On the site of a large sewage works under construction in the 70’s I was telephoned from Head Office to be told that bombs were ‘on all the bridges’, this meant rail, road and river. I closed the site to give the men time to get home and tried to pick a route for myself… Continue reading Belfast, ’69 on, in order,The Troubles, The Farce at the Barrier
There is so much to Northern Ireland that is so enjoyable, so worthy, so beautiful, I must share it, but this inevitably means I have at some point, to mention those two incredible, euphemistic words, ‘The Troubles’, not in the context of politics, and rarely touching on the frustration and horror, more, about ordinary people… Continue reading Belfast, ’61 on, The Period of the Troubles, James.
In 1944, as an Englishman, I was welcomed into an Ulster Protestant family with liberal views, and if you read a piece entitled James, you will see the level of that liberalism. This is not a detailed sortie into Irish history, just a preface to the pieces concerning the Northern Ireland troubles which will be… Continue reading Belfast, The Period of the Tooubles, An Overview.
There is, rightly, concern for the loss of land to spec and council building. In the 30’s, in any industrial town, there was street after street of ‘two-up-two-down houses, full of people and children. – 75 to the acre, the legacy of the Industrial Revolution. In ’46 people were being housed in caravan parks and… Continue reading Belfast 61 to 69, Caravans and Second Homes.
Buying 15 Having got Number 18 exactly as we wanted it, inside and out, it was obviously time to move. Sophie saw a board outside Number 15; virtually that was that, except for the protracted negotiations. leading nowhere. Then a friend, suggested if we quoted another similar property, stated we were interested in vying for… Continue reading Belfast ’61 to ’69, All about 15.
“Any Fool Can Cook ” – a certain party stopper We were entertaining old friends to dinner, we had all eaten and drunk well, the conversation was slowing and some guests started to eulogise the meal and others felt left out if they didn’t – we all knew, my wife Sophie’s excellent cooking capabilities. I… Continue reading Belfast ’61 to ’69, Talk of Parties
During the 50’s we owned a series of cars but the most idiosyncratic was, without doubt, the Morris Minor 1000. Sitting with the driving seat fully back I found my knees were somewhere near my chin, so the matter of using the clutch caused my knee to make the little signal arm come out and… Continue reading Belfast 61 to 69, A Minor Divergence and the Topo
I become an arm-waver. You know the sort of thing, ‘put this,’ pointing to the right, ‘over there,’ waving at the left, ‘put that ‘ and so on. On the day in question I wanted work done on an outlet, which had become useless through the installation of the wretched cattle-walk, over which, as far… Continue reading Belfast 1951 to 60 in order, Swimming
I have dabbled in crafts all my life and at one time was prepared to accept the opinion of experts as gospel, in spite of knowing that artistic criticism is inevitably subjective, but that is all a thing of the past and came to an end in the YMCA Camera Club one evening when I… Continue reading Belfast 1951 to 60 in order,Art
On the runway job I learned of the problems of labour relations. We had to build up a big workforce and as we were a Government Department, and in Northern Ireland, we were walking on eggs all the time. Politicians were looking over our collective shoulder and, to our complete amazement, asking questions in Westminster… Continue reading Belfast 1951 to ’60 in order, The Runway Job and other Memories