The Story of the Butt Hall comes back to life

first_imgOne of Donegal’s most famous ballroom of romance will be brought back to life this week when the acclaimed ‘Dreamers and Dancers – The Story of the Butt Hall’ makes a long-overdue return to the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey.Penned by Susan Doherty, the play (with music) was first performed to packed houses at the Balor ten years ago to mark what was the 50th anniversary of the award-winning Butt Drama Circle.Rewind to June 2006 – Ms Doherty stood, along with a hundred or more onlookers, on the pavement outside the old Isaac Butt Memorial Hall. Seated inside at a table were the members of the Butt Hall Committee and various dignitaries. The final contract was signed. The old Butt Hall would be demolished before the end of the week to make way for the new Butt Hall Centre, which would also house a purpose-built Balor Theatre.It struck Susan at the time that, in a few days, the much-loved Butt Hall would be gone forever. So, she set about writing the original script for Dreamers and Dancers.To say the show was well received when it was first staged in 2009 would be an understatement – it played to packed houses for two full weeks. Recently adapted and directed by Monica Doherty, audiences from all over Donegal and beyond will next week be given an opportunity to take another trip down memory lane to when it all began over 100 years ago. From drama productions to silent films, court cases to card games, an educational facility to a library, we celebrate the many ways in which the history of The Butt Hall is woven into the fabric of this community.Above all there’s the music. For all its myriad activities and uses down through the years, it’s as a Dance Hall that the Butt Hall is most famously and fondly remembered – one of the true Ballrooms of Romance.Starring, amongst others, ‘Mad Marcus (Mark McIntyre), Fergus Cleary, Mary Laverty, Darieen McMeniman, Brian Duffy and Frankie Quinn, Dreamers and Dancers will return to the Balor this week for four nights only from tonight Tuesday, October 15th to Friday 18th.But, be warned, tickets are selling fast.For bookings, contact the Balor Box Office on 0749131840 or log on to www.balorartscentre.comAdditional information The Butt Drama Circle celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019 having started out in the Butt Hall, Ballybofey in 1959.  Over the years, the group has evolved and is now much more than just an amateur drama club, winning multiple prizes across the amateur drama scene in Ireland and cultivating local talent. With multiple productions throughout the year, the Butt Drama Circle contributes to the arts scene both locally and in the wider area.The Story of the Butt Hall comes back to life was last modified: October 15th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Ballroom of RomanceButt Halllast_img read more

Graeme Pollock, batsman supreme

first_imgGraeme Pollock was voted South Africa’s Cricketer of the Century in 2000, and no one who saw him play would dispute the honour.Graeme Pollock retired from the first-class game in the 1986/87 season at the age of 43. His career had begun 26 years earlier. (Image: CricBuzz)Brand South Africa ReporterGraeme Pollock was voted South Africa’s Cricketer of the Century in 2000, and no one who saw him play would dispute the honour. A left-handed batsman who struck the ball with the sweetest timing and made the game look easy, Pollock is the most successful left-hander in test history, with an average second only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman.Pollock was just 19 years old when he made his test debut, facing Australia in Brisbane. He made 25 runs. In the next test he made only 16 and two, but in the third match of the series he made an early mark on the game.Playing in Sydney, Pollock made 122 in South Africa’s first innings, a knock of such quality that Sir Donald Bradman suggested: “Next time you decide to play like that, send me a telegram.” Pollock made a further 42 runs in the second innings.SA third-wicket recordIn Adelaide, he and Eddie Barlow shared a South African third-wicket record partnership of 341, with Pollock hitting 175 and Barlow 201. South Africa won the test by 10 wickets to even the series.In the final test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Pollock made 17. Not yet out of his teens, he had finished the series with 399 runs to his name at an average of 57. That was but a sign of things to come.Pollock missed two of three four-day tests against New Zealand immediately after the Australian tour, but returned for the third test to score 30 and 23.Next up for the young star was a five-test series against England in South Africa, and he started slowly with scores of five, nought