Stena Line offers £50 off all routes to mark its anniversary
Leading ferry company, Stena Line, is celebrating fifty years of ’making good time’ and to mark the occasion is offering fifty pounds off all routes on the Irish Sea.
The company’s Head of PR and Communications, Diane Poole OBE, believes the golden anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to customers. She said:
“The first Stena Line ferry departed from Stenpiren in Gothenburg to Skagen in Denmark in 1962. This was the beginning of a much longer journey for the organisation as now, 50 years later; Stena Line has become one of the world’s largest ferry companies!
“Fifty years in business is a huge landmark for Stena Line and we want to make sure our loyal customers who helped us reach this momentous milestone can celebrate with us.”
Birthday celebrations are taking place onboard all routes on Friday 28th September with live entertainment, birthday cake and lots more.
“Stena Line believes that ferry travel is much more than a journey from A to B,” Diane continued, “Customers have been ‘making memories’ down the years, travelling with family and friends for a variety of reasons and to acknowledge this, we have been asking customers to share their memories which have been collated into an online gallery of snap shots and stories. These can be viewed at www.stenaline50yearsofmemories.com you might even recognise a few faces!”
Customers can take a car-cation to Scotland or England and enjoy the exceptional Stena Line facilities including free wi-fi, movies, onboard shopping, Curious George for kids, or upgrade to Stena Plus for that extra special experience.
To claim £50 off a car-cation before 1st October book now at www.stenaline.co.uk/fifty, call 08447 70 70 70 or contact a local travel agent. All bookings and fares are subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Fancy going back to an era of big hair, pompadour hairstyles, skin tight spandex? Then make your way to The Gables this Saturday night and prepare to step back in time as PIPS MBA are hosting an 80’s fancy dress disco night full of the best pop and rock classics from days gone by with top notch prizes donated by local businesses and individuals.
PIPS, was established in 2003 following the suicides of 14 young people under the age of 18. and since this they have consistently worked towards their mission statement. “To save lives, offer advice and support those affected by suicide and self-harm through their training programmes.” In 2011 they delivered training to local people in the Dungannon and Donaghmore community area thanks to funding from The Big Lottery Fund. This initiative was the smart idea of 80’s theme night and PIPS volunteer Davna Bell, who has been a volunteer for six long years. “This year I am waiting to hear if i will avail of this funding again to deliver more training. It’s vital that we as a community are in a comfortable position with knowledge and the right education to be able to help those to help themselves lead a more happier and comfortable life.” continuing “Myself and a bunch of other volunteers are doing all we can to bring these great programmes into more rural communities,”
PIPS always encourages and welcomes new volunteers. Just ask Dungannon woman Kathie McCausland who has just joined PIPS by hearing how great it is and how important it is. “I’m delighted to be involved with PIPS as I’m really passionate about helping other people especially when it concerns mental health and supporting those individuals who may be going through difficult times. I’m fortunate to have had alot of training and experience through my career regarding mental health issues and all sorts of stigma that surrounds it.”
Saturday night’s fundraising event kicks off at 9pm with a minimum suggested donation of £5 on the door, a raffle will take place during the event with a great variety of prizes up for grabs including meal vouchers, show tickets and much, much more.
For more information to find out how to become a volunteer with PIPS Programmes please visit their website www.pipsprogrammes.com
International Day for Older People, Ulster Hall, Belfast, October 1. Enjoy a day out with short writing workshops, storytelling for film and a special screening of Ladies in Lavender, a story about two sisters who befriend a mysterious foreigner washed up on the beach.
Camerata Ireland, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, October 3. Enjoy a mesmerising mix of music by some of the best musicians in the world.
Tommy Makem Festival of Traditional Music & Folk Song, various locations, Co. Armagh, October 4 – 6. This festival, named in honour of one of Armagh’s most famous musical sons, invites everyone to celebrate old and new music.
Fermanagh Live Festival, various venues, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, October 4 – 7. Experience Fermanagh’s finest live entertainment and visual festival with everything from music to drama and visual arts on offer.
Battle of the Chefs, St George’s Market, Belfast, October 6. Local chefs will be taking part in a cook-off, preparing a family meal from quality, locally sourced produce to be named Family Dining Champion.
Autumn Plant Fair, Rowallane Garden, Saintfield, Co. Down, October 6. A favourite event for gardeners and non gardeners with many special plant stalls.
