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On the grapevine - May 5


Take note of music

Take note — Music in the Parks is back in Belfast from next month.

The annual Festival of Champions band concert at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park starts the season for Music in the Parks which runs from May 8 until September 18.

It takes place from 2pm-5pm in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park next Sunday, May 8. Among those displaying their skills are the Ormeau Concert Band, Blaris Accordion Band, Kellswater Flute Band and 1st Old Boys’ Silver Band will play during the afternoon.

Organiser, Alice Blennerhassett, said: “Throughout the summer over 60 band performances will take place in parks across Belfast. The bands cover all musical tastes and add to the relaxed atmosphere in parks.”

Music in the Park programmes can be found at several Belfast City Council outlets or by visiting our website www.belfastcity.gov.uk/parks Alternatively you can call 9091 8768 to obtain a copy.

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Zip wire challenge

Every participant counts in the Lagan zip-line challenge next month to raise funds to provide hours of valuable Marie Curie nursing care to those in need across Northern Ireland.

On Saturday, May 14, you are invited to take part in this hair-raising challenge — no experience needed. Anyone 14 years and older can get involved though there is a weight restriction of 17 stones.

For more information on the 2011 River Lagan Zip Wire Challenge, register online at www.mariecurie.org.uk/events or for further information call the events team at Marie Curie Cancer Care on 0870 0340 040.


Mobile library

The mobile library operates every Friday between 2.45pm and 3.30pm at Tates Avenue, near Ebor Street.

Billy Dickson, a local resident said: “The mobile library is needed more than ever as the nearest library at Sandy Row closed recently. There is a desire to have a permanent library provision in the area. It's good to see local people — including children — making their way to the mobile library. Books are expensive and many people can't afford them, so this is a very needed service to the public.”


Library blitzes the blitz

IN April and May 1941, Belfast experienced the most brutal air attacks outside of London as Hitler’s Luftwaffe bore down on the unsuspecting citizens causing complete and utter devastation.

The Linen Hall Library, in partnership with the Northern Ireland War Memorial, has just launched an exhibition entitled City in Flames, marking the 70th anniversary of this catastrophic event. City In Flames will run until Thursday, June 30 and features rarely seen photographs of the aftermath, Air Raid Patrol reports, video footage and other ephemera which captures some of the city’s darkest days.

For further information visit their website www.linenhall.com

Plan for your child’s future

MENCAP is holding a free Planning for the Future seminar in Belfast next month to offer advice to parents on making financial plans for their child with a learning disability when they are no longer around. At the Mencap seminar, an independent local legal professional specialising in wills and trusts will talk about the options for how best to leave money in a will to a loved one with a learning disability, ensuring they get the best financial support they are entitled to.

The seminar will take place at Grosvenor House, 5 Glengall Street on Thursday, May 12 from, 10am to 12noon.

These seminars are always very popular, so please book your place(s) as soon as possible by contacting Breda Connolly on 028 9069 0164 or email breda.connolly@mencap.org.uk


‘in her shoes’ charity walk

A LOCAL group who support the international development charity VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) is urging the people of Belfast to get involved in VSO’s In Her Shoes. This will be a fun and friendly charity walk open to everyone on Sunday, May 15, to help raise vital funds for VSO’s maternal healthcare work in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The walk will start at 2pm from the Belvoir Forest entrance, near the car park. Belvoir Forest is on the outskirts of the city and is easily accessible. The route is through the forest along marked paths. There are two parts to the trail: the Lagan Trail (2.5km) and the Meadows Trail (3km). Participants can decide to do one or both walks. The layout is such that the start and finish of each trail meet at the point where there will a reception at the end.

Locals who join the walk can follow the examples of; the queen of daytime TV Lorraine Kelly (with her ITV morning show Lorraine), highly accomplished BBC Newsnight and News presenter Emily Maitlis, famous comedy writer and actress Miranda Hart (known for her award-winning BBC 2 sitcom Miranda) in personalising footwear for VSO’s In Her Shoes.

The walk’s other purpose is to increase peoples’ awareness about the large number of women who die every day in Africa and Asia from child birth or pregnancy related issues.

To add to the fun, participants are being encouraged to be imaginative, go glitzy and decorate the walking shoes they’ll be wearing on the big day.

Walkers can get some inspiration by checking out Emily Maitlis, Miranda Hart, Beverley Knight and Zoe Wanamaker’s footwear designs for In Her Shoes, by logging onto www.inhershoes.org.uk.


Music in may

An evening of music and song featuring Queens Island Victoria Male Choir & Fiddlers Galore is set to take place in Whiteabbey Methodist Church this Friday, May 6. The venue is Shore Road, Whiteabbey, and doors open from 7.30pm. Proceeds raised from the evening are in aid of church halls building fund.

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