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Clearing out my desk I came upon this verse. Thought I would share it with you who remember visiting the city.
I'll speak to you of Belfast, stranger, if you want to know: So listen and I'll tell you why I love this city so.
BELFAST...is an Ulsterman, with features dour & grim:
A pint of creamy porter, a Sunday moring hymn:
A steaming pastie supper, or vinegar with peas:
A little grimy cafe where they'll they serve you farmhouse teas:
A banner on July the Twelfth, a sticky toffee apple:
An ancient little Gospel Hall, a Roman Catholic chapel:
A Telly boy with dirty face, a slice of apple tart:
A fry upon a Saturday, hot "coal-breek" on a cart:
A Corporatiion gas-man, complete with bowler hat:
A wee shop on a corner with a friendly bit of chat:
An oul' lad in a duncher, a woman in a shawl:
A pinch of snuff, a tatie farl, a loyal Orange Hall:
A tobacco smell in York St., a bag of yella man:
An Easter egg that dyed in whin, a slice of Ormo pan:
A youngster with some sprickly begs inside a wee jam-jar:
A meeting at the Custom House, an old Victorian bar:
Mud-banks on the Lagan, when the tide is running low:
A man collecting "refuse", bonfires on Sandy Row:
A bag of salty dullis, a bowl of Irish stew:
A goldfish down in Gresham St., a preacher at the queue:
A portrait of King Billy upon a gable wall:
A flower-seller on a stool outside the City Hall:
A half-moon round a doorstep, a polis-man on guard:
A pedlar crying "Delph for rags" a little whitewashed yard:
So there's your answer, stranger & now I'm sure you'll see, why Belfast is the only place in all the world for me.
Brings back memories of the Ritz & Belfast in the old times.
Spent a lot of my younger days running back and forth to Belfast between the dogs,dances and cinemas,niver mind the wimmen
heres an old one about the mills
That was lovely, I enjoyed reading it, brought back many memories.
Fantastic verse Pat, really enjoyed it.Talking about vinegar and peas, does anyone remember the pies and peas you used to get in a place in Bridge Street, I think it was called the Trocadero,the seating was all little separate cubicles with mini juke boxes attached to the walls. I can still taste those pies mmmmmmmm
I remember the place but not the name - it was across the street from Rossi's Ice Cream where we used to go on a Sunday and put money in the juke box and play over and over again "Unchanged Melody". Loved every minute of it. Have a wonderful day.
Daphne, you are around my age and I remember "Unchained Melody". It reminds me of when I was around 15 years old - poignant.
I remember a couple of years earlier a song called "Doonaree", which reminds me of the Tech.
I also remember the pie and peas in Bridge Street, although I'm not sure I ever tasted them. I also remember a place called Gillespie's which made dumplings served in soup????? A couple of sisters who went to primary school with me were given permission to have their lunch in Gillespie's as their mother worked in the mill and wouldn't have made a dinner in the evenings.
Although my mother worked in the mill, (her shift started at 3 pm) when I arrived home from school, she always had a potato dinner in the oven for me. I can still taste it, nicely toasted on top, veg and probably sausages. I can't remember if she left dinners for my brothers as well, but I'm sure she did.
Pat. How about the Majestic on the Lisburn Rd or the old Kelvin across from the Ritz, when I used to go to night school in Belfast we would sometimes mitch and go to the Royal or the Classic in the Cornmarket there was another one there as well was it the "Imperial". Memories. Mauri
If a good picture was on we used to go to the Majestic, the Classic was nearby, then the Hippodrome beside the Ritz used to have brilliant shows at Christmas, with high wire acts zooming over the audience & back to the stage, no safety net.
I remember seeing my first Charlie Chaplin movie, City Lights, in some cinema out of the centre of the city. We had to take a bus there & back, Alambra or some name. Joe loved Charlie Chaplin, still does thinks he is the greatest. Only now do I appreciate his comic genius.
The Regal on the Lisburn Road was another favourite if the city was crowded at holiday time, nearer home, but the Ritz was the favourite. Joseph Seal on the illiminated organ, rising out of the floor, the words of the songs printed on the screen & the wee golf ball keeping us in time to the music.
The deep red carpets & gold staircase rails, the pictures of film stars on the walls, the red & gold heavy velvet curtains parting for the big screen & the opening music carrying us into a magic & romantic land.
The luxury of it for us then, we were tasting the high life. I saw South Pacific, High Society, Gigli, most of the musicals, in the Ritz.
Happy days. Wonderful memories.
I remember Stanley Wylie, the organist, at the Ritz. Brilliant, the organ rising up from the depths, and the music. I could have listened to the music all night, never mind the picture. Still could.
When I worked in the Irish News, I was taken to the Regent Cinema in Royal Avenue by a workmate (male). The boss and I had fallen out for a short time and I suppose John (now sadly gone) was waiting for an opportunity to ask me out. He did so and I accepted. Of course I couldn't tell my mother. SO, I pretended to be working overtime. However, the giveaway was the box of chocolates and the 20 Gallagher's Greens in my handbag. However, when he invited me to a dinner/dance which his operatic society was running, my mother ruled against this. There were no arguments. THAT WAS IT. I was 17 years old at the time, just imagine a 17 year old now being told what to do.