Autumn Watch, Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, Co. Down, October 6. Join the Ulster Wildlife Trust to explore the changes that take place in autumn during this fun scavenger hunt for all the family. Search for seeds, fallen leaves and signs of wildlife activity as you put your sleuthing skills to the test.
The Soul Train, Lagan Valley Island Hall, Lisburn, October 6. Grab your flares and dancing shoes for one of the best tribute shows to the golden age of motown and seventies disco classics.
Red Squirrel Day, Mount Stewart, Newtownards, Co. Down, October 6. Come along and learn about the work undertaken by the National Trust to protect the endangered red squirrel and hopefully spot one of these elusive animals. Suitable footwear and clothing essential.
Cupcake Making with the Kiddies, Cookery School at James Street South, Belfast, October 6. A two hour cupcake making class where you get the chance to make, decorate and bring a selection of cupcakes home. Suitable for children 4 years and above.
Harvest and Country Fair, Springhill House, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, October 7. Join Springhill for a day of harvest fun, craft and local produce stalls, rare breeds, country music and activities. There will also be plenty of activities for children including a scarecrow trail.
National Trails Day, various locations across Northern Ireland, October 7. A celebration of outdoor trails offering everybody the chance to enjoy some of the most beautiful countryside, forests, mountains and lakes through a range of free activities including horse riding, canoeing, mountain biking, hill walking, forest walks and much more.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau teams up with Stena Line to launch great value short breaks
ART enthusiasts, food lovers, shopaholics and culture vultures in Northern Ireland are being encouraged to take an Autumn break to Glasgow as the City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has joined forces with Stena Line to create a range of great value short breaks to discover the hidden gems of our Celtic cousins.
GCMB is also working with Glasgow Restaurants Association, Glasgow’s Leading Attractions and the Mackintosh Heritage Group to promote the great food, amazing architecture, fantastic shopping and fun attractions that are just a short ferry crossing away.
2012 is the year of Creative Scotland and the work of innovative Glasgow Art Nouveau architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is being celebrated in a two week festival from October 15 – 28. Visitors can enjoy special exhibitions, recitals and performances in Mackintosh buildings throughout Glasgow and roll up their sleeves and try crafts such as drawing, knitting and photography, inspired by Mackintosh’s work.
GCMB’s Senior Marketing Communications Manager Elaine Dickie said Autumn is the perfect time to visit Glasgow.
“We’ve teamed up with Stena Line and a number of partners to offer great value breaks to Glasgow with plenty of choice and things to do for everyone,” said Elaine.
“Discounts are on offer for attractions with many museums and galleries free to visit. The Mackintosh legacy is an absolute must-see and there’s never been a better time to visit with the Creative Mackintosh Festival running 15-28 Oct.
There is also fantastic food and from November people can come over for Christmas shopping as Glasgow has the best retail offering in the UK outside of London, including the unmissable style mile,” she added.
Stena Line’s Marketing Manager Ian Baillie said, “If you’re looking for a vibrant city break to brighten up your Autumn, Glasgow really has so much to offer, families, friends and couples, just a short ferry crossing from Belfast.
“Working alongside Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Stena Line has created a great range of packages for people travelling from Northern Ireland whether they are going by car, coach or rail.
“We’ve also teamed up with the Glasgow restaurants to offer Stena Line passengers a free glass of wine per person and a soft drink for kids with orders from the a la carte menu,” he added.
Glasgow singer/songwriter Graeme Clark, from international pop band Wet Wet Wet was in Belfast to help encourage people from Northern Ireland to visit Glasgow this Autumn.
“I’m a proud Glaswegian and I’m delighted to be able to visit Belfast, another city full of life and vigour, to encourage people from Northern Ireland to come and visit my home town,” said Graeme.
Glasgow has so much tradition and culture to celebrate and the people are so welcoming and have a real passion for enjoying life,” he added.
Renowned as the premier Irish Literature Festival in Northern Ireland, the Aspects Irish Literature Festival 2012 will take place from 26th – 30th September in various venues around Bangor AND for Music and Guitar lovers, this weekend is the 16th Ards International Guitar Festival from 27th – 30th September. See www.ardsguitarfestival.co.uk.
The Hill of The O’Neill Dungannon will be alive on 29th and 30th September with the Taste of Tyrone Food Festival. County Tyrone was the first place in Northern Ireland to establish a Good Food Circle – this County food festival helps to promote the high standards of local produce and fine dining. Set your taste buds alight at this fantastic two-day food event. Forty local food producers will be laying out their wares with taste kitchens, cooking demonstrations, butter churning, apple pressing and a range of other food crafts and food theatre.
