(Site is no longer operational pending a major long overdue overhaul of the entire website. Thank you for your patience. Site should still be visible and searchable for old posts.)
The Lisburn Exiles Forum is dedicated to the memory of James Goddard Collins (The Boss) who single-handedly built LISBURN.COM (with a lot of help from many contributors) from 1996 to 29th November 2012. This website was his passion and helping people with a common interest in the City of Lisburn around the world is his lasting legacy.
Sorry to read that Fraser and Beano were disappointed in their trips home but pleased that they are back home safely.
With regards to the changes in Lisburn, we have to remember that we lived in an old town and certain parts of it needed to be renovated/replaced to meet present day standards. This applies particularly to housing and some of the places we loved would be slums now had they been allowed to stay. I feel that we do not give our parents/grandparents credit for maintaining a housing stock ,which, even when I was growing up was over 50 years old. I miss the old Low Road, but in all conscience, the only street which still retains the original row of houses is Leamington and these houses have been upgraded beyond all recognition. Piper Hill and the area round Linenhall Street were only kept decent looking by the sterling efforts of the people who resided there. We also have to remember that the town (city) and indeed the whole country has endured 30 years of savage bombardment.
I am as disappointed as anyone about the litter which appears to be an insoluble problem all over the UK, but in fairness this will only be overcome by education and I am afraid to say that the politicians, both local and national, appear to have no interest in solving it. Self aggrandisement seems to be more their lot.
I was amazed to see the plaques naming all the mayors of the town/city on the bank of the Lagan at the Island Centre. No doubt their photographs will have prominent positions inside also.
However things are changing for the positive, and the people who operate The Lagan Belle are to be commended for their enterprise.
I live in a very small town and the nearest decent supermarket is 25 miles away. Oh to be in Lisburn for shopping.
I should stress that I have no desire to go back to Lisburn but I do enjoy some of my trips home. I am afraid too many of my journeys have their
endings in graveyards.
I am reminded of the McMaster/Keery song- My Lagan softly Flowing and still find it hard to accept that places like Dromore, Dromara and I believe Aghalee are now part of Lisburn as are places like Hillsborough, Lambeg and Dunmurry. I do not pine for the old days but I have and will retain very fond memories of the Lisburn I walked with my girlfriend, now my wife over fifty years ago and in truth I do not think that I would have swapped my growing up for anything, but times do move on and we should be grateful that the people who stayed behind are, at last, able to enjoy a standard of life that we could only dream of back then and which must have seemed an impossible dream to those who endured "The Troubles".
I once visited Portrush some twenty years ago and like others was disgusted at the state of the place. However, drive a few miles further and Portstewart is a pretty town and as you drive along the top of the coast towards Magilligan Strand all the horror of Portrush fades at the vistas unfolding before you.
I had the good fortune to spend a some time in USA working between Washington State and the Mexican border below San Diego. The coast road is magnificent and some of the smaller towns are exquisite but if you drive slightly inland the road disappears to be replaced by a dirt track and the main streets of some towns are no more than dust bowls.
Germany is much luckier as it has been effectively rebuilt since WWII but if you visit the centre of Belfast I doubt you will be other than amazed at the beautiful buildings.
(For Dabblers benefit: I read recently that the UK government had paid off the last of the Marshall Aid Loan granted by America to the UK to buy Liberty Ships!!).
These may appear to be the unconnected ramblings of an old man and I suppose they are but I would ask that we do not judge our beloved homeland too harshly but be thankful that we still have it to visit.
I just want to set the record straight, I was not disappointed with my trip home, and while I said I couldn't live there anymore, I love going back for a vacation. My main beef however is the littering and I agree with you that education is probably the answer. I enjoyed very much the way you put your point across. With people like yourself, Dabbler, Donald, Liz, Maureen, Sally,Ken, Terry, Fraser, Harnee, Tom and others contributing to the forum the "old" Lsburn that I loved so well and still do, will always be "there"
Glad to hear from you, was getting worried as I hadn,t seen anything from you for a few days.
