Headlines from 1983

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There was praise for Ballyclare May Fair, two “dens of iniquity” were set to be knocked down in Whitehead and police were investigating suspicious fires in Larne during June 1983.

The May Fair received a firm “thumbs-up” from the organisers, stall-holders, local traders and thousands from around the Province who converged on the town the previous week.

A number of improvements in the annual festival programme, which brought about a return to the old style May Fair, guaranteed solid approval from all those involved.

The stalls were bigger and better than for many years and the number of people who flooded into the town throughout the week confirmed that the right decision had been made.

A touch of glamour was added throughout the week by continual appearances from the May Fair Queen, Nora Thompson, and her princesses Tracey Jones and Colleen Hamill.

• Meanwhile that same month, Carrick Council voted to demolish “two dens of iniquity” outside Whitehead. The “dens” were shelters on the Blackhead path, which had been used as drinking spots by young people.

Cllr Paddy Conway said: “These shelters are supposed to be for tourists, but they are being used by young people as drinking dens. They have become dens of iniquity.

“The behaviour of these young people cannot be described. It is totally disgusting. Young people who require alcohol adjourn to the top two shelters at Blackhead. They litter them with beer cans and broken bottles. Unfortunately this may be one result of unemployment.

“The shelters serve no purpose other than encouraging this anti-social behaviour.”

• Police in Larne were investigating a spate of fires in the region. RUC officers were appealing for information after a series of incidents in the Upper Waterloo Road and Ferris Park areas.

Fires had been started in a number of garden sheds, mostly belonging to pensioners.

As well as causing distress to the elderly residents, the fires had destroyed many valuable pieces of garden equipment. Anyone with information was asked to contact police at Larne.