Groomsport is a small village on the Southern shore of Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland. It is renowned for its beautiful and some would say, unique setting as an almost unspoilt seaside village. It has links with the history of both Ireland and North America. This website has been set up by Groomsport Village Association committee, in order to publish material of interest to locals and visitors. The Spring 2015 edition of our newsletter can be read on this site.
This is our Constitution.
Healthy Eating Workshop 2015
GVA invites you to come along to a demomstration/talk by Nutrition Therapist Jane McClenaghan in the Parish Halls 10am - 11am Wednesday 6th May 2015.
Free admission. Lots of essential information about all aspects of food, cooking and healthy eating. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, just so we have an idea about numbers.
Games Night Wed 29th April 2015
GVA invites you to come along to a games night in the Parish Hall on Wednesday 29 April from 6-8 pm to celebrate EU Day of Solidarity.
We will be having fun games activities including a beetle drive, cards and bingo with spot prizes and give-aways.
Come along, have a cup of tea and a bun with your friends in the village.
Free admission. Guaranteed fun for all ages!!
Guardian exposes Groomsport
Paul Maddern has an excellent article in the Guardian (Monday March 9 2015) entitled, "Winter beauty wrought by wear and tear" which eloquently extols the attractive essence of the village. The author claims that "There's something of Rothko's patterns in the way the hulls of this fleet are distressed annually by the Irish Sea". He continues "...And it is a beauty that is concealed, whose reward is in the finding". We residents already know that of course! You can read the full article online here.
In March, members of the Groomsport Village Association met with some local Councillors to discuss improvements to the Springwell Playground.
The Ocean Quahog
To find out what this has to do with Groomsport, look under Communications > Notices and Meetings menu
Groomsport Harbour gets photographed from a Drone
Dave Dunbar emailed me this photograph that he took on a fly-over of Groomsport harbour. We are always happy to publish your photographs about Groomsport on this site.
You can view more of David's work around Groomsport on YouTube
Wine Tasting Event
The wine tasting in Neill Wines, 49 Main St. Groomsport on Saturday 7th February 2015 was very successful. There was a short introduction about each wine on taste, with plenty of useful information from the Sommelier. There are photographs of the event in Photographs Gallery 5
GVA have been asking for years for the footpaths on this road to be widened, remedial work to be carried out on the water main, flooding problems to be addressed and measures taken to stop soil creep at several points. In mid-December, the village woke up to a forest of signs on both ends of the B511, warning motorists that the road could be closed until January. At last someone in Roads Service had taken notice of our requests!
Naturally there was some concern about how the works would affect our daily lives. The contractors were keen to point out that shops in the village were open for business as usual and for the most part, villagers got on with life without much disruption. The signs shown in the photo were initially placed on the road and did become on issue for unwary motorists for a few days, until they were moved onto the verge.
The photo shows why it was necessary to have the road closed. Footpaths and kerbs were removed and part of the base of the hedge pared back on the Southern side of the road so that a wider asphalt footpath could be laid. The contractors may have expected that poor weather would delay their work. Instead, they were able to make good progress most days as North Down experienced one of the warmest Decembers this century.
Although the width of the footpath was increased at the Eastern end of the B511, it was not increased at the Western end, where, perversely, it is at its narrowest! GVA have identified the narrow footpath in the past as a potential accident black – spot and have drawn the Ministers attention to it.
Car drivers (as can be seen) still need to exercise caution at this point to avoid contact with pedestrians. The carriageway on the Northern side is somewhat impeded by an encroaching field hedge and it seems that the opportunity to address this issue has been missed on this occasion.
It would seem that anything up to 50cm could have been pared from this verge as well, in the interests of increasing safety for passing vehicular traffic. Overall though, there has been an improvement to both the road surface and pavements on the B511 and the GVA will continue to press those responsible regarding issues remaining with this road.
Christmas Tree Lights switch-on 2014
Lights were switched on by the Mayor on Friday 28th November 2014 at 7pm.
As usual, refreshments were served in the church hall afterwards and Santa met the children there!! He reminded all children to post their letters to him soon. Every child told Santa that they had been on best behaviour for a long time now and deserved a nice present. He gave each one a selection box of chocolates as a pre-Christmas present. Photos can be viewed on pages 17 and 18 of the 2014 photographs gallery.
Annual General Meeting 2014
Our Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 18th September 2014 at 7.30 in the Boathouse. The election of new committee members was kindly chaired by Alderman Alan Chambers, with GVA hon. sec. Miriam Gibson (see photo on right).
Minutes of the meeting will be available on this site soon. The proposed changes to the Constitution were adopted by the GVA members.
