Archive for October, 2010

Orangeism: A Presbyterian Perspective


Banning the voice of Israel

In an earlier post I quoted a Northern Ireland Friends of Israel report which stated that following representation from NIFI, Professor Geoffrey Alderman had been invited to join a panel discussion on the topic 'Conflict in the Middle East' to provide a pro-Israel perspective.
The two original contributors were�Professor Avi Shlaim, who was born in Baghdad in 1945 of Jewish parentage but is now a

Return visit to Ulster Museum (3)

Beside the Ulster Museum there is the historic Friar's Bush graveyard, which is one of the oldest graveyards in Belfast.� One of the rooms in the Ulster Museum overlooks the graveyard and in it there is a panel which� depicts 'the mysterious Friar's Stone inscribed 485AD'.
The circular stone features three crudely cut crosses, the date 485AD and the inscription 'this stone marks ye friar's grave

Return visit to Ulster Museum (2)

For me one of the highlights of any visit to the Ulster Museum was always the magnificent Ulster Past and Present mural by the popular Belfast artist William Conor (1884-1968).� This was painted back in the 1930s for the Belfast Municipal Museum and Art Gallery, now the Ulster Museum, and it was then the largest mural in Ireland.
Various books and websites state that the mural is in the Ulster

Return visit to Ulster Museum (1)

On Saturday I went on an 'off duty' visit to the Ulster Museum, along with my wife, and we had a very pleasant afternoon.� There were not the very large crowds of the early days after the reopening but there was a steady flow of visitors.� During the visit I took some photographs and they form the basis of this short series of posts.
As regards Orange and Hibernian banners, which are part of the

When they hanged Archibald Warwick in Kircubbin

Exactly 212 years ago on 15 October 1798, Rev Archibald Warwick, the 29 year old licenciate of Kircubbin Presbyterian Church was executed by public hanging. The gallows were raised between the church and the manse, in an area which today is a public car park. Thousands gathered to see their beloved minister die. His crime was his role in the 1798 Rebellion and the attempt to overthrow the government. His family were all from Loughriscouse outside Newtownards and he was buried in the family plot at Movilla Cemetery – the grave can still be seen there today.

River Cottage future

When we were in Devon in the summer, we stopped off in Axminster to visit Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage Café. We arrived at 10am, there were very few people there, which gave me a chance to take some pics of the rustic eclectic interior.


The River Cottage series is one of the few things we make a point of watching on tv – the ethic and the aesthetic of what Hugh FW does captures a lot of how I grew up and of how we try to live as a family. However his vegetable patch is far more successful than ours… I also think that there are some markers in his work which show how those who seek to represent “the community” could work, or should work, especially within rural areas.

“…River Cottage is not a charity, but does aim to be a 'more than profit' organisation. This means, firstly, that we are ready to re�invest much of our income in developing our ideology and the base of our activities. It also means that we should be ready to hold back from, or turn down, business that conflicts with our ideology and our commitment to ethical business practice. Thirdly, we feel we should also be making links with, and finding ways to support, other organisations who share our ideas…” (from “About Us”)

Perhaps our economic climate of cuts might cause us to stop and consider what “rich” really means – an ethic of local produce, sustainable living and homegrown austerity were things that our parents and grandparents treasured. In fact, they didn't actually treasure them at all, it was just how they lived. After all, “a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”