Lisburn Exiles Forum

(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.

Lisburn Exiles Forum
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Old Friends

Thanks to Fraser and Beano for telling me about this site. I am very interested in hearing from old school chums that went to Lisburn Central 1945 - 1954 and then Lisburn Tech 1954 - 1956. I was on the Tech Hockey Team also ran with Lisnagarvey under Herbie Cathcart. Went to Christ Church. Worked at Lilliput Laundry from 1955- 1957. Enjoyed the Jazz Club on the Belfast Road - also went to many dances at the Orpheus. Was also a member of First Lisburn Girl's Brigade. Still in touch with Daphne Sloan (nee McNeill) would love to know wherabouts of everyone. I immigrated to Saskatoon, Sk. Can. in 1957.

Hope to hear from you.

Re: Old Friends

Hi Cousin, glad you made it on the forum, maybe we will get some responses from the Big City now.

Re: Old Friends

hi daphne,

i,ve just returned from over two months away in queensland which is our tropical state and was trolling through the forum messages [ it,s amazing how you miss it ] i didn,t go to school with you as you specified my schools were brownlee and a bit of wallace high but i remember you around your home turf and neville mcmullen and me used to go up your area in summer months and play and talk i remember also marie briggs beth mulholland and anne warrick ? do you remember the names?
also in one of dabblers notes he mentioned the fairy well where a mother mentioned she wouldn,t let her son go in case he drowned?? that was one of our favourate places i wish i had a dollar for every sprick i ever caught there up benson street past wallace high carry on and turn left at orlicks over the fairy well and on to bommers sand pit many a happy hour there
someone mentioned a guider?? we had a great guider and used to get threepence i think to collect a bag of coke from the gas works and up the hill to the neighbour wanting it. if you got enough runs and augmented with other winter things like selling kindling[ broken orange boxes ] you could end up with a good feed of fish suppers in genesi,s happy

glad to be back and reading all offerings
good luck to all

Re: Old Friends

Hi Tom
Marie Briggs lives about 100 yards from me, I will tell her you were asking for her.

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Dear Tom:

Yes I do remember you - I remember the well down by Hanna's Ice Cream Store - they told us that if we fell in there we would never be seen again - and yet we still went as that is where the best primroses were. I remember Peter O'Reilly falling in and we were all terrified in case he went too far into the water. They told us that there was no bottom to it. Anyway we believed a lot of crap. We used to go swimming in the Lagan and never really got hurt. I also remember a young boy drowning at Ravernette and my father pulling him out of the water.

We all loved to pick the beechnuts as we walked home from school.

Were you in the CLB at Christ Church? We had some wonderful times playing in the fields and playing breachers brook - we all become horses has!ha! I miss the potted herring from Elmore's. My Mom - God rest her soul used to make them here in Canada - but I never learned from her.

I ran around with Maria Briggs, Madeline Crozier, Margaret Stewart, Mavis Patton, Rosemary Stewart (from Smithfield) but when I came to Canada lost touch with so many. I was in the Brigade with Daphne McNeill who I still here from.

I retired in June after working many years in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan as Executive Director of the College of Medicine Alumni Association. However they phoned and want me to work for another few months so hopefully by the end of November I will be finished. Another adjustment in life as I lived a very busy life and was involved in many, many different organizations. I have three children and seven grandchildren.

Best wishes - write and let me know where you are living.


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thanks jim for your message and the knowledge you live close to marie briggs..give her my regards and best wishes.
good luck
tom mccabe

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great to hear from you and your memories of a while ago? yes i was in christ church clb and billy{beano} hanna and i used to blow bugles together.
no slouches either ?? on rememberance day 11 november our leader harold crowe used to drive us round or organise it for us to blow the last post at various cenotaphs and war memorials around the place singly or together depending on time and location. dont know if i,d have the puff now how about you beano??

i now live for the past thirty years in a place called yellingbo which is on the outer of melbourne in victoria it,s on a few acres i love peace and quiet but i,ve travelled a lot and actually been back to lisburn every five years or so. still got three brothers there and miss them and miss lisburn as well so i go back often a long haul..

but i,ve just returned from over two months in queensland which is australia.s tropics so i ,m still getting sorted out there,s a few trees down apparantly there was a lot of wild weather here according to my neighbours who i had a few beers with on their deck last night
so life goes on
nice to hear from you good luck tom

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Hi Tom,

Two months vacation, even in retirement that's a Wow!!!.
Believe it or not I still have the puff to play the bugle, mind you I wouldn't win the "silver" now. My sister bought me a bugle a couple of years ago and I still bring it out to prove to the grandchildren that I can still play. The general salute is the easiest for me to play and it still impresses the family. Thanks for reminding me of our days when we bugled together, I would not change those days for anything.


Nice to see you have joined the forum. If our friend Dabbler had ever seen you run on the athletic field, he would have been more amazed than when he saw Aughey Patterson run.

