Busy year of talks and events for North Coast Association of the National Trust

THE North Coast Association of the National Trust recently announced its schedule of events for the year.

As usual, the programme has been designed o appeal to a wide variety of interests, with something for everyone.

The season begins on Tuesday, February 5, when Andrew Galwey, formerly Reader in Chemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast, will outline the struggle to provide water for Belfast in a talk entitled ‘An Epic Search for Water’.

This will be followed on Tuesday, February 19 at 7pm, by the third of the Association’s popular evenings at the Playhouse, Portrush.

This year there will be a screening of Hitchcock’s classic romantic thriller ‘To Catch a Thief’, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly). As before, this will be preceded by wine and tapas.

sOn Tueday, March 5, the Association is pleased to welcome the C.S. Lewis expert and enthusiast Sandy Smith, who will talk on the life and literature of the great author.

He will be followed on Tuesday, April2 by Robert Corbett, Belfast City Council Archivist, who will give an illustrated talk on the refurbishment of Belfast’s monumental City Hall.

On Thursday, April 25, the first of the Association’s day outings develops the C.S. Lewis topic, as Sandy Smith guides members through C.S. Lewis’s Belfast. The trip continues with a Titanic boat tour.

The annual Nature Walk will be held on Wednesday, May 8 and concentrates on Portrush. It will be led by Coleraine Council Environment Officer, Jim Allen.

This year’s Away Holiday - May 16-21 - always a popular part of the Association’s programme, is based in the picturesque walled town of Tenby, in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, from where members will visit some of the historic properties and gardens in both the Carmarthen and St David’s areas (including the cathedral).

Equally popular, of course, is the Association’s Midsummer Concert (with complimentary buffet) in the spectacular Mussenden Temple. This event, which is always sold out, will this year take place on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, when music will be provided by Lucy Wakefield (orchestral harp) and Kathryn Thomas (flute).

Also in the summer is the Association’s Golf Tournament on Friday, August 2. As last year, the venue is the Roe Park Resort golf course in Limavady. Again, there will be excellent prizes, a raffle (again with splendid prizes), a fine bar and all-day restaurant. Anyone interested should book times on 028 7776 0105.

The second of the Association’s annual day-outings will be on Thursday, August 29, when members will explore the city of Derry/Londonderry with local historian Jim Hunter, in a trip that is intended to mark the city’s designation in 2013 as the UK’s first ever City of Culture.

On Tuesday, September 3, the Association continues its lecture series when Claire Ferry, Senior Conservation Officer with the RSPB, will talk on ‘Birds, encounters and countryside during a Northern Ireland tour’.

The Association’s AGM and Lunch will be held in the Magherabuoy House Hotel, Portrush, on Friday, October 11.

The final talk of the year, on Tuesday, November 5, will be given by Richard Doherty, Ireland’s leading military historian. He will be talking on the history of Derry/Londonderry, which should usefully complement August’s trip to the city.

Drawing the year to its usual conclusion will be the annual ‘Socialising and Shopping’ held jointly in the Causeway Visitor Centre shop and the Causeway Hotel on Wednesday, November 27.

All talks begin at 8pm and are held in the Magherabuoy House Hotel, Portrush.

Queries about all of these events (though not the Golf competition) should be addressed to the Programme Secretary on 0779 010 3590 (Voicemail, but no texting please).