a wealth of beautiful gardens, historic monuments, cultural experiences, heritage sites and special interest tours, some of which may be unfamiliar to many people.

“Our aim at this event is to inspire people to visit somewhere that is new to them or to rediscover places that they may not have been to in many years and to provide useful advice on how to organise a successful group outing.”

Those wishing to register should contact the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 028 9044 1506 or email


Advanced driving

Whether you have recently passed your “L” test (congratulations) or been driving for years — would you like to improve and develop your skills and techniques, increase your confidence in dealing with road situations and become a safer driver?

You can do all of these by taking a course of Advanced Driving with the North Down Advanced Motorists, your local group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. Each year they run two courses (February to June and September to December). These consist of short presentations on aspects of advanced driving together with one-to-one mentoring “on the road” to help you develop your skills and confidence.

In addition we have monthly “Group Nights” with activities covering speakers on a range of motoring related topics, visits and fun “hands-on” experiences. The next session includes slot-car racing on a huge eight-lane track, computer simulator racing and a 4x4 driving experience.

The courses run on Tuesday evenings (normally two per month) with additional driving practice on the Group Nights. Enrolment for the next session is next Tuesday January 11 when they will also be having a talk on aspects of Automotive Design. The venue is the Boathouse in the harbour carpark in Groomsport at 7pm.

And if you are a biker we also have a motorcycling section. For further information visit the website|northdown/ or contact Trevor on 07710 456221.



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.


How do you think we were?

This Sunday (January 9), Castle Espie Wetland Centre will be hosting drop in sessions with Donal Vaughan and his collection of wildlife artefacts from |2-5pm.

Normal admission charge applies: Adult: £5.55 Concession: £4.23 (over 65, full-time students, unemployed) Child: £2.77 (4 -16 years) Family: £15.00 (2 adults & 2 children, 4 - 16 years).

For further information call 028 9187 4146 or visit their website

karting meeting

This Saturday (January 8) from 10am to 3pm, a short circuit karting meeting organised by the 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland will take place at Kirkistown Racing circuit ( 130 Rubane Road, Kircubbin.

It is to feature direct drive junior and senior classes and is round number 32 of a four round Kirkistown Karting Winter series.

Admission free. For further information call 028 4277 1325 or 028 9186 1429|


Library times

Due to the planned refurbishment works Holywood library will be closed this week (January 4- 8). Bangor Carnegie Library and Dundonald library will be operating as normal.

Bangor Carnegie Library opening times

Monday 9am to 9pm

Tuesday 9am to 9pm

Wednesday 9am to 9pm

Thursday 9am to 10pm

Friday 9amto 5pm

Saturday 9am to 5pm

Dundonald Library

Monday 1pm to 8pm

Tuesday 10am to 6pm

Wednesday 1pm to 8pm

Thursday 10am to 6pm

Friday 10am to 5pm

Saturday 10am to 1pm

Holywood library re-opens next week, Monday January 10.

Opening hours are as follows:

Monday 9.30am to 8pm ,

Tuesday 9.30am to 8pm

Wednesday 9.30am to 5pm ,

Thursday 9.30am to 8pm

Friday 9.30am to5pm

Saturday 10amto 5pm

Belfast Telegraph


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