and 12 before he finally found some form to make 55. From that point on, things improved markedly as Pollock scored three fifties and a century in his next six innings. Again he finished with a series average of just over 57.SA in EnglandThe Springboks next headed for England for a three-test series, hoping to avenge the one-nil series loss they had suffered at home. The first test was drawn as Pollock scored 56 and five, but the next game belonged to the Pollock brothers.Graeme scored 125 out of the 269 that South Africa totalled in their first innings. Such was the quality of his contribution that famed cricket writer EW Swanton wrote:“An innings was played here today by Graeme Pollock which in point of style and power, of ease and beauty of execution, is fit to rank with anything in the annals of the game.” Such was the left-hander’s dominance that when he was dismissed the total stood on just 162!England managed 240 in reply to South Africa’s effort as the older Pollock, Peter, captured 5 for 53. Graeme then tallied 59 in the Springboks’ second innings of 289, leaving the English requiring 319 for victory.They didn’t come close as Peter Pollock once again ripped through their ranks, claiming 5 for 34 to finish with match figures of 10 for 87, as South Africa took the win that would seal a series triumph. Graeme also contributed to the bowling effort, sending down five overs of leg spin, conceding only four runs and removing England captain MJK Smith for 24.In the drawn third test Graeme Pollock scored 12 and 32, falling to a run out in his second innings. The cricketer’s Bible, Wisden, voted him one of their five Cricketers of the Year in 1966.Substantial contributionThe South Africans next faced Australia in 1966/67 in a five-match test series at home. Pollock’s contribution was once again substantial. In the first test, which South Africa won by 233 runs, he failed in the first innings, making only five, but his second visit to the crease netted him 90 runs.The Australians levelled the series in the second test despite a magnificent performance from Pollock. He made 209 out of a South African total of 353, but trailing by 189 runs on the first innings proved too big a deficit to overcome and the tourists won by six wickets, Pollock making only four in his second knock.Playing in Durban, the Springboks took a two-one series lead thanks to an eight-wicket victory in which the star left-hander contributed two and an undefeated 67. Rain saved the Australians from defeat in the fourth test during which Pollock made 22, but in the fifth test at his home ground of St George’s Park he helped South Africa to a three-one series triumph with innings of 105 and 33 not out. His average for the series was 76.71.Australia crushedSadly, Pollock was to play only one more test series before a ban on South Africa ended his international career, but in that series he played for a team that many regard as the best South African team of all time. They crushed Australia four-nil with the margin of victory increasing from test to test.This was not a bad Australian side. They had, in fact, just beaten India in India, taking the five-match series three-one. The previous season they had beaten a West Indies team that included Gary Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Charlie Griffith, Wes Hall and Lance Gibbs three-one in a five-test series. However, they were no match for the Springboks.South Africa won the first test, played in Cape Town, by 170 runs. Pollock made 49 and 50. In the second test in Durban, he and Barry Richards absolutely slaughtered the Australian bowling attack as South Africa totalled 622 for 9 declared in their first innings. Pollock’s contribution was a then South African record of 274, while Richards made 140. Australia had no answers to the challenge and went down by an innings and 129 runs.Pollock scored 52 and 87 in the third test as South Africa cruised to a 307-run win. In the fourth test, a 323-run victory, he managed only one and four at his home ground in Port Elizabeth. Without the failures of his final test, his average would have been 64.26; as it was it finished at 60.97.Premature endConsidering that Pollock was just 26 years of age when his test career was brought to a premature end, it is reasonable to suggest that he would have improved his average. What he could have achieved is a matter of speculation, but there must have been many bowlers that sighed with relief that they did not have to test themselves against the great left-hander.Pollock retired from the first-class game in the 1986/87 season at the age of 43. His career had begun 26 years earlier. He made 20 940 runs, including 64 centuries and 99 fifties – his conversion rate from fifties to hundreds an indication of his genius. He