I too always remember Hilden and Lisburn as it once was, funny but how easy we were to content then and how little we had.
I too get annoyed when I see the people littering, it,s getting to be a problem here as well. I also agree it,s a educational problem and as long as the adults don,t set the kids an example , will never be resolved. The packinging industry could contribute as well by using more materials which dissolve in sunlight for example. The Cigarette industry have gone this way.
Last time I was over I was waiting in a queue in a Supermarket and before me a little boy climbed out of his parents shopping trolley and stood on the conveyor belt for the shopping.What if he had tramped accidently a few minutes before in dog****? Don.t get me wrong, the little boy cannot be blamed but the adults around, myself included have a duty to speak , I was too cowardly and afraid to speak what I thought.
You write like a journalist. I found your proper use of spelling and grammar, and the connected narration of seemingly disparate issues enlightening. However, I fear that you overestimate my knowledge of foreign affairs. I do not understand why you direct your comments regarding repayment of the Marshall Aid loan at me, as I have no idea what the Liberty Ships are/were.
Dabbler / lowroader
Here,s Donald the arbitrator, playing the role of the old union man I am / was, in the hope that you two don,t start a war of words . The only info I have of Liberty ships is that they were used to transport the war brides of American GI,s 1945 / 46 from Europe to the States , also German POWs were transported on liberty ships, firstly to America as forced workers, then back again as free men 1949 / 50 to Europe. One of my ( deceased ) German friends went and came in this way to / from America. If my info is correct the " Queen Mary " was a liberty ship.
I addressed the remark to you as it would appear that you and I are the senior citizens of the forum and you may be only slightly younger than me.
The Marshall aid loan was given to the UK by USA during WWII to buy, what were in effect, very expensive barges, built in USA, to transport material from USA to UK after Rooseveldt entered the war. They were not very seaworthy and the sinking rate was huge.
I hope there are no old-timers who worked on the Clyde reading this as they will be very unhappy at your description of the Queen Mary as a Liberty ship.
As a matter of interest the Queen Mary I is moored outside Los Angeles at Long Beach and used as a hotel. As a matter of no interest to us at all Howard Hughes' famous seaplane called "someting Goose" is also on show close by. I am sure some of our Californian correspondents can tell us the name of the plane.
Sorry if I confused anyone but, as I said, the ramblings of an old man are sometimes confusing.
I am just grateful to share my thoughts with friends, all of whom I have never met, but important friends to me nevertheless. I hope this clears up the matter
Hiya Lowroader The name of the Howard Hughes sea plane is Spruce Goose.
I,m sorry for putting the Queen Mary in so a category, I must have got things mixed up, or my deceased German friend was pulling my leg, to think back he was a leg puller, he also told me that they were transported from prison camps in Germany to England to await transport to the States and were kept in Wembly stadion in tents until the ships arrived to take them
But the tale about the war brides I read myself
Lowroader, (and Donald),
I did not intend to start a war of words, especially with someone so obviously superior in that department. I am grateful for the information and opinions, but had to admit ignorance, and curiosity as to why you should consider the Marshall Aid to be of particular significance to me. I am still not clear on that one.
Like other Forum contributors, I managed to cope with life’s changes, assist my family as they grew up, and have been amply rewarded.
Any low opinions I may have about old Lisburn acquaintances are formed from first hand experience of people who would have walked a mile to avoid a days work, and walked another mile to drink a pint of Guinness. Many of them would, to coin a phrase, have started a row in an empty house. The members of the Forum are unquestionably of a different ilk, as were the majority of my neighbours of those days. But, overall, the drunks and work shy are more entertaining to read/write about.
My ma and her neighbours, on their knees, scrubbed the wee half circle around the front door, spread Mansion polish on the scullery tiles, and black leaded the grates; all in houses barely fit to live in.
But it is more entertaining to read that Big Molly, (a fit and able twenty-year-old man), told us lads that when offered a pick’n’shovel job in the ‘buroo’, he said that he was only interested in a pen‘n’paper job; (he could barely write).