Ah well, old times and all that. I reckon everything worked out for the best. However, where was Johnny Depp in those days?. NOT EVEN THOUGHT OF. AND, what happened to the wee, quiet, shy girl that I used to be? Life sorts us out, unfortunately.
Johnny Depp! He probably was'nt even born then.
Wee shy girl? I never knew her.
There was another cinema across from the Ritz which showed " dirty pictures " ( bags of ankle!). Rumours told of " Men of the cloth"! covering their clerical collars with scarves and going there to see if the film was suitable for us sinners.
The " Smithfield Ritz " was another flea pit.
Hi Daphne,Pat and Aldene,
The pie and peas cafe was the Trocadero, the owner was Georgio Rossi and later by his son-in law Pete Battisti.We used to hang around there to meet the girls.The best pies and peas, for me anyway, were sold in Bob Cairnduff's cafe "The Windsor" which was just opposite the Trocadero. Again all great memories.....
Pat,I would like to add a little more information to the history of the Ritz that dwells in your memory.Joseph Sseal,s Signature Tune was Dee Yeh Ken John Peel and he always played it on ascending and descending.My brother Paddy was the first person employed,and was Head Doorman for 28 years. About the words of the songs on the screen for the sing-a-long,I Possess the original Projector Plate used to project the song South Sea Island Magic onto the screen.I treasure it and the memory of the RITZ. Brendan.
Pat,I forgot something. The name of the organ was THE MIGHTY COMPTON Brendan.
Pat, if you would read my input carefully, you would see re Johnny Depp that I said "he probably wasn't even thought of". In other words, "wasn't born". Sure, I can dream, can't I???????
Pat. How about High Tea at the Ritz, I think I was about nineteen when I was home on leave and took a girl there for tea and thought this was the height of sophistication. Then waiting at the Black man for a
bus home. Mauri
Pat wasn,t the Regel near the Majestic? For one you got off the train at Balmoral station, the other was nearer to Adelaide station
I had high tea at the Ritz with my aunt, who first took me there, I suppose it was part of my learning social graces when young. She was fond of the Ritz, we saw lots of musicals there & afterwards tea in the resturant,
Later it was special dates with generous boyfriends at the films, but not in the resturant, we had to hurry to catch a bus home, especially if we had "dueked" out of Lisburn & were supposed to be at the pictures there. We knew who was boss then.
You are right, the Regal & Majestic were beside each other, if one queue was too long, you joined the other one.
Most of the films were interesting then.No sleaze.
Pat, Do you remember the midnight matinee's they had at the Ritz during the war. I think two of them were "Sergeant York" with Gary Cooper and the other one was Irving Berlin's "This is the Army". I was not allowed to go but I remember the excitement of other family members gettig ready to go in one of Cambell Thompson's cabs.
Brendan I had forgotten about your brother working there who was the eldest him or Gerry? Mauri
Pat and Mauri,
I took a girl to the Regal one Saturday after playing football that day. We were in the balcony and I was sitting on an outside seat about five rows down from the back. I took a cramp in my leg and stuck it out and the Ice Cream girl fell over it. I will never forget that night, nobody knew how she fell except me, needless to say I didn't admit to it, and got out of there as quick I could. I explained to the girl I was with what had happened, anyway she never went out with me again,I won't name her as she is still living in Lisburn.
Beano Pat, I was in the Majestic when a message was flashed on the screen to the effect that the US had dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima and everybody clapped and cheered,I suppose nobody thought or understood the terrible loss of life as a result, and little did I realize I would be walking through the streets of that doomed city only six years later. Mauri
Hi Mauri Paddy was the eldest and in those days,quite a lot of people from Lisburn would ask him if there were any jobs going down there and so,Maurice Murray from Grovea Street, Denny Maggee from East Down View and a girl named Prendergast from Longstone Street all became Ritz employees.2 doormen and 1 usherette. Paddy married 2years later and his wife Agnes became a silver service waitress in the Cafeteria and her 2 brothers Billy and Patrick Fitzpatrick became 2more doormen. Needless to say,Inever paid to go into the Ritz. How is that for keeping it inthe family?. Brendan
Brendan, Did you ever slip in there instead of going to the Post Office night school like
Buzzer and me used to???. Mauri
MAURI, The first 5or6 nights I went to the school religously but after that it was RITZ school RITZ and so on. The film that stands out in my head from one of those absent nights was---LITTLE NELLY KELLY starring Judy Garland and George Murphy.you remember? The boys are all mad about Nelly the daaughter of officer Kelly. Anyhow you had company with Buzzer. Iwas on my own. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it. Did Buzzer turn you into a gambler? Irene has a gram for STONEYFORD. On your bike, its your turn.All the best mate. Brendan
I think it was called Cairnduffs and they used to jive to the jute box. How I wished I could jive. The shop across the road was it Batisti ?
Beano. Mrs Cairnduff is still alive and lives close to me, Last year she got a MBE for services to help slow learners. I hope that is the correct term. She is nearly ninty but looks a good 10 to 20 years younger.
Delighted to hear about Mrs.Cairnduff,she was a nice lady. Wasn't she in the Smyth Memorial band for a long time?. I couldn't Jive back then, but I remember watching Jackie Adams and Harold Spence and their partners Jive at the Sloan St.Arch,they were terrific.