Best regards,

Re: Old Friends

As Beano says, I probably would have been highly impressed to see you running.
Your mention of the Central reminds me again of the Crees, Billy, Alan, Betty and Derek, all of whom attended there, around that time.. I think also Sally Wallace and her brother Jim. I last saw Alan, taxi-driving, in 1958; the Wallaces about ten years previously.
I don’t know if it was the Lilliput , but I spent several months in a laundry, The very tall Jim Hanna, referred to earlier by Beano and myself, worked there, as did a really pleasant dyer called WalterBothwell. He used to play saxophone in a danceband.

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I worked in the Lilliput and Mr. Orr was the Manager of the Dry Cleaning area. A Mr. Sullivan was one of the managers in the laundry area. I worked with Annie Hall - Harold Crowe's wife. Mr. Kinney was the owner and his son also worked there. I can't remember the name of the man that used to drive the car. Just before I left I was doing the wages and gone are those days when you would sit and put each person's wages in a little pay envelope. It was a wonderful place to work and thankful for the experience that I received there. Mr. Orr would many times give me a ride home as he lived I believe in Hillsborough or Dromore. I remember him telling me that he had been in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and when I was coming out here told me there was no water and it was not a nice place - anyway we have a beautiful river that flows though the centre of the City and as I write to you I sit and look out my window at the river bank. We are now living on the top floor of an apartment building that overlooks the river and the University - an absolutely wonderful view and I am truly blessed. I don't remember the people you talked about in the email. My mind doesn't remember all the people from Lisburn - when someone brings somthing up then I do remember.

Best wishes


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dabbler / daphne
daphne if you left home in 57 then it was before your time but i drove a van for lilliput in 63/64 before i left to live in england . cant remember the name of the nan in charge of the drivers but a nice man and good living and wouldn,t stand for bad language. anybody remember his name??

good luck tom

Re: Old Friends

Like many of those contributing, you moved in higher circles than I. A teenager, I heaved clothes into and out of machines, laundering and reproofing them. Walter Bothwell came from Ballymoney. There is a small chance that someone may remember him. The band in which he performed played at such illustrious venues as The Orange Hall. in Lisburn, and other spots throughout the County, and perhaps beyond. He was going ‘very steady’ with a young woman called Violet. They were both considerably older than I.
Your CV astounds me as much as your running ability. Your home sounds smashing.
Tom, at the time I worked there, mid fifties, Jim Hanna, then fifteen or sixteen, boasted, (don’t ask), that one of the drivers, a large mature man, had given him a good beating for being cheeky, but did not manage to make him cry.

Re: Old Friends

Wasn,t there also a laundry somewhere down Millbrook , I think it was called Castle Cleaners ? Johnny Finch had a market garden somewhere between there and Barley Hill where the new houses were built
By the way who remembers the duck pond in the Wallace park, a favourite courting place in summer and the Bandstand? Lisburn Silver Band used to play there, Jim Ritchenson, a neighbour from Hilden played in it.On the tree beside the Bandstand hung a huge bell which was rang at closing time. The Infirmary was I think in Castle St, I remember spending a week in there when I fell onto a spike on the railings which enclosed Crafton Cresent in Bridge St Hilden more than 50 years ago

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I have to say, you are one person who dragged himself away from the pitchers and tossers of his young days. You have managed to educate yourself, especially in the use of the English language. I am sure your Mum would be really proud of you. I can't tell you often enough how much our family enjoy your poem "The Castle Gardens".I would urge those who haven't read it, to do so, it certainly brings that part of Lisburn to life for me. Sorry if I sound so patronizing, but I was showing some holiday pictures to my two grandaughters,they included a picture of the "Gardens".They started asking questions about the parks that I played in as a boy and I decided to read your poem to them,they were very impressed that I "knew" the poet.


Re: Old Friends

Thanks again for your kind words. Putting aside false modesty, I always found English, including grammar, interesting, therefore easy. I was undaunted by the conjugation of verbs or the analysis of sentences. Your own use of the language, and your appreciation of poetry, is far removed from a manual worker in the Island Mill.
My wife and I have just spent several pleasant hours, walking, having a couple of drinks, orange juice for the Mrs, and then dinner in the local tavern with son and daughter-in-law. Quality time.
I am well aware that my adopted homeland, England, have won the ashes, and that my motherland, little Northern Ireland, beat them at football last week.
No one EVER mentions Lisburn in my presence. But I look in here when I get home, and I wonder: Despite the fact that he claims to have a Finnish daughter-in-law who calls her native language Finn, can he really be that nice young teenage lad from the mill?
I worked in the Lilliput.
Your input is versatile. I listened to that band.
I was piggybacked to the Infirmary to have several stitches inserted beneath my ankle. The nurse used a large thick needle. I still believe she did so because I laughed nervously at a young fellow from the Low Road who had a fishing hook caught in his finger.

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Dabbler and everyone
thanks for your comments, my name should have been Rambler as I ramble on what comes to mind. Something I learned not to do in retoric courses here in Germany. One should, when adressing an audience, speak chronological, how it was, how it is, how it should be and how that can be acheived, but my Norniron mentality gets the upper hand and I start rambling.
Did I miss something about Finn, as I cannot place it.
Have a nice day all
Don ( Rambler )

Re: Old Friends

This is an informal forum, you are not necessarily addressing an audience, so feel free to ramble. I certainly do that, especially when under the influence, and it doesn’t take much these days.