Keeping it ‘Rail’! – A weekend of events to celebrate Fermanagh’s railway heritage. Thursday 27th – Saturday 29th Sept – 3 day vintage Steam Traction run from Bundoran to Enniskillen stopping off at all the railway stations along the way with special evening events in Bundoran (Wed), Belleek (Thurs), Irvinestown (Friday) and Enniskillen (Sat). Two vintage steam traction engines will be taking part and an opportunity will be provided for former railway employees to help drive and fire the engines as they travel from station to station.
The Vale Craft and Gift Fair takes place on Sunday 30th September Clooney Road, Greysteel. A great event not to be missed!! Come along and see crafters displaying their goods and gifts – building up a craft mecca for their customers. There will also be music, refreshments, handcrafted products and gifts! For the kids there will be face painting and balloon modelling. Admission 50p – kids go free!
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure to get a surprise…a curious young girl, a picnic in the woods, domesticated bears and lots and lots of porridge! Goldilocks and the Three Bears – a well loved classic told in an imaginative and gentle way, through the use of puppetry, storytelling and theatre. A perfect introduction to theatre for young audiences aged three to seven years. Saturday 29th September at the Market Place Theatre Armagh.
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival takes place in Belfast this Thursday 27th September. The festival highlight will be a lantern parade starting at City Hall, passing along Chichester Street, up Victoria Street, into Oxford Street and then to the River Lagan behind the Waterfront Hall were there will be an array of colourful water lanterns released onto the river. Join the lantern parade at City Hall or make your way down to the back of the Waterfront for free Chinese Crafts and launch your own lotus flower lantern into the river. Behind the Waterfront there will be performances from the Open Arts Choir, Beat N Drum as well as fire breathing acts, Dragon Dancing and more.
From 26 – 30 September 2012, North Down prepares to rub shoulders with the literati at the 21st Aspects Irish Literature Festival and to mark the occasion, Aspects have been given the keys to beautiful Bangor Abbey.
We are delighted that this year we will be hosting ‘Aspects at the Abbey’ and look forward to welcoming festival-goers to this beautiful historic church and its wonderful new Parish Hall complex.
Aspects is delighted to bring to Bangor a series of old friends and new faces, supplying the eclectic mix of poetry and prose for which the festival has become renowned and this year’s programme is jam- packed with something for everyone. A series of special events will be taking place in Bangor Abbey itself, including the opening evening in conversation with veteran broadcaster James Naughtie and a debate to mark the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant with historians Lord Paul Bew and Dr. John Bew.
Colin Reid’s musical arrangement of The Third Policeman, narrated by legendary actor Stephen Rea, will take on a particularly haunting ambiance in the venue. Closing the festival will be actor Dan Gordon, who will be presenting an evening of extracts from the scripts, stories and songs he has been involved with throughout his long career.
Glenn Patterson and Conor Brady will be talking about their recent historical fiction works, discussing the attractions of taking ‘a step back in time’, and the festival will be also celebrating the republication of writing from the past as we host the launch of the centenary edition of Padraic Gregory’s Collected Work. David Park and veteran poet Gerald Dawe will be reading from their new work and considering how writing about home from elsewhere puts a new perspective on Belfast.
Bernard MacLaverty, our Aspects Author in Residence, will be reflecting on his life and career as well as working throughout the week for the Young Aspects programme as one of our visiting authors to schools. We’re celebrating debut successes this year with a session featuring Kevin Barry and Kathleen McMahon, two emerging writers who having been taking the book world by storm in 2012.
Aspects also pays its own tribute to two of 2012’s big themes – the Diamond Jubilee and sport – by welcoming Lady Bangor, Sarah Bradford, the internationally acclaimed historian and royal biographer whose most recent book is an authoritative study of the present Queen, and the Guardian’s Chief Football Writer, Kevin McCarra. A new addition to the festival programme is our lunchtime session, ‘My Reading Life’, hosted by Fionola Meredith, which will welcome someone in the public eye to talk about their reading habits and the books that mean most to them.
Alongside Bernard MacLaverty, writer and illustrator Paul Howard will be visiting school children in North Down in the course of the Young Aspects festival. Our Young Aspects Showcase Event returns to present writing from young people of the Borough on the festival Main Stage, and this year we are delighted to welcome the Young Aspects headline guest Derek Landy, whose Skulduggery Pleasant series wows readers across the world.