averaged 54.67.Limited overs matches were introduced some time after his career began, and he played only 112 innings in the shorter form of the game. Nonetheless, he tallied 4 656 runs at an average of over 50.So much more than the statisticsThe statistics are impressive, but Pollock was so much more than the statistics indicate. He dominated bowlers, stroking the ball with such power that cover fielders would often only turn around once a cracking drive that had sped past them was five metres from the boundary.He made the game look simple and stunning at the same time. He was comfortable against any type of bowling and could bat on any surface. He was arguably the greatest left-handed batsman the world has yet seen.In February 2009, the genius of Pollock was recognised when he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame as one of the first 55 players to be honoured.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Potential SA medallists into Olympic finals

first_img800 metresAndre Olivier missed out on the final of the 800 metres after finishing fifth in heat three of the semi-finals. She fared even better in the first of the three semi-finals, clocking 1:51.286 to win her race in the second fastest time among the women to advance to the final. 8 August 2012 The South African stopped the clock in 20.46, while Lemaitre ran a 20.34. Hartley is the fastest women ever in a K1 over 500m, having recorded a world record time of 1:46.90 at the World Championships in 2011, where she contested the B-final! Jonty Robinson scored a late goal for South Africa, which made it 5-3 before Peillat netted his second to double up South Africa’s score. TriathlonRichard Murray finished 17th in the 55-strong men’s triathlon in a time of 1:49:15. Viljoen leads the world standings this year after thowing an African record of 69.35m in New York on 9 June. Spotakova placed second on that occasion with a distance of 68.73m. “I felt really good this morning after all the training that I’ve done,” Viljoen told reporters afterwards. “I know what I’ve put in and it is just a matter of time to let everything come together.” Automatic qualifierSunette Viljoen needed just one throw to qualify for the final of the javelin throw, her distance of 65.92m bettering the automatic qualifying mark. The next five goals, however, went the way of the South Americans. Facundo Callioni and Gonzalo Peillat both struck twice as Argentina scored three field goals and three penalty goals. Semi-final placeLehann Fourie posted his best time of the season in the men’s 110m hurdles heats of 13.49 seconds. That was good for second behind Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the defending champion, who posted a time of 13.33. It also put him into the semi-finals.center_img There were no medals up for grabs for Team South Africa at the London Olympic Games on Tuesday, but some potential medal winners put themselves in a position to add to the team’s haul of three gold medals and one silver. He went through halfway in last place, but moved his way up to fifth down the back straight. Olivier, though, couldn’t find another gear and couldn’t improve his position as he finished in 1:45.44. Mohammed Aman, the first place finisher, crossed the line in 1:44.34. Bridgitte Hartley, competing in the women’s kayak single (K1) 500 metres, qualified for the semi-finals of the event after finishing second in her qualifying heat behind Hungary’s Danuta Kozak. That effort was top of qualifying group B and the third best of the day, trailing only defending champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Christina Obergfoll. Gold went to British triathlete Alistair Brownlee, with Spain’s Javier Gomez in second, and Brownlee’s younger brother Jonathan in third. The winning time was 1:46:25. Jobodwana’s reward is a place in the semi-finals. He goes in heat two and faces, among others, two-time 100m champion and the defending champion in the 200m, Usain Bolt. Anaso Jobodwana placed second in his 200 metres heat behind the Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, the European champion in the 100 metres, who has chosen to run the 200m in London. Gregg Clark’s charges play their last game on Saturday when they face India in a playoff for eleventh place. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The match started well for South Africa as goals from Justin Reid-Ross and Lloyd Norris-Jones had them leading 2-0 after only eight minutes. Men’s hockeyAt the Riverbank Arena, the South African men’s hockey team lost 6-3 to Argentina.last_img read more

Jeeps of joy

