Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - September 23


Wood you like to go?

A renowned local woodturner, whose work is owned by Royalty, takes to his lathe this weekend (Saturday, September 25), revealing what inspires his unique wood-shaping, at the next ‘Meet the Maker’ event in Ards Crafts.

Mike Miall’s work is now in the hands of the Prince of Wales, after the heir to the throne received a bowl made by Mike using Mount Stewart yew during a recent visit to the property. He becomes the latest local craftsperson to put his work and himself on display to the public, revealing the inspirations, processes and techniques he uses to create his innovative designs in which he uses both native and other specially selected wood.

A specially selected range of Mike’s work will be on show between 11am and 4pm and the artist will be talking about and demonstrating his work in two sessions at 12.30pm and 2pm.

Mike has been running his business Glenkeen Chairs from 2000, when he began creating handmade Windsor chairs and stools, as well as turning other smaller wooden pieces for the home, from his workshop just outside Portaferry.

Heather Parker, Craft Development Manager with Ards Borough Council said: “This Saturday brings yet another opportunity for people to meet one of our talented local crafts people, see him at work, talk to him about his woodturning techniques and also purchase a piece of his work.”

‘Meet The Maker’ takes place on the last Saturday of every month between April and November in Ards Crafts, 31 Regent Street, Newtownards (entrance via the Tourist Information Centre). Admission is free, although places for the scheduled talks and demonstrations are limited.

To book a place or to find out more about the event, log onto or contact Ards Crafts on 028 9182 6846, or email


The taste of tweet success

Tweeting, bloggingFacebook, Twitterdoing business through social networking is daunting to many people.

But not so to local entrepreneur John Richardson, who not only managed to play a par round of golf within a year, (a challenge that meant taking 33 strokes off his typical weekend golf game) but then went on to drive the book he wrote about it to the number one spot on Amazon’s golf chart!

How did he do it? John’s tweets and blogs gave him a new and powerful way to interact with potential customers so that well before the traditional media push to promote the book began he was driving sales.

By embracing different social media platforms John not only got to the number one spot in the UK but also conquered the States and beyond — his book has just reached No 1 status on

An entertaining and energetic speaker and author, who regularly advises businesses on their social media strategy, John Richardson can inspire and encourage any company to embrace new communication models.

He will share his expertise on using social media to increase publicity and profits at the SIGNAL Business Breakfast on Tuesday, September 28, at the SIGNAL Centre of Business Excellence, Bangor. The event begins at 8:30am.

To find out more or register contact or 9147 3788.

Time to get fresh

Bangor Castle Leisure Centre will be hosting the FRESH programme from the end of September and interested young people are invited to join up.

FRESH is a free, community-based, healthy lifestyle programme for overweight 12-14 year olds.

The programme runs twice a week for 12 weeks, and incorporates two separate hours of physical activity and one hour of practical information on a healthy lifestyle and feeling good about yourself. Activities can include games, dodge ball, gym and basketball to name a few.

The programme has had positive results and as well as being thoroughly enjoyable. Young people have lost centimetres from their waist as well as improving their self-esteem.

Other FRESH programmes in Ards, Belfast, Lisburn and Downpatrick will follow over the next few months.

For further information contact the FRESH team on 028 90 944500


Open university comes to Belfast

The Open University in Ireland is giving you the opportunity to access information about its courses, qualifications and world-leading study approach at an information and advice desk in Belfast Central Library on Thursday, September 23, between 6pm and 8pm.

Offering over 570 inspirational courses, The Open University provides high-quality university education to all — ranging from certificates, diplomas, degrees and professional qualifications.

The Open University provides flexible support, tailored to the needs of the individual student and their area of study and no formal qualifications are necessary for most undergraduate courses.

For further information all 028 9024 5025, or log on to

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