1946-50, Hostelling, then

My brother-in-law and I decided we would walk from Ballycastle to Coleraine by every inch of the Coast, instead of sticking to the roads. In those days we would hike in the Mournes, and the Antrim Coast at weekends, and with rationing still a serious consideration, our pack weighed about forty pounds because we had to take nearly everything with us.
It was our habit to eat a prodigious breakfast and a colossal evening meal and only an orange or grapefruit and a bar of black chocolate for lunch – after all Liza owned a sweet shop, so sweet rationing was not a worry. We stayed in YHA hostels which varied tremendously in quality and facilities from the luxury of the new one at Dunluce Castle near the Giant’s Causeway to the hovel at White Park Bay.
We were sitting above White Park Bay, that beautiful stretch of sand, which is now so popular, but then was hardly known except to walkers and locals. The hostel was as primitive as they come, especially the men’s dormitory which was little more than a cottage with a packed earth floor. It was towards evening and we were anticipating the great fry we would soon be sitting down to, probably consisting of eggs, ham or bacon, tinned beans, a steak and the usual potato bread and soda bread, an Irish fry would never be without. The problem was the eggs.
It was my turn to scavenge and I set off up the hill to a small farm. I knocked the back door and politely asked the woman who came if I could buy some eggs. She looked at me very suspiciously and then said she had none. As the place was surrounded by hens I was convinced she was being economical with the truth, but that was that.. I duly reported back to HQ and Ted laughed.
“They think you’re the Ministry man checking up,” he said, adding, “It’s your accent.” To prove the point he then went up and came back with a hat full of eggs.

Categorized as General

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