Strangford Summer Festival a shining example of great community relations to all

James and Abbie McConville dressed up as part of a 101 Dalmations group for the Strangford Summer Festival
James and Abbie McConville dressed up as part of a 101 Dalmations group for the Strangford Summer Festival James and Abbie McConville dressed up as part of a 101 Dalmations group for the Strangford Summer Festival

So, that's it then.

In the blink of an eye, the summer of 2019 has been and gone and now it's time to baton down the hatches as Halloween hurdles towards us.

Of course, it's not all bad.

I'm sure many of us have wonderful memories of this summer and they should be enough to get us through the cold and dark nights.

For me, it's thoughts of our family trip to Jersey last month which will keep me going but that's not all.

As with every year, the McConville clan seen out the eight weeks of summer bliss with the brilliant Strangford Summer festival.

For anyone who has never been, you have no idea the fun you are missing and for anyone who was there, I'm sure you had a ball.

Organised by a small group of dedicated village volunteers, this annual four-day spectacular is the best of the best of community festivals.

Starting on a Friday, the village is packed out with both locals and visitors keen to attend the many events, which include a treasure hunt, skiffie racing, a 10k race and a 5k fun run.

The following day, the playing fields are packed out for sports day, which this year included a fab game of rounders, and later, the annual raft race, which is just hilarious.

However, it's the Sunday events we look forward to the most as the fancy dress and band parade winds its way through the village streets, where onlookers are lined up, and this year there were some great entries including the Jamaican bob-sled team, a catwalk of recycled couture and of course, 101 Dalmations, my personal favourite but then again, my children and their cousins were involved so I am biased.

Then, it's on to the village green for the inflatable zone and some yummy food.

Everyone has a great time and it really rounds off the summer in style.

The final day includes a fishing competition and a festival bake-off and each day, there's a food and craft market followed by live music and dancing.

Really, nothing beats this great event each year and it's heart-warming to see the whole village buzzing.

It's just a great atmosphere.

Congratulations again to the committee who once again put this wonderful event together and also to all those who volunteered and helped out.

What you do is a fantastic example of how a community can work together for the benefit of everyone.

Others would do well to follow your lead.


Thank goodness for the gorgeous Joe Lando.

Just when I was feeling some `end-of-summer blues', this dream of a man - who starred as Sully, opposite Jane Seymour in Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman - has come back into my life.

The show ended many moons ago and I hadn't seen this dreamboat since then.

But this week, Jane Seymour shared a photo of the pair on Instragam after they met up.

He is still beautiful and I still love him.

I was whipped into a frenzy so I thought I would share it.




It’s been an invitation we have been expecting for what seems like an age and finally it’s here – Downton Abbey the movie hits cinemas this month and I have passes to be won.

If you’re a fan of the show, which ended on TV in 2015, you will have been patiently waiting for this new arrival on the big screen and now, we don’t have long to wait, as it arrives at Movie House Cinemas next week.

Written by Julian Fellowes, we can expect to pick up with the Crawleys in 1927 ahead of a royal visit to Downton Abbey by King George V and Queen Mary.

While little is known about the storyline of the movie, we can be sure there will be lots of drama as all the much-loved characters return, including Robert Crawley, Lady Mary Talbot and my absolute favourite, Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Downton Abbey arrives at Movie House Cinemas on Friday, September 13.

I have three pairs of tickets to see Downton Abbey at Movie House Cinemas to give away

If you fancy winning a pair of tickets, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12Noon on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

(Q) Who wrote Downton Abbey?

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The winners of the Slim's Healthy Kitchen competition are Eileen Stevenson, from Belfast, Geraldine McClosker, from Claudy, and Jean Boyd, from Moy