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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.
Who remembers the Gas lighting in Lisburn? I still remember Jimmy ( Bucky ) Hughes with a ladder and matches at dusk doing his rounds lighting the gas lamps in Hilden . I suppose he went around at midnight or next morning extinguishing them but we were in or still in bed. I remember reading that Lisburn was then one of the first towns in Gt Britan to have electric street lighting. In Hilden most of the houses,( not all ) had electric but at Lisnatrunk we had to make do with parafin lamps .
Hi Donald,were we grew up,on Young st.we had gas lights on the street and the guy used to come around at night to light them up.We also had gas light in the house which gave off a kind of green yellow light,we also had the parrifin lamps and then one day we got electricity and lo and behold at the flick of a switch....,then we were able to get an electric radio instead of drycell battery. What a luxury.ken
I remember very well the gas lights in our house, the number of times one of us kids broke the little globe was a pain to my mother. The street lights to us back then were for swinging on, we had a ball. Unlike Donald I couldn't tell you the name of the lamplighter. However there is a song called the "Old Lamplighter" played regularly on 740am here in Ontario, everytime I hear it I think back to those days.
We didn't get electricity in Mercer st. until 1950.
Who remembers "TilleyLamps", where did that name come from. We had one, and God forbid if the little cloth mesh globe burned out, there was no light. How did that work anyway, it could burn for a long time. I was always amazed by that. We did'nt have street lights either, as we lived out in the back of beyond or aka, St. James's. Sylvia.
The name comes from the inventor, Sir Edmund Tilley, from Hendon . He opened a factory in the sixties in Dunmurray and produced oil lamps and gas picnic stoves, all with double T names , eg Tilly Twosome Tilley Topper, Tilley Twin, etc.
Quite a lot of his oil lamp products were destined for America as apparently even in the sixties large areas of USA didn,t have electric
Donald, thank you for sharing your knowledge and memory with us so very often. When I left the Tech, my first job was in the Tilley Lamp Co. I walked there every day as at that time we lived in Milltown Road Derriaghy. The factory was in fact down 'The Cutts, Derriaghy, not in Dunmurry itself. It was next door to Grundig. I enjoyed working there for about eight months in '62.
Hi Liz, I worked there as well 1965 in the Toolroom, I was too sleepy this morning to spell Derriaghy, that,s why I wrote Dunmurry. The last time I spoke to your Dad was there.
I absolutely get a kick out of reading all the messages in the forum. The memories I have as a child in Lisburn start rushing back. As I was reading about the gas lighting I was thinking of the little light we had in the living room with a very delicate bulb that would break if you so much as breathed on it. I also remember we had a meter in the house and you put a shilling in to get gas. Girls do you remember using the heavy IRON from the top of the stove or the fabulous gas iron to iron your clothing...gosh we have come a long way babe.
Here,s a description of how a Tilley lamp functions, I read it on the web
On pressurising the fuel tank, Paraffin, (kerosene), is forced from the fuel tank through the vapourising tube. The vapourising tube is pre-heated by methylated spirit, (alcohol), in a torch cup clipped around the tube.
A fine spray of hot paraffin leaves through a jet at the top of the vapourising tube and on entering the mixing dome vapourises into a gas. Air mixes with the gas and the mixture leaves the burner through a ring of holes, it then passes into the mantle which is suspended below.
Inside the mantle the gas burns and causes the mantle to glow with a bright white light. As the vapourising tube passes throught the centre of the mantle the heat from combustion continues the process started by the pre-heater torch, this feature also gives a clear shadow-free light.
Inside the vapourising tube is a cleaning needle which 'pricks' the jet every time the lamp is turned off. Should the jet block in use it can be cleared by quickly turning the lamp off then on again. A match should be kept at hand should the lamp fail to re-light.
This vapourising principle also applies to other paraffin, (kerosene), lanterns manufactured by other companies such as Vapalux, Bialaddin and the 'swan neck' lanterns such as Coleman, Optimus, Magnalux, Anchor, Petromax etc.
Hi Donald, Thanks for the info. I think Tilley lamps were used before the 60's. they may have been around since the 40's. I remember quite clearly having one in the 40's, after my father came back from the war, maybe around 45 or 46. I've been in the USA since l960. So maybe the factory in Derriaghy was new to the area, but originated in England. Sylvia.
The Tilley Lamp Co began sometime in the 1800s in Hendon, they opened a branch in Derriaghy in the sixties , possibly because of the offer the Government made to create employment in Norniron ? eg Grundig , Wandelside Wire, Delorian and other companies , some of whom closed and retuned to their place of origian.
No doubt you have some memories of the " aul place " and Norniron, let,s hear them please! An appeal to all others who read but don,t reply, have you thought that the people who write need support ?
I don't remember too much about the gas lamps. But I do remember when there were less people living in Lisburn. Everyone knew each other. It has grown soo very much.
Donald, when I started my apprenticeship in W.J.Gambles at Knockmore, they made covers for Mackies equipment by the hundreds. I can still go through the process in mind.
Gambles also sheared steel blanks for Grundig, I believe they were for tape recorders etc. that was in the early 60’s
Apparently Gambles Simm’s later closed due financial problems.
well said, you could walk round Lisburn all day now and never meet a soul you know!
Those blank were for Grundig tape recorder chassis, the press tools which then formed and bent them were my first encounter with German workmanship and impressed me no end. I can remember those guards you mentioned for Mackies also. They were fitted individually to each Frame and then painted ( shades of green )in Woodvale factory. They went around the world. After Coombe Barbour went out of business ,Mackies were the world,s leading producer of Textile machinery. How does that song "Mc Alpine,s Fusilers" go, " Irishmen worth Germans ten! "
Donald, I had an Uncle who worked in Mackies in the 50's and 60"s. His name was Sammy McCoubrey, don't know if you knew him or not, he lived in Kingsway, Dunmurry. My sister also worked in Grundigs for a time.
The name rings a bell, I assosiate a small chap with grey brushed back hair, but cannot be sure. Donald
He made the night a little brighter, wherever he did go
The old lamplighter of long long ago
Aye. we used to climb, spiel, pronounced speel, we called that, up the lamps.
Do they still use that word in NI? Maybe the origin is German.
And, like Beano, we tied a rope round one of those horizontal bars, and swung, maypole style.
Donald, That sounds like him, he loved to sing too. His favourite was "If I were a blackbird", and "I'll take you home again Kathleen". I think he died in 61 or 62, had a heart attack at work.
Spiel is indeed German, meaning match, game, at stake,or children playing. Another we used lately on the forum with regard to Tilley lamps was Mantel, meaning coat, casing or shell
My aunt used to tell us to "go spiely up a lampost" and give my head peace,if we asked her for something outrageous.
I remember Sammy McCoubrey, I worked in Mackies(accounts office) and played cricket for Albert Foundry at that time. Sammy had a friend called Cecil Murray who brought him as a guest to our annual dinner and Sammy sang "Kathleen" that 's what triggered my memory. Oddly enough Cecil sang "Blackbird" that night.......... It really is a small world.
Thank you also for your good wishes re.our holiday.
Beano et all
Do you know where the name "Albert Foundry" origanated?
I seem to remember hearing in the Tech that James Mackie started buisness in Albert Street Belfast, and later moved to Springfield Rd and brought the name with him, can you confirm this ?
That's the story we were told as well.
Hi Beano, That is fantastic! I did not know Cecil Murray, but my uncle was quite the singer. His wife, my aunt, was my mom's oldest sister.
Re the holiday, you are very welcome, I'm thinking of maybe going over at Easter for just a week. Air fares are quite good right now. So I thought I might just take advantage.