Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - September 16


Library celebrates age week

Finaghy Library will be one of the 31 libraries in Northern Ireland celebrating Age NI’s ‘itea and biscuits’ week.

Libraries NI is inviting people aged 65 plus to be part of this year’s ‘itea and biscuits’ week which will take place from Monday September 20 to Sunday September 26. The free 45 minute IT sessions at Finaghy Library will take place at 6pm and 6.45pm on Monday September 20 and at the same times on Wednesday September 22.

The sessions aim to introduce some of the 6.4 million people aged 65 and over who have never been online to the internet and other digital technology.

During these events, participants will enjoy a taster IT session in the relaxed and welcoming environment of their local library.

These sessions will help participants understand computers and show them how to get online, search the internet and maybe even send an email.

Valerie Nicholson, Libraries NI’s Adult Learning Services manager, explains: “The sessions are the perfect opportunity to try out new things in a relaxed and fun way.

“From computers and the internet to mobile phones and digital cameras there is sure to be something that meets the needs of even those who are confused by technology!”

To sign up to these itea and biscuits week IT taster sessions in Finaghy Library, telephone 028 9050 9214 or email

For a comprehensive list of itea and biscuits week events taking place in Northern Ireland libraries, call into your local library, visit or or telephone 0800 169 2081.

To enjoy a host of free membership benefits, including free computer and internet use, join your local library.


Teatimes a treat

Learning disability charity Mencap is delighted to announce the launch of a new fundraising initiative that may just be the ‘yummiest way to fundraise’.

‘Tea with Me’ will be asking the public to hold their very own quaint tea party, full of tea, cake and chat, to raise funds for people with a learning disability here in Northern Ireland.

Readers are invited to the formal launch of the ‘Tea with Me’ initiative at the stunning boutique B&B, Maryville House (Lisburn Road, Belfast) on Thursday September 30 at 3pm — set to be a delectable afternoon tea in style.

Lorna Patterson, area fundraising manager for Mencap, said: “Tea with Me is a unique event that brings friends and family together in a fun environment and it can be as big as you like.

“Not only will you be raising vital funds for Mencap, but it is a fantastic way of treating you and your guests; you could even theme your party.

“We can provide a fundraising pack for your event – full of tips for a fun day, invitations to send to your guests and posters. Tea with Me is open to everyone and the fundraising team for Northern Ireland will support you every step of the way.”

For more information on the launch or to find out how you can hold your own Tea with Me party, contact Lorna Patterson on 028 9069 0166 or email Also visit

Tickets for the launch event are £10.


Why not drop in?

The drop-in centre at the former Ulsterville Presbyterian Church is a popular stop for many south Belfast residents.

You can drop in for a chat and free tea or coffee every Wednesday from 10am until 4pm.

The drop-in is run by the South Belfast Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Also on Wednesdays from 7pm until 9pm you have the opportunity to attend a free English class with a qualified teacher. You can get more information by contacting Keith by telephone 07846699554.


A bridge too art

You may have noticed the unusual figures on the Tates Avenue bridge of late.

They ‘found their way there’ through a community arts project that Belfast City Council ran through the New Belfast Arts Initiative that identified potential projects for the Arts Council’s Re-Imaging Programme.

The council secured funding and artists David McClelland and David Dudgeon were commissioned to carry out workshops with local groups and develop designs for the bridge.

Meetings were held in Olympia Community Centre and Grapevine readers were asked to submit ideas.

Belfast City Council had designated facilitator Marie-Louise Gormley.

It was decided to create male and female sculptures on the bridge to represent local workers as well as have train sculptures.

Billy Dickson from Blackstaff Community Development Association (BCDA) said: “A photograph submitted by BCDA was used for the image of the man.

“The BCDA also asked that the time-line mural at the archway should depict local characters such as 'Andy from Broadway' (Andy Farlan) with his pram and Rev William Maguire with his bike.

“An amusing point is that the trains were originally planned to face uphill, as if leaving the area. This was objected to by BCDA who wanted to see the trains, as it were, entering the area. This was agreed by the artist. Work recently started preparing the bridge walls for the two train sculptures.”

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