Excursion on Lough Erne. August 25th 1864. Impartial Reporter.
On Friday there was an excursion to Belleek on the steamer Devenish. It was the best of the season. The number of persons on board about 320 was not so great as on the 12th of August; but was less crowding, and the day was delightful. Among the strangers present were, Sir James Emerson Tennent and a party of friends consisting of Rt. Hon. James Whiteside, Q. C., M. P., Richard Davidson Esq., formerly the representative of Belfast, John Foster, Esq., a distinguished writer, and now a Lunacy Commissioner, and Mr Dunville of Belfast.
This party with the exception of Mr Davidson on the return trip of the boat, went ashore at Rossfad with Mr Richardson and family to proceed with the Rev. J. G. Porter to Kilskeery. Mr Porter himself was on board as he is during most excursions of his iron child the Devenish, and was as usual, the life of the party It has sometimes been thought that some people ought never to die; and if it were right to give way to such philosophy or sentiment, we would say that Mr Porter ought to be one of the immortal exceptions to Nature’s rule. If “it takes all sorts to make up a world” we have some doubt any world existing without him; for we don’t think there is another of exactly the same sort.
There were on board a large number of the gentry, from the town and country, a number of soldiers of the 29th Regiment, and all together a right good boat-full.
At Belleek most of the excursionists visited the large and handsome porcelain factory and had the different parts of the process, and various products of skill, pointed out by Mr. Armstrong, the manager and by Mr. Bloomfield of Castle Caldwell, who takes so much interest in the go-ahead of Archimedes. The Syracusan sage, if he had the requisites would have moved the world; Mr. Bloomfield would move it. There are many things about the factory worthy of admiration and note, though the presence of the crowd was unfavourable for examining them. But that which struck us most was the beauty of some vases that were in the process of manufacture in the hands of an amateur artist of no mean skill.
A good many of the excursionists visited the bridge which is being built over the Erne at Belleek for the Enniskillen and Bundoran Railway. It promises to be a bold and handsome structure. The return to Enniskillen was very pleasant, and everyone on board, save two or three roughs who deem themselves commissioned to be locomotive or cacomotive protests against the Band of Hope, seemed to enjoy the trip very much. A good many people lunched and dined on board, and seemed to hesitate in their admiration between the excellent fare and the low fees.
An interesting post and date. Soon after the paddle-steamer Rossclare arrrived a ‘kit of parts’ from Scotland assembled in Enniskillen. Later teh Lady of the Lake and Pandora she was broken up in the 1950s to save having to build Portora lock big enough for her to pass.