THE VISIT BY HRH THE DUKE OF KENT TO KIRKISTOWN GOLF CLUB, FLORIDA MANOR, KILMOOD PARISH CHURCH & THE FOLK & TRANSPORT MUSEUM ON 28TH MARCH 2019
HRH. The Duke of Kent visited Kirkistown Golf Club in the morning & first of all met a number of officers & members of the club there. He watched a demonstration of self defence & yoga before travelling on a buggy to the "Motte" (an ancient mound on which a wooden castle once stood) to see15 year old Beth Coulter drive an amazing shot of the 9th tee. Finally he was entertained by 2 choirs before departing.
Next we drove round the North of Strangford Lough to Florida Manor. This is a Magnificent 17th century manor house which has been rescued by Michael & Barbara Lagan. So far the repairs have been mainly structural to make the house safe & sound, but they are about to start the more intricate part of the restoration. The Duke then enjoyed a delicious lunch in the stable yard which has already been restored. Next he was driven the 2 miles or so to St Mary's @ Kilmood which is the local Church to Florida Manor. There he met amongst others, the Bishop of Down & Dromore, Harold Millar & the rector, Stanley Gamble. As he arrived we listened to the new bells in the bell tower which had been very recently installed & dedicated. There followed a short service & a look at the vintage organ, rescued from an English Church, which was only finished the day before. On the way out of the Church he saw the Cross Memorial Bell, the sexton's cottage & finally the old school, now home to a playgroup.
The last visit of the day was to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum in Cultra. He started in the transport section where he viewed the Soyuz exhibition which included Tim Peake's capsule & parachute which is currently on loan to the museum. He then moved up to the Folk Museum & saw the blacksmith, a basket maker, printers & gardeners amongst the many other buildings & exhibits.