‘Neglected’ Carrick area in best kept title bid

The community garden adds a dash of spring colour to the area. INCT 17-751-CON
The community garden adds a dash of spring colour to the area. INCT 17-751-CON

Residents are helping to transform a previously “negelected” area of Carrickfergus into an award-nominated location.

A range of positive developments were outlined when Davys Street Residents Association recently held its annual general meeting in Flame Gasworks Museum.

The group is 18 months old and has brought about significant change for the area since its formation, according to chairperson Jonathan Cooke.

Mr Cooke thanked residents for taking up the challenge to improve their area and achieving so much in such a short time.

He reported: “The residents have been so keen it’s hard to keep up with the projects that are being proposed. This all started after a significant number of residents from the area were regularly contacting me in my role as a PUP representative.

“It was very clear that Davys Street had been neglected for some time and I suggested they start a residents group; they were helped do this by Carrickfergus Community Forum and the change has been dramatic, eventful and extremely rewarding.

“We have now been nominated for best kept small estate and that is down to the many street cleans and projects undertaken to improve the area’s image.”

Re-imaging projects, the AGM heard, have included a mural designed and painted by the younger members of the community, covering a wall that had become a frequent focal point for graffiti,

Furthermore, the area has seen the installation of a bespoke community garden that is now in full bloom.

More changes are afoot, the chairperson continued, with plans well underway for 40 hanging baskets, six Georgian planters and two large seated planters.

They he noted “will all be ready for installation as soon as the weather improves enough for the plants to fulfil their potential”.

Mr Cooke continued: “Other projects have included some intervention work at times of high anti-social behaviour and a local history project that culminated in the launch of our short booklet.”

The community is also progressing a Great War centenary tribute with local resonance.

“We also plan to recognise the significant sacrifice made by residents during the First World War in a joint venture with the Carrickfergus Friends of the 36th, Somme group.

“Over 30 residents fought bravely in various roles with local regiments and even with the Australian and Canadian forces.”

The chairperson went on to appeal for further participation from the community to ensure the continued development and success of the initiative.

“The Residents Association is open to anyone who lives or has a vested interest in the area and we are always on the lookout for new volunteers, particularly as we have acquired a substantial amount of gardening equipment to assist our elderly and less able residents to enjoy their gardens again.”