first_imgSreeraj Unnithan with his vintage jeepFlaunting their ageless charm and beauty, the jeeps of the bygone era are attracting Bangloreans. People here have always had a penchant for the old and rugged, but over the years new age machines and style has taken over substance, at least on the roads.,Sreeraj Unnithan with his vintage jeepFlaunting their ageless charm and beauty, the jeeps of the bygone era are attracting Bangloreans. People here have always had a penchant for the old and rugged, but over the years new age machines and style has taken over substance, at least on the roads. The last few years have seen that change with both youngsters and well as older and more experienced riders looking for, and taking pride in these tough machines that have weathered many storms.Agreed, the rugged CJs and Willys do not fit into definitions of conventional stunners. They lack the sensuous curves and sleek styling that the world drools over. But these vehicles were made for fighting battles. Like generals during war, they earn their spurs through sheer grit and passion, braving the storm without as much as a dent. They command a presence that is impossible to ignore. “I love the what-you-see-is-what-you-get honesty they exude,” says Sreeraj Unnithan, 34, a team leader in a software firm. “Look a jeep in the eye and you know it means business,” he adds.Suresh Kumar SP, 48-year-old senior scientist with the Defence Research & Development Organisation, stumbled upon his CJ 340 by accident. A free-spirited biker and nature lover, he chanced upon a stray entry in the local classifieds that offered security on four wheels minus the confinement that comes bundled with it. “I jumped at this best-of-both-worlds offer,” he says.But Kumar was lucky. These elusive vehicles don’t come so easy. They can’t be picked off showroom shelves and most enthusiasts either import or buy them from old garages and army disposal auctions. “You can choose to showcase them but these blue-blooded warriors are meant to rule the road,” says Rajesh Narayanan, clarifying that ‘vintage’ does not reflect snob value. Many of these vehicles are close to three decades old, and some date back much earlier.advertisementTextbook trivia goes that when Bantam introduced the first prototype during World War II, enamoured American soldiers informally christened the jeep after the popular cartoon character Eugene, Popeye’s jungle pet. And this was because; it was small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems. ‘Small’ is a subjective term, but the rest holds true to the many individuals who push these gentle beasts to the limit. Offroading or all-terrain riding, is a major draw to jeep communities across the country. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always a ‘guy thing.’Rajesh Narayanan and Jayakrishnan MSapna Gurukar, 31, does not feel women look at offroading any differently from men. Drawn to the wheel watching husband Chandan in a few early tournaments, she confesses to being hooked by the sport. “You aren’t a speed devil on these tournaments, just a careful driver. That works perfectly for me,” she says. And the encouragement she has received from the word ‘go’ has been heartening. “I love the expressions on some of the men’s faces as they watch a woman step out of the macho machine. It’s a strange mix of incredulity and admiration,” she quips.Though from a distance they all seem alike-a hazy blur in military colours-owners believe each vehicle has a distinct personality. Jayakrishnan M, 34, a HR professional, calls his CJ 3B ‘Dwarf’. “It’s short-shafted, deceptively docile, and can surprise you with its temper,” he says. The other names are equally evocative. ‘Spidey’ crosses any obstacle in his path and ‘Gajini’ has inscriptions carved on his muscular frame.Buying one sets you back only by as little as two to three lakhs, but that’s just a fraction of the expense that goes into maintaining it. Very few mechanics are trained to handle breakdowns and spares, if available, come at steep prices. “On a lighter vein, if ‘jeep’ was an abbreviation, just empty every pocket wouldn’t be a bad option,” says Jayakrishnan.Despite the challenges, the thrills of a ride are incomparable. In some cases, functional modifications are made to make them slightly more comfortable, but don’t expect cushy leather upholstery or frilly makeovers. These are real men. Meant for the tough at heart. Once you step on it, life is never the same again. And who dares disagree. Vintage triviaCommon Vintage Military Models: Ford GPW,Willys MB,CJ2A,CJ3A.Willys: Willys built the first civilian Jeeps (CJ) soon after World War II.CJ 3B: This model has the maximum sale around the world. Close to 5,00,000 across companies worldwide.Cost of vinatge jeeps: Rs 3,00,000 lakhs.Cost of older models: Older models like the Ford GPWand Willys MB may fetch more than Rs 5,00,000 lakhs.Common Indian models: MM540 and MM550XD (Military).advertisementlast_img read more