Regular events also return such as Colin Bateman’s Crime Night, master classes with Leontia Flynn and Tim Loane, comedy from Owen O’Neill, Kenneth Irvine’s Literary walk, readings of new work by emerging Northern Irish authors at the Ava Vin Café, hosted by Malachi O’Doherty and the
Sunday debate, which this year focuses on the Leveson Enquiry and welcomes Conor Brady and Paul Tweed to start proceedings.
Author Bernard O’Donoghue has described the Aspects Irish Literature Festival as “one of the great gatherings”, so what are you waiting for? Head to Bangor in September and we’ll see you at the festival!
Tickets are available from the festival Box Office at North Down Museum (028 9127 1200) and from Bangor Tourist Information Office (028 9127 0069).
Support your team from only £50* per person return
NORTHERN Ireland’s leading ferry company Stena Line is ready to score with football, rugby, ice hockey, golf and many more fans by offering a series of special extended day trips to Britain from £50* per person return.
Stena Line is giving customers the chance to travel with their car from Belfast to Cairnryan or Liverpool from £50* per person, return for any game, match, tournament or event.
Fans not only have a choice of routes but have the option to travel out from Belfast to Cairnryan and return by Liverpool to Belfast or vice versa, giving them flexibility on their journey.
For further information or to book click on www.stenaline.co.uk/sport, call 08447 70 70 70 or contact your local travel agent.
*£50 based on car and 3 persons travelling. Supplement of £20 per person single applies for night sailings on Belfast-Liverpool route. Additional passengers £40 per adult and £20 per child return. Valid for travel until 22December 2012. Subject to availability. Please note these prices do not include match ticket. Offer is an extended day trip only, must depart within 30 hours of arrival in Britain. Please see website for full terms & conditions
The 16th Ards International Guitar Festival is back in town this week with a jam packed programme of the some of the world’s most talented guitarists.
Running from the 27th – 30th September in venues across Ards, sixteen years on this annual event remains fresh and vibrant with sell out performances every year.
Thursday 27th kicks off with a free fringe event in Ards Arts Centre from 12.30 featuring Cup o’Joe then later the Arts Centre hosts the Classical Guitar Society and Aquarelle Guitar Quartet from 8.00pm. The Ivy Bar finishes off the opening night of the Festival with a rock double bill with Vizion and Haze from 9.00pm.
It’s a ‘fantastic’ Friday with two free fringe events starting with Gypsy’s Wish in Ards Arts Centre at 12.30pm and later in Molly Brown’s catch Ciaran Lavery from 5.00pm. The Queens Hall big gig from 8.00pm has three incredible acts with Martin Simpson, the Muriel Anderson and Gareth Dunlop. Then to finish off Friday is the infamous Ronnie Greer Band in the Ivy Bar from 9.00pm supported by Infamy.
A ‘sizzling’ Saturday sees even more gigs across the town. Two more free fringe events with Nina Armstrong in Ards Arts Centre at 12.30pm and Gavin Ferris in the Ivy bar from 4.00pm. Real enthusiasts can participate in two workshops in the Ivy Bar on Saturday afternoon – Muriel Anderson from 12.30pm followed by Gonzalez Walsh Duo at 2.30pm. Molly Brown’s then opens its doors to the Festival’s All Ages gig ‘Pigstock’ from 5pm featuring Annapurna, Hornets and Lafaro. Back to the Queen’s Hall at 8.00pm for three more amazing acts including the Gonzalez Walsh Duo, Bap Kennedy and Martin Taylor. Grainne Duffy brings the night to a close in the Ivy Bar from 9.00pm supported by the Paradiso Guitar Duo.
The Festival then winds down in the Ivy Bar on Sunday 30th from 3.00pm with what will be breathtaking performances from Maeve Dunphy and Devon Sproule. The Steve Experiment play one last free fringe event in Molly Brown’s at 7.00pm …… and that’s all folks!
Festival Director Emily Walsh says ‘There’s a real buzz around the Festival this year as we have some real world class performers coming to Ards. Martin Simpson is a legend on the folk/Americana scene and Martin Taylor is undoubtedly one of the world’s foremost jazz guitarists, with the support of local greats Gareth Dunlop and Bap Kennedy. As well as all this there will be loads more happening this weekend including a classical guitar recital, free one hour concerts at the Arts Centre and Molly Brown’s and workshops at The Ivy Bar.’
Information on this Festival for guitar and music lovers is available on www.ardsguitarfestival.co.uk , on Facebook at Ards International Guitar Festival or Twitter at ArdsGuitarFest. Programmes and tickets are available by contacting Ards Arts Centre on 028 91810803.
