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Brian Ambrose remembers … Teenage Years in Portavogie


Brian’s career, spanning 38 years in the aviation industry, has includ- ed senior management positions within Bombardier in Engineering, Business Development and Operations. In 2004 he was appointed Chief


Executive of Belfast City Airport and is responsible for a growing business with an annual passen- ger throughput in excess of 2.5 million. Employing 1,600 people to support 110 flights each day, the airport is a significant contrib- utor to the NI economy. Brian is also currently Chairman


of Mencap Northern Ireland, Chairman of Tourism Ireland, Non- Executive Director of Phoenix Natural Gas, a Trustee of the Titanic Foundation and a Board Member of Business in the Community. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours in 2011.


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daily 15-mile bus journey from Portavogie to school at Regent House. A number of big building projects were under way then, including the pioneering Ards Shopping Centre, better known as Woolco. Te local tradesmen who shared the Ulsterbus journey enjoyed passing the time by lifting me and placing me in the luggage rack of the bus – life was certainly never dull. Te opening of Woolco changed shopping habits and


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over time we would no longer have the weekly visits to our home of the grocery van, the bread van, the butcher’s van, the fruit and vegetable van, the lemonade man, the milkman and the chip van. Te midweek visit of the latter was a highlight as the van arrived just before ‘Sportsnight with Coleman’ on the BBC. We only had three television channels then and colour sets, which most people rented, were a new arrival at the beginning of the decade. To be cool in the 1970s in-


volved wearing school trousers which were widely flared, Bay


hat did Te Ards look like in the 1970s through the lens of a teenager? Well it commenced with the


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