A tree services company has played a key role in bringing additional heat to residents of an independent living location for older people in Carrickfergus.
The heart-warming tale involving business, sailing enthusiasts and charity came from adversity after the borough was hit by storms and tidal surges.
It began after Carrickfergus Marina recently took delivery of a new work boat as part of the ongoing works to enhance the facilities.
A statement by Carrickfergus Marina, Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Belfast Lough Sailability, explained that whilst carrying out maintenance checks in the marina entrance, the crew came across a very large part of a fallen tree, probably washed into Belfast Lough during the recent bad weather.
The statement to the Carrick Times noted: “A piece of timber of such a size is a considerable hazard to shipping to both commercial and leisure craft. The problem being was then what to do with it.”
It added that calls to the sailing club, Belfast Lough Sailability, which gives adults and children with a disability the opportunity to learn the skill of sailing, and Enhance NI, a local tree services company, provided the “perfect answer”.
The marina work boat towed the log to Carrickfergus Sailing Club slipway where members of the club and Sailability were on hand to drag it, using a 4x4 vehicle, onto dry land.
“Enhance NI staff, using chainsaws and specialised equipment, made short work of the offending piece of timber and having cut it into manageable pieces, they kindly donated it to the Sheils Community Houses in Carrickfergus.” Designed by the famous architect Charles Lanyon and dating from the 1860s, the Sheils Houses at Downshire Road are among the borough’s most distinct locations.
Christine Harper, warden at the Sheils Community and a sailing enthusiast, thanked everyone involved.
Christine commented: “I’m so glad that such a dangerous shipping hazard has ended up being put to such good use.
“Many of our residents still use open fires for heating and with such a prolonged winter they are very glad of a lorry load of logs to help them keep warm.”
Coastal areas bore the brunt of last month’s storm. In Carrick almost 1,000 sandbags were distributed to residents as the borough braced itself for an onslaught. Although the surge did not reach the peak expected, several areas were hit including Rhanbuoy Park and the marina.