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June 2007

Eglington air strip An Airport without a Plan(e)  

Derry City Airport has been closed by the Civil Aviation Authority because:

  • There are problems with the plane parking area.

  • The runway is poorly drained.

  • There is no effective bird control plan.

When one considers how much it rains here and the fact that Lough Foyle is an internationally important area for migratory birds (some of them quite large), the last two points sound rather worrying.

The airport is run by Derry City council and subsidised to a considerable degree by local ratepayers. It last came to public attention when its control tower let an errant pilot land a passenger plane in nearby Ballykelly rather than on their own badly drained airstrip. They had to tow the disembarcation steps along a few miles of public highway to get the rather surprised passengers off the plane. Here is a link to that rather peculiar story

Of course, if they somehow managed to persuade all those birds to land in Ballykelly, rather than near their own runway .............

A small band The Jazz and Booze festival  

Limavady's annual Jazz and Blues festival is in full swing and for once nobody is complaining about the weather - unless you count those overheated people who complain about too much sunshine.

The event lasts for the weekend and on Saturday in Market Street you could hear the young crowd on the left, as well as a jazz band further up the road. Half the town seemed to be walking up and down the street giving generous applause.

An Alpenhorn The Sounds of the Mountain  

As part of this weekend's musical proceedings, a little-noticed event took place high up on the slopes of noble Benevenagh: the first Alpenhorn concerto in Limavady's 500 year history.

It was ably performed by Christian "The Swiss gui" Knoepfel and had all the hallmarks of the best of jazz: free interpretation, natural rhythm, colourful variation and admirable stamina in adverse conditions!

All in all, a memorable occasion watched by a rather small audience consisting of the staff of the News Browser, Lucie, a demented cuckoo, several complaining sheep and one highly strung border collie.

An opening ceremony The Broighter Gold display  

On the 19th a group of people with an interest in local history assembled in the council offices to attend the official launch of the Broighter Gold Hologram Display. More about the famous treasure can be learned by following this link. Our photograph shows the very impressive display and Raymond Wright - former principal of Limavady Tech introducing the various speakers. Members of the Nicholl family - descendents of the discoverer of the gold were present as was Jim Hunter, a local historian who gave a short but fascinating account of some of the mysteries attached to the hoard.

The display itself is very detailed and quite spectacular. All objects can be seen enlarged rotating in space. The torque and the boat are particularly impressive.

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