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December 2004

It's that time of the year again!  

The annual 'Limavady Top Decibel Competition' is about to start again. The council has been mounting their armour on various handy poles, wired them with sturdy blue wires and aimed the infernal machines at an, as yet, unsuspecting public. Most shop keepers have been ready for months.

For those who have never heard of the LTDC we better explain the rules. It is a competition between the council and the shopkeepers. The winner is the one that can expose the innocent public to the loudest, most numbing Christmas music and not have to call for the men in white coats at the end of a session. People who take a slow walk from Super Valu(e) via Market Street into the Oven Door on a usually quiet Saturday morning will get a good idea of the outstanding quality of the cacophony on offer.

A loud loudspeaker

This year a new rule has been introduced. Anybody who plays more than just the twelve most common Christmas tunes will be automatically disqualified on grounds of not being sufficiently boring.
Born in Limavady  

It has come to our attention that Mrs. Ruth Kelly, the new UK secretary for education, was born in Limavady some 36 years ago. Congratulations to her and may education prosper in the valley forever.

We haven't got a picture of Mrs. Ruth Kelly - who has? - but we do have several pictures of Limavady. So here is one of them: sheep, valley, town, Sperrins and all.

A map of Orion A Christmas Comet  

Doing astronomy in Northern Ireland is nearly as difficult as pursuing the hobby of deep-sea diving in the middle of a desert, but we know that there are some intrepid astronomers amongst our readership.

The comet Machholz is visible at the moment - unless it is daytime or it is cloudy or the moon is too bright or there is too much light at the horizon. It is a 3.5 magnitude object near the constellation Orion (see map) and at the moment looks a little bit like a fuzzy egg. It can easily be seen with the help of binoculars. Orion is at its best an hour before midnight looking South.

Market Street in Limavady Christmas Eve in Market Street  

This has been a very busy day in the town. The queues in Tesco's are hard to believe and most other shops don't lag far behind. Market Street was full of people one hasn't seen since last Christmas. Obviously a lot of exiles have returned for the turkey.

The loudspeakers are blaring music or - what's worse - very loud static interference and the number of people who still have some money left over to buy things with is amazing.

Market Street in Limavady What are they trying to tell us?  

We thought we would finish the year with one of those wonderful silly signs that are such a prominent feature of our little town. Considering that it is nearly the year 2005 this example of the genre is rather puzzling.

We came up with the following explanations:

  • There were no business awards in 2003.

  • The crummy building itself is the award and wasn't collected.

  • 2004 went by without the council noticing.

  • The 2005 awards will be even better.

  • They planned to knock the building down but forgot all about it.

Whatever the truth of the matter, at least the 'Roe Valley' part of the sign is relevant.

Here is a link to the entire collection of silly signs.

Cows in the sunset

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Limavady signpost with a collie

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