Monthly Meetings

,Monthly Meetings:

All members are invited to our Monthly Meetings, we start at 2.00 pm and usually finish around 3.30 pm. A number of venues are currently under consideration, members will be advised on in good time of the selected venue.

Each month we have a guest speaker, who will give a talk on a subject of interest and there is always time to ask questions.  We than  have an update on activities and other events which might be of interest to members.  This is also an opportunity to put forward suggestions or ideas for new activities. Finally, there is the opportunity to meet up and have a chat with other members

Below are the dates for forthcoming meetings and, where speakers have been confirmed, the name of the speaker and the topic they will be covering.

Also listed below are details of some of the speakers we have had over the last couple of years.

If you have any suggestions for speakers who may be of interest to the group, please let us know.

We do not normally have a formal meeting in June but instead arrange a social event ahead of the summer break when we do not meet during July & August.  The December meeting is normally replaced with a seasonal lunch earlier in the month.

Previous Meetings:

25 April 2022

Mary Ward was the subject for speaker Shirley Lennon. Mary Ward was an accomplished artist, scientist, writer and astronomer who spent time at Castle Ward as the wife of Henry Ward, who would go on to become 5th  Viscount Bangor after her tragic death. In an era when women were not expected to have any scientific ability and were rarely educated beyond the domestic sciences, she was a naturalist, astronomer and an early pioneer of the microscope. She was given a microscope as a gift by her parents as a child. As well as her scientific interests, Mary was an accomplished artist and some of her paintings remain at Castle Ward. From her diaries, we get a window into Mary’s life, with important events such as the birth of her children. They also reflect her role in developing their interest in learning. In one diary, the death of one of her children, little more than a baby, is recorded. Mary was born on 27 April 1827, married Henry in 1854, and sadly was killed in an accident in 1869. When Henry became the 5th Viscount, he came to live at Castle Ward, bringing with him many of Mary’s possessions.

28 March 2022

Marian and Frank McGreevy were our speakers this month and they took us on a virtual tour to South Africa. The talk was in two parts, focusing on the flora and fauna in two particular areas. South Africa is similar in size to France and Spain together, so there is great diversity, especially in the flora. However, our tour started with Marian and Frank sharing their experiences when they went on walking safaris, taking in several game reserves and National Parks. Some lovely photographs showed the animals they got to encounter at quite close range, even getting told not to touch on one occasion. There were elephants, giraffe, lions, cheetahs and hyenas. The second part of their talk covered a journey the undertook themselves along the garden route right at the southern tip of the country. Starting out in Capetown, where they visited the Botanic Garden which is now a World Hertiage Site, they made their way eastward, enjoying both the plant and wild life. Again they accompanied their talk with beautiful photos they had taken along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF PREVIOUS SPEAKERS

2007 
Mike KingDown County Museum - Building
Florence McFarlaneU3A Movement
Cathie McKimmDownpatrick Opera Fringe
Terence BowmanLife & Times at Mourne Observer
Dr CampbellSt PatrickÕs Centre & Life of St Patrick
Eddie McGradyLife of an MP
George RiceHistory of Ardglass
2008
Emma ThorpeNorthern Ireland Screen (Historical Film Clips)
Jim ManlyArtist
Yvette ShapiroJournalist & Broadcaster
Senator Maurice HayesCareer
Professor Ronnie BuchananMerchants and Planters
Albert BairdImpact India
Olive BroderickVoluntary Arts Ireland
2009
John KillenLinenhall Library
Clive ScoularSarah Purser Ð The life of
Pat DevlinGenealogy
Ed KilgoreMourne Mountain Rescue Team
Sean NolanThe Story of ÒMy Lagan LoveÓ
Walter LoveLife and Times
2010
Dr Phillip DonaldWorking in Guinea
Iain DavidsonDown Arts Centre
Clive ScoularDr Hans Sloane
2011
Linda McKennaCrime and Punishment in Co Down 18th & 19th Centuries
Jo WhatmoughA Life in Wildlife Conversation
Howard Goslyn18th & 19th Century Plant Collectors
Helen HoneymanA Tour of Iran
Finbar McCormackHistory and Folklore of Holy Wells
Kevin QuinnA Tour of Ireland Through Poetry
2012
Sarah McCandlessPatient & Client Council
Peter McCannRennaisance Art
Madeleine McAlisterHistory of Underwear
Helen HoneymanTravels in Uzbekistan
Avril Milligan (Rowallane)Herbs
Brian KennedyHistory of Modern Irish Art
Janice HolmesA Social History of Down
David ParkWriting
Michael HealyWaste Not, Want Not
2013
Susie MillarTwo New Pennies Ð Grandfather lost on the Titanic
Julian GreenwoodBirds of County Down
Brian BlackSailing in the Artic Ocean
Raymond & Sheila Crea and Maureen KellyTravels in Vietnam and Cambodia
Avril MilliganSpring Plants
Clive ScoularHenry Blackwood
2014
Stuart PollardU3A Trust
Janet McLeanNational Gallery Celebrating 150 years
Roma TomeltyCareer Highlights
David AndersonHospitality at Hillsborough Castle
Diana GledhillTravels in Kamchatka
Julian GreenwoodBirdlife in South of France
2015
Lisa MallonAlzheimerÕs Society
Tony & Rose MurphyTravels in Isreal
Dot BlakelyWater Birds on Quoille
Dr Brian McElroyChiropratric Treatment
Maria NobleHistory of Black People in the British Isles
Susan PriceNepal
Tony McAuleyWriter & Broadcaster
George BusbySecret Listeners of Gilnahirk
Norman KerrHarry Ferguson
2016
Frank McGreevyCamino Walk
Manson BlairThe Sinking of the Titanic Ð the Alternative Story
Alan DrysdaleArds TT Races
Acting Up Group
Rosemary DohertyFather Dan CUmmings
John HannaConfessions of a Collector
Neil PorteousThe Development of Mount Stewart Garden
Marie MullanThe Geneva Window by Harry Clarke
2017
Catherine McAnallenVolunteering Overseas - Any Granny Can
Ernie WilsonMourne Ramblings
Sandy SmithCS Lewis's links with County Down
Alan BucknallPower to our Children
Ernie CromieUlster Aviation Society
Tim CampbellThe St Patrick Way
Anna LoHer Life & Political Career
2018
Samuel ReidThe Dogs Trust
Norman WeatherallHow we used to shop in Belfast
Simon MaltmanCrime Fiction Writer
Sheena WilkinsonHer life story as an author
Gerry MillerCreating a Memoir
2019
Marie Therese Rogers-MoloneyThe Sins of my Mother
Martin CareyMourne Heritage Trust
Richard ParkinsonColditz
Leslie SimpsonRecipes from Down Museum Archive
Maria NobleThe History of Black Music
Richard GillDealing with Scams - Ulster Bank
Nicola MacDougalEnergy Efficiency in the Home
Vicky ChambersUlster Wildlife Trust
2020
Michael McKeagHeraldry
Billy McCulloughLocal Cinemas
Helen HoneymanTravels on the Silk Road
Cecil LowryThe Life of Frank Pantridge
Anne DonnellyNI Film Archive
Doreen McBrideTales from County Down
2021
WRDABowel Screening
Dr Patricia Marsh1918/19 Flu Pandemic in Ireland, Ulster & Downpatrick
Hubert CurranFrom Killyleagh to the Galapagos Islands
Ken TaitNI Family History Society
Rev Hector WanlissLife as an Army Padre
Dougie MarrThe Story of the St Ayles
2022