Park renamed to celebrate Glengormley aviator

Sisters Sophie (6), Charlotte (7) and Rachel Regan (5) take a test flight on the Mafly. INNT 35-449-RM
Sisters Sophie (6), Charlotte (7) and Rachel Regan (5) take a test flight on the Mafly. INNT 35-449-RM
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HISTORY was made this week as Glengormley Park was renamed the Lilian Bland Community Park to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the aviator.

Elected representatives joined invited guests and park users as Mayor, Alderman Billy Webb unveiled a sculpture of Bland’s famous flying machine the Mayfly.

Council Parks Manager Margaret Lindsay, Environmental Services Director Hugh Kellyl, Deputy Mayor Victor Robinson, Mayor Billy Webb, Imogen Holmes, Rev Edward Pratt and Councillor John Scott at the ceremony to mark the renaming of Glengormley Park to Lilian Bland Community Park. INNT 35-443-RM

Council Parks Manager Margaret Lindsay, Environmental Services Director Hugh Kellyl, Deputy Mayor Victor Robinson, Mayor Billy Webb, Imogen Holmes, Rev Edward Pratt and Councillor John Scott at the ceremony to mark the renaming of Glengormley Park to Lilian Bland Community Park. INNT 35-443-RM

Bland’s great niece and great nephew travelled to Glengormley from England for the renaming ceremony and spoke of the immense honour of the occasion.

Great nephew, Reverend Edward Pratt, gave a brief history of Lilian who was the first woman to design, build and fly her own aeroplane in the early 1900s.

He described her as a pioneer and said aviation ran through the family’s rich and varied history with relatives taking to the skies during the subsequent two world wars and right up to today, with one relation piloting a jumbo jet.

It’s hoped the name change will herald a new era in the park’s history and help shake the territorialism and trouble that has dogged the area and the village for years, with community groups and Newtownabbey Borough Council working to make the park an inclusive area for all the community.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...