Some photos of the event can be viewed on the photographs page - gallery4.
Springwell Estate Improvements
N.I. Water plan to start work on new drainage for the Springwell area within the next few months. This will aim to lessen the flooding risk.
Ireman Weekend Friday August 15th - Sunday August 17th 2014
The Groomsport Village Association was involved with marshalling triathlons and other athletic events over that weekend. There was a kids introductory / taster triathlon on Saturday afternoon (swim, bike ride and run) lasting about 30 mts. Local children get a free entry to this. Email www.ireman.org for entry forms.
We would like to thank the volunteer marshals
GVA Family Fun event, Saturday 2nd August 2014
This event started at 11.00am at Groomsport Golf Centre with a large group of local children, teenagers and adults listening carefully to Gareth Graham, the PGA golf professional. He gave basic instructions about the essentials of golf. Everyone had a chance to practice and then there was a competition. Everyone performed very well and had their distances recorded by the Trackman distance recorder. The results are here.
Winners can collect their prize of a bucket of range balls from Groomsport Golf Centre.
Other events from the programme were largely unaffected by the heavy rain and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
The day closed with wine tasting at Neills. You can see photographs of the day's events on the photographs page.
Make a note in your diary to attend this ever popular event next year !!
GVA Quiz: Friday 30th May
The Groomsport Village Association Quiz was held in the Groomsport Inn on Friday 30th May 2014. It was a very successful event.
Linking Generations Project April 2014
On 29 April 2014, Groomsport Rainbows and their leaders worked with the Gardening Club, Artspace and Chattering Needles on a range of activities of inter-generational interest, in the Parish Halls.
This highly successful event, co-sponsored by Groomsport Village Association and Linking Generations NI, was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved.
Celebration of Groomsport Clubs
On Saturday afternoon, 1st March 2014, some of the many clubs and associations that meet in the village gathered in the Parish Halls.
Many of the villagers visited the exhibition and clubs experienced lively interest in their activities. Our local councillor, Alan Chambers, attended with a group of supporters!
You can see more pictures in photo gallery 4
Major heating investment in North Down
The H.E. have told us that they have invested £824,000 to upgrade the heating systems of its properties in Groomsport.
Many of the Housing Executive’s homes used Economy 7 as their main source of heating with others having an open fire or relied on room heaters. However, these have now been upgraded to a more energy efficient gas based system along with extra loft insulation which will ultimately help lower tenants’ heating bills.
Magical Afternoon for children
The Groomsport Presbyterian Church halls were packed with local children, on Saturday 1st February 2014, enjoying a "Magical Afternoon" with their parents and grandparents. The children made a magic potion (in keeping with the magical theme), had their faces painted and got magic tattoos.
Craft work and painting with a magical theme, were followed by a marvellous show from magician Paul Ormonde. Paul, who is a member of the famous Magic Circle, kept everyone enthralled with his skill and dexterity. His interaction with the children was fun to watch and everyone enjoyed the afternoon.
Refreshments were served at the end and local residents got to chat with friends old and new. A great team of Groomsport Village Association Committee members, and other volunteers, had a busy afternoon. Our thanks go to them and to the organiser, Sharon Cummings, for their time and commitment to this community event.
We would also like to thank NDBC, for their funding support.
Tidal Surges, 3rd and 6th Jan 2014
We had very high tides on both Friday 3rd and Monday 6th Jan. Locals were intrigued but little damage was done by the high water.
More photographs have been added to Photograph Gallery 4 in April, showing improvements to the harbour area, work being done on the pumping station and Cockle Island Boat Club launching for the season.
The members of the committee are elected on an annual basis. The Annual General Meeting is held during the Autumn months (usually in the boat-house), when villagers meet to elect a new committee and to air their views about village affairs in general. This meeting can be lively!! This year the AGM was held on Thursday 24th October 2013 in the Boat House.
The Committee can be contacted from this website. These messages will be directed to the Hon. Secretary who will bring their contents to the attention of the committee. We publish a newsletter roughly every six months. We try to distribute it to every house in the village and copies will be available from this site
Volunteers wanted for: World sailing championship 4th - 11th July 2014
The World Sailing Championship was based at Ballyholme and racing was visible from Groomsport.
The Village Plan
North Down Borough Council appointed the Paul Hogarth Company to undertake a study of the village and prepare a Village Plan.
This document sets out the views of residents, businesses and other groups within the village area, as to how they would like to see the village develop in coming years.
Hogarths held drop-in sessions and an Open Forum during February and March 2013 so that local people could contribute their thoughts.
The Plan can be viewed here.
What's On in North Down
Find out about local events here.