All posts by Elizabeth Witherspoon

Fun for all the family exploring the past. Cultra Review

Nothing rivals a spring day spent outdoors with friends exploring beautiful parklands and learning about traditions of times gone by, and Cultra Ulster Folk and Transport Museum will provide such a pleasure. Visit the Website

On a bank holiday, the visitor attraction is a hive of activity. First impressions are positive with friendly and welcoming reception staff, plus the added bonus that entrance to both museums cost only £9 for adults and £5 for children.

Boredom isn’t an issue inside the museum with plenty to keep all age groups entertained. Buying sweets the old fashioned way in an authentic sweet shop or visiting an old style cinema are some of many things to discover in old style Ballycultra town. Visitors can also ‘receive their sentence’ in court or be sent to the ‘dunce corner’ of the traditional schoolroom. However if mischievous behaviour is not befitting of you, then the church house, with the singing of traditional psalms, would be more appropriate.

Other spectacles include an old time police station, drapers’ shop, and a carpenters’ workshop where visitors will observe a costumed guide demonstrating his trade. There are special activities provided on holidays. A magic show will keep the children intrigued while others experience Victorian style fashion by dressing up in traditional clothes.

When exploring living conditions and countryside of yesteryear, visitors can appreciate the luxuries we have today. Inspecting small houses that typically would have homed large families, while turning a hand to making soda bread and butter from scratch, you can gain an excellent impression of life 100 years ago. On the farm, visitors can pet pigs, lambs and chicks plus roll Easter eggs, an activity not just enjoyed by the children! The museum’s Facebook page will give further details of special events.

The Transport Museum is an impressive building with many attractions. However one drawback is transferring between Ballycultra and the Transport Museum. There is a complementary shuttle bus that operates between the two museums however, this is small and often runs at irregular times, meaning that a long, uphill walk is necessary back to the carpark.

Facilities are first class with a 4* restaurant on site and many public toilets. Opening times are 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday from May through September, therefore with all its various attractions, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum provides a great day out for everyone.

For other great days out, visit Discover Northern Ireland.

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Coleraine Council welcome improved railway line

Coleraine Borough Council met in the council offices in Cloonavin on Tuesday 19th February 2013 at 6.30pm.

Deputy Mayor Alderman Creelman, chairman for the evening, opened proceedings by welcoming everyone to the meeting.

The first item of business was an update from the General Manager of Rail Services in Translink, Mr Mal McGreevy. He addressed the council on the upcoming opening of the improved Coleraine and Londonderry/Derry rail line.

Mr McGreevy revealed twenty new trains will operate on this line, as opposed to the original thirteen.

In response to the 70% increase in passengers travelling on trains between Belfast and Coleraine, Mr McGreevy stressed, “It was necessary to implement a new timetable that would see trains running hourly.” Trains have been increased from eleven to nineteen per day, Monday to Friday and eight on a Sunday.

Mr McGreevy told the chamber, “The line will reopen one week ahead of schedule on 24th March 2013”, while adding this had been, “A challenging programme.”

Councillor McClarty extended his praise of the reopening to the gathered councillors, commenting that not many years ago the prediction for the line was demise, but now he is pleased that there is, “A bright future ahead for the railways of Northern Ireland.” Making reference to the service provided by Translink, he further added, “The service is now tremendous” and that he was, “Looking forward to travelling on the improved line.”

Councillors heard how Translink have installed new technology, enabling passengers to access a ‘wifi’ network when travelling. This new service will allow passengers to connect to the internet free of charge whilst on the move, giving them the opportunity to check emails, browse social network sites or catch up on work whilst travelling with Translink. The new scheme was widely praised by the majority of the gathered councillors and it was commented that this added a new incentive for people to use public transport.

Councillor Barbour echoed this praise by adding he thought it was a, “Great idea to be able to use computers on a train.” He also made the comparison that this wifi scheme would help to, “Enhance our tourist rate” and, “Help us economically.”

Mayor, Councillor Cole ended the item of business by commenting, “I cannot wait to get using my free pass to try out the line.”

The meeting continued by following the next item of business on the agenda.