David Bellamy

David Bellamy, author, broadcaster, environment campaigner, botanist, and honoured visitor …. on the opening of the Wild Life Refuge, or Nature Park on the Nortel site.



David Bellamy arrived to open the wild life refuge at the back of the M4 plant. Here he is seen with Brian Wilson and some of the School children who worked on the creation of the refuge.
The wildlife refuge was a Monkstown Community school project run by 15/16 year olds including Pamela Wilson. Pamela is Ken Wilson’s daughter and Ken ran the print room and was the custodian of these photographs before me.
Ken and I supported teams from the same football city but had an active competition for many years on who would place higher in the league….. I did win more than lost…..but somehow i still always felt I had lost.


In 1998 Nortel won the ‘Environmental Excellence Award for Business’.

From the Nortel press release.

In presenting the prestigious award to Nortel Networks Bert McMaw, (Senior Manager Site Services, Jimmy McIlwain, (Chairman of NI2000’s Project Committee) said “In 1998 NI2000 extended the scope of its Environmental Excellence Awards to include businesses which have demonstrated excellence in their commitment to imptoving or protecting the environment, by involving employees and local community schools and organisations in schemes such as Nortel Park”

“The park development groups under the direction of Nortel Network’s Wilsey Kernohan, (Environmental, Health and Safety Manager) are to be congratulated in the large range of diverse fauna and flora to be found in the small 2 acre site.”

“The Park is truly unique among the many entrants we have so far examined in that it is the natural home of a rare wild orchid”

NITEC Building Award


Before: The old entrance and small office building at the front of M4 being demolished. This had initially been the Spalding plant and for a long time that name was still deep in the STC conversation. “I’m heading up to Spaldings” was a phrase which left me totally confused in my first week at work.  But then again the “Raceview loading bay” in the M3 plant was still talked about 20 years after the Raceview site in Enniskillen had closed.


During: The new shape of Nitec starting to unfold. This was a significant building effort not seen on the site for one, maybe two, decades before. The building would not be any use if we didn’t get Broadband into it, and this was one of our first experiences of being a Customer to one of the early cable companies who were becoming our new Customers.  Not a straight forward experience. I think the lead time for the cable was longer than the building.

(I don’t remember it being called Broadband in those days…. Ethernet has a ring to it)

img1170"From the top of Carnmoney hill"

After: The NITEC building won the W & G Baird Business Environmental Endeavour (BEE) award. This scheme is aimed at encouraging excellence in the design of the working environment.

Pictured here with NITEC’s director, Dr Danny McCaughan, are mechanical design engineers Gillian McColgan and Irwin Potts



The assessor gave the site high marks for being “well integrated into the suburban environment” Des Cave the Project Manager received the award from Richard Needham, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, at a lunch at Shane’s Castle

In the beginning Standard Telephones and Cables created Monkstown

It all started in 1962.  Actually, to my surprise, I discovered at the Public Record office that it started in 1951 … but that is a story for another day.

In 1962 it was the start of an Era which had a significant effect on thousands of families in Northern Ireland and many lifetimes of effort associated with Standards (Standard Telephones and Cables) and in more recent decades Nortel.

This blog is dedicated to all those great experiences and memories of all the great folks who worked in Monkstown on the Doagh road.

It is a story in our own words, based on our failing memories and the huge number of photographs that have been collected and are being retained and published to aid our failing memories.

Comments are very welcome.