One of Ireland’s best known stars of stage and screen, the internationally acclaimed actor Stephen Rea is set to make a very special appearance at this year’s Aspects Festival which is taking place, for the first time, in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Abbey.
Stephen who is best known for his roles in box office smashes like The Crying Game and Interview With A Vampire will be narrating Flann O’Brien’s masterpiece, The Third Policeman. The show which is taking place on Saturday, 29thSeptember 2012at 8.30pm (tickets £15) will feature specially arranged music by acclaimed composer Colin Reid and is a combination of murder mystery, comic satire and supernatural thriller guaranteed to delight and thrill the audience!
The last of Flann O’Brien’s novels to be published, The Third Policeman joins O’Brien’s other memorable works The Poor Mouth, The Dalkey Archive and A Hard Life to ensure his place along with Joyce and Beckett as one of Ireland’ comic geniuses.
Set in the atmospheric surrounds of The Abbey, Reid’s live music, Rea’s beguiling voice and O’Brien’s madcap pros will have the audience captivated from start to finish.
Commenting on the event, Stephen Douds, Festival Consultant said: “Bringing the Stephen Rea and Colin Reid collaboration of The Third Policeman to Bangor Abbey is, for me at least, the highlight of Aspects 2012. Having decided to use the historic Abbey as a venue it was really important to get the right music for the event. And this is it. Flann O’Brien’s original text is a comic masterpiece, read and enjoyed for decades. But when it is read by an actor as gifted as Stephen Rea the text is vivid, fresh and deeply hilariously, uncontrollably funny. Add to that the beauty of Colin Reid’s specially composed music and it makes for an evening that lingers long in the memory. Once you see this performance you will never look at a bicycle the same way again. I promise.”
The Third Policeman has been a sell-out at every venue it has previously visited so make sure to book your tickets now and don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to experience this darkly comic tale in the unique surroundings of Bangor Abbey.
This year’s Aspects line-up is packed with something for everyone. Highlights include; for the crime lover Colin Bateman’s Crime Night featuring Chris Brookmyre, sports fans will enjoy Kevin McCarra, poetry lovers will love Bernard MacLaverty, or if you’re just looking for a laugh Owen O’Neill is the show for you! For the full line-up, please download a programme from www.northdown.gov.uk
Tickets are available at www.northdown.gov.uk/bookings, from the festival Box Office at North Down Museum (028 9127 1200) and from Bangor Tourist Information Office (028 9127 0069).
HOLLYWOOD superstars Brad Pitt and Barbara Streisand are counted among his biggest fans and now the work of innovative Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is being celebrated in a two week festival from October 15 – 28.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has teamed up with Stena Line to promote the vibrant city as part of its Autumn Short Breaks campaign and is encouraging people in Northern Ireland to visit the Creative Mackintosh Festival and discover one of Scotland’s most treasured architects, designers and artists.
Mackintosh’s work propelled architecture from Victorian flamboyance to modern minimalism, and a century later, this Festival will showcase his work and honour his contribution by encouraging everyone to unleash their creativity.
Thirty activities, performances and events will take place across the fortnight including some surprise “appearances” by Mackintosh himself courtesy of interactive performance company Mischief La-Bas.
Visitors can enjoy recitals and performances in Mackintosh buildings throughout Glasgow and roll up their sleeves and try crafts such as drawing, knitting and photography, inspired by Mackintosh’s work.
GCMB’s Senior Marketing Communications Manager Elaine Dickie said, “The Creative Mackintosh Festival presents a fantastic opportunity for people in Northern Ireland to come and experience Glasgow’s cultural heritage and join us in celebrating one of the city’s best-loved sons.
“Glasgow is known as one of the world’s most creative cities, having spawned world-class artists and musicians for more than a century,” she continued.
“This October I would encourage everyone with an interest in art and architecture to explore Glasgow and discover the world of Mackintosh. There is also fantastic food, the best shopping in the UK outside London and lots of fun attractions just a short ferry crossing from Belfast.
“Stena Line has a great range of packages for people travelling from Northern Ireland to Glasgow whether they are going by car, coach or rail,” Elaine added.
The Creative Mackintosh Festival runs from October 15 – 28, 2012. For the full programme and further details log onto www.glasgowmackintosh.com. To book special travel packages with Stena Line click on www.stenaline.co.uk/glasgow, call 08432 081 811 or contact your local travel agent.