If you haven’t been to Randalstown lately you’re missing a treat. Set against the surroundings of Shanes Castle and its landmark railway viaduct the town is blessed with an historic architectural backdrop.
In recent years the town has been recognised for its stunning floral displays and overall presentation by winning numerous awards including the All-Ireland Best Kept Town, Britain in Bloom and most recently Ulster in Bloom for Best Small Town.
This success can be attributed in no small part to the efforts of the Randalstown Arches Association and in particular Tidy Randalstown, a group of local volunteers dedicated to preserving the towns picturesque appeal.
Chairperson for Tidy Randalstown Helen Boyd commented, ‘we are very proud of our town and our volunteers who work tirelessly to water, weed, plant and sweep. Our aim is to make Randalstown a really special place to live, work or relax whilst promoting community spirit and well-being’.
To further compliment these efforts, John Mulholland Motors have just completed the construction of an 80 meter stone wall opposite their showrooms on the entrance to the town. Hand cut from locally sourced Black Basalt the wall took over 3 months to build and represents a significant investment as John explains.
‘The wall encloses our staff car park. I wanted to have a wall built that would not only offer a degree of security for staff vehicles but also blend seamlessly with the adjoining wall of the Shanes Castle Estate.’
The wall is further enhanced by a row of newly planted Beech trees and topped with an eye-catching floral car installation as John continues.
‘We thought it would be nice to combine the town’s growing reputation for floral displays with a symbol of our business whilst adding a dash of colour to the area. We used a 1985 Skoda 130 Rapid Coupe, a rare survivor of the Cold War era and an iconic model in the history of Skoda. To save weight we decommissioned the engine and gearbox then welded in containers planted up with miniature conifers, ivy, ferns and a variety of summer-flowering bedding plants. Our hope is that as the plants mature they soften the edges of the car and wall alike and become another of the town’s attractive focal points’.
John Mulholland Motors represent Skoda, Ford, Hyundai and U-First Used Cars at their Randalstown showroom and have used the wall to memorialise another important milestone as John explains.
‘This year we also celebrate 30 years in business having founded the company in 1988 with my wife Alicia. We welcome in the region of 15,000 visitors per year between our sales and servicing departments with many venturing into the town to the benefit of other local businesses.’
‘This wall not only enhances the main entrance to the town but also our commitment as a local trader to help put Randalstown on the map as a special place to visit.’