4th JUNE 2020 - Page 39



FARM WEEK
FARMFAMILY
ABOVE: David McIntyre, president of Roe Valley Beekeepers’
Association, with an impressive array of trophies and awards won at
the association’s recent annual show and the Ulster Beekeepers’
Association Show at Greenmount. Included are the prize-winning jars
including the recent over 40-year-old find! FW1745-36DL
ABOVE: George busy tending to his beehives. FW1745-43DL
NOVEMBER 23 2017
39
ABOVE: Two of George’s five beehives in a snow covered garden close
to the housing used for hens and as a stable. FW1745-40DL
Forty-year-old honey in sweet success
at Greenmount Show
RIGHT: George,
second left, with son
nine-year-old Warren,
and holding daughter
four-year-old Rosemary,
with Limavady Fire
Service members
Norman Deighan, Jackie
McCallion and two
others, pictured outside
the then Limavady
Auxiliary Fire Service in
the 1940s. The then
equipment comprised
two privately-owned cars
with towing facilities
for the firefighting
equipment which
comprised two pumps!
FW1745-42DL
ABOVE: Pictured with the cardboard box, original jars and equipment at the spot where they
were discovered in the garage at Drumrane Road, Limavady, are David McIntyre, president Roe
Valley Beekeepers’ Association, Norman Rowe, member, Rosemary Cook, daughter of George
Trotter, owner of the discovered honey, her husband Ray, and nine-year-old Cara Rihan, grandson
of Norman. FW1745-37DL
R
ABOVE: The
late George
Trotter on his
way to tend to
his beehives.
FW1745-39DL
ABOVE: Highly
Commended – the late
George Trotter’s entry,
at some 40 years old!
FW1745-38DL
LEFT: George,
right, as Limavady
town surveyor, in
conversation with a
Stormont Ministerial
representative and
Mr Jackson, another
surveyor.
FW1745-41DL
OSEMARY Cook and her husband
Ray, Drumrane Road, Limavady,
made an amazing discovery just a
few weeks back when they decided
to clear their garage.
There, in the middle of the floor, amongst
some other items accumulated over the
years, was a cardboard box which, on being
opened, disclosed several large jars of
honey.
Lying undetected for over 40 years, they
had belonged to Rosemary’s late father
and master beekeeper George Trotter.
David McIntyre, president of the local
Roe Valley Beekeepers’ Association, and
member Norman Rowe were contacted and
were delighted with the condition of the
honey.
David said the combined smell of Bell
heather and small mountain flowers was so
breathtaking it was like eating a bunch of
flowers and it was very unusual to get this
combination.
They thought the honey was still of show
quality and entered it in the upcoming local
honey show in the late George Trotter’s
name as if it was this season’s honey.
Michael Younge, INIBKA, an international
judge, detected a hint of fermentation and
passed it over.
Undeterred, the honey was then entered
in the UBKA honey show at Greenmount
where it was awarded Highly Commended
– what an achievement after over 40 years!
Amazingly the honey was adjudged to be
still show quality and competitive with any
in the show.
Rosemary said her dad George Trotter
had been born in 1896. After attending
Larne Grammar School and Larne Technical
College, he graduated from Queen’s
University with a BSc in Civil Engineering.
He first came to work in Limavady for the
Urban District Council in 1928-29. After
working for the Londonderry and Limavady
Regional Education Committee, he was
appointed Town Surveyor to Limavady.
She recalled: “George was introduced
to beekeeping around the 1940s by
Tommy Linton, an oil delivery lorry driver, a
resident of Catherine Street in Limavady.
“He kept his bees in the gardens of
Bridge Hill and the then Carnegie Library,
now where the War Memorial is located.
“Another notable beekeeper in the
area was John Allen, a teacher, living in
lower Catherine Street between the then
Northern and Ulster Bank locations where
the then houses had very large gardens.
“The Trotter home garden, located on
the now Drumrane Road, Limavady, had
an orchard of 144 trees in the 1940s and
50s. George had three main sites for the
bees – one close to the top of the orchard,
one lower end, and one at the part he had
for a vegetable garden, something to do
with bee ‘flight paths’!
“In the 1950s/60s some boxes spent
the summer located near Larganteagh
Springs, off the then Murder Hole Road,
now Windyhill Road. He also had boxes at
Camnish, the cottage between the Manse
and the Rectory, now a bungalow just
beyond Burnfoot. In all he had a total of
some 15 boxes!”
She went on: “George usually bought his
honey jars when on holiday in Dumfries,
Scotland – though he did also order a lot
by post.
“The Post Office even requested the
collection of a queen bee that George had
ordered from England. It was in a small
box – like a matchbox – with a few other
bees!”

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