Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - June 22


Summer Saturdays

The summer entertainment programme will see live street theatre at The Sunken Gardens every Saturday in June and every Saturday and Sunday in July and August (from 3pm to 5pm).

There will also be live music at The Bandstand in Ward Park every Sunday from 3pm to 5pm during July and August. So keep an eye out in local Press each week for details of the upcoming artists.

For more info, Bangor TIC: (028) 9127 0069or

Cockle row cottages

The Cockle Row Cottages are now open daily with a fantastic entertainment programme which includes a dynamic new exhibition representing the history of Groomsport.

The new exhibition tells the story of the village, from the origins of its name to the history of its settlers including the arrival of Scot settlers in 1606, the sailing of the Eagle Wing in 1636 for America and the landing of the Duke of Schomberg.

Situated in the beautiful village of Groomsport, just 10 minutes from Bangor, the lovingly restored Cockle Row Cottages recreate a typical fisherman's dwelling, complete with settle (the old name for settee), baby's cradle, fire crane and open fire and fishermen's baskets.

The cottages are not only a fantastic historical attraction but also a Tourist Information Centre and gift shop, stocking a selection of paintings, local crafts, pottery and souvenirs throughout the summer.

The cottages are also host to a programme of free family entertainment every weekend with activities from balloon modelling and crafts to stilt walking.

The Cockle Row cottages are open daily throughout June, July and August with free family entertainment from 2pm to 4pm every weekend.

To stay up to date with events and activities in North Down sign up to the North Down Tourism Ezine by visiting or contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 email

Summer sports

Don't forget North Down sports department has summer fun activities — for a timetable go to


Secret service

Spies and Servicemen: Secrets Revealed!

The secrets of spies and servicemen will be revealed this month (June 25) when the author of the first — and only — authorised history of MI6 gives a lecture in Newtownards.

Keith Jeffrey, a professor of British History at Queen’s University, was given unprecedented access to the archives at MI6 to research his book The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, which chronicles the first 40 years of the UK’s foreign intelligence service and was published last year to great critical acclaim.

He will also reflect on the realities of espionage and discuss the extent to which the ‘real’ James Bond might match the very famous fictional character.

The lecture, Spies and servicemen: MI6 and the armed forces, takes place in the Somme Centre, Bangor Road, Newtownards, on Saturday, June 25, at 4pm. Admission is free, but by ticket only from Ards Borough Council, 2 Church Street, Newtownards, Tel: 028 9182 4017, E:

Kircubbin snappers

A local camera club has mounted a new exhibition of work, showing images from places as far apart as the Ards peninsula and Peru.

Kircubbin Digital Camera Club will be displaying examples of photographs taken by its members while at home and abroad in exotic locations such as India, Australia, South Africa and Machu Picchu in Peru, in the exhibition at Ards Tourist Information Centre in Newtownards.

The exhibition runs until June 26, after which it moves to Portaferry Tourist Information Centre for one week. It will return again to Portaferry from August 1 to August 5.

For further information contact the Tourist Information Centre, Regent Street, Newtownards ,on 028 9182 6846 or call Kathleen at the Digital Camera Club, tel: 028 4273 8230.

War time heritage appeal

Can you help the Somme Heritage Centre (near Newtownards), in their bid to preserve heritage?

Together, the University of the Third Age (U3A), an international educational organisation run by and for retired people which has 5,000 members province-wide, and the Somme Heritage Centre, are now looking for memories and memorabilia.

If you have information or memorabilia which would help the Somme Heritage Centre , ring 028 9146 2043 or 028 9145 9644.

Cream tea indulgence

Treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon cream tea in the stunning surroundings of Castle Ward, near Downpatrick, which throws open the doors to Lord Bangor’s suite, weekends only, until July 10 and weekends in September. Home made scones, the creamiest clotted cream and mouth-watering fruit preserves, fruit cake and delicate finger sandwiches await the discerning palate, all washed down with the finest Early Grey tea or coffee.

Cream Teas are available in the Bangor Suite weekends only, until July 10 and weekends in September, with sittings at 2pm, 3pm and 4 pm.

Up to 20 people can have a cream tea at any one time. Cost is £7 per person plus normal admission to Castle Ward. Bookings are preferable to avoid disappointment.

For further information contact the tea-room on 028 4488 1015 from 11am to 5pm daily.

Music and fireworks display

Put Saturday July 2 in your diary for Groomsport’s annual music and fireworks display.

This free event has all the elements for a fantastic evening out with three top-class live music acts, food & drinks available on-site, a funfair for children. The evening will conclude when an amazing Motown-themed fireworks display will illuminate the night sky.

Headline act The Soul Foundation will be one of the acts featured on the night.

The event kicks off at 7pm and will conclude at 11pm with a magnificent fireworks display.

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