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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.
Yesterday, I took a train to London to watch Aileen Reid compete in a triathlon. I rarely travel more than a few miles these days. My wife and I have always done everything together, and, since she, because of backache or whateevr, no longer feels inclined to go anywhere, it is years since we travelled. I knew that my journey would not be approved, so I felt very rebellious. I had a relatively trouble-free day, with no obvious signs of my Parkinson's disease. I did not attempt to make myself known to my niece, though my shouts of "COME ON LISBURN" could be heard around Hyde Park. The best female triathlete in Ireland did me proud, finishing fourth behind three outstanding Americans, and ahead of the rest of the world.
Dabbler, a friend of mine texted me this morning with news of Aileen's brilliant performance; as you say, coming 4th in the triathlon. Apparently, she had a terrific finish, coming up very fast at the end. Many congratulations on your ?niece's achievement. You have every right to be proud of her. I'm delighted that you made your way to London, determined to cheer on your family. Good for you. You made the right decision. Come on Lisburn!!!!
I discovered a lot of things late in life. And I am still learning. Aileen is legally married to my brother's son, so yes, I believe she IS my niece. I wanted to tell the world. She really IS a great athlete. I couldn't get into the grandstand as seats were sold out, but I was close enough to see her grit her teeth. I watched the very end on a giant screen, and amused a couple of guys as I waved triumphantly and cheered for 'my' girl.
Of no interest to Lisburn exiles, I also walked from Hyde Park to my son's old home and shop in Soho. A long walk for an old boy with Parkinson's Disease.
Dabbler, I was thinking of your trip to London the other evening. You must know the capital very well to be able to find your way around. It's a huge city, once again congratulations on your day out. Sometimes I take a wrong turn in Lisburn, like this morning. I was coming out of the bank, intending to go to Johnson's Chemist, which would have meant turning to the left. Instead, I headed right, although I did realise my mistake very quickly. SO, London would be completely out of bounds for me.
Ann, it is nice to know you gave my post a second thought. I know a little bit of London - and there are lots of street signs and signposts. In earlier years I often drove from Brighton to and through London, as my son lived there. In fact, I lived in Islington for a short time in the fifties. But yes, I found it tricky on Sunday, walking around. I am still impressed ny famous monuments and buildings, so I enjoyed the scenery as I strolled around. Like you, I took a few wrong turns, but I was in no hurry.
Dabbler, First time I was in London was way back in 1946 on my way to Portsmouth, ferry from Larne - Stranrar (spelt wrong) then long train journey to Euston across to Waterloo and was I ever glad to get my head down at HMS St.Vincent the Boy's training establishment but got a rude shock next morning when turfed out of bed at 5.45am.
November of that year back up in London to take part in the Rememberance Service and show at the Albert Hall,we were accomadated in a YMCA though I cannot remember exactly where, though not far from the Houses of Parliment.
Years later while in the US Air Force I sometimes went up to London for a weekend staying at Douglas House near Lancaster Gate. One time with a buddy we had just arrived on a Friday evening and were in a bar nearby we were both in uniform and got talking to two girls who asked as if we would like to go to a party we of course said "sure" they then suggested we get a cab and they knew a place where they could buy some whiskey cheap so stupid us gave them five pounds each and of they went and we never saw them again.
A few years later I sometimes stayed at the Merchant Navy Hotel also in Lancaster Gate but just laid a quiet life there, they had a nice little bar in the hotel so need to prowl around, better sign off now before I really bore you. Mauri
i am sure no one could find your posts boring Mauri
just got a similar post to this rejected as spam
That bit about the girls disappearing with your cash had me smiling.
You also reminded me of sea trips via Heysham - never comfortable'
I agree with Barney; your posts are always interesting.
Mauri, when I read of your exploits, a certain line of a famous song comes to mind " I lived a life that's full and did it MY WAY"
Dabbler, I have been in Islington, but a long time ago. It was in the latter half of the 60s and my late brother's fiancee lived there. We were over for their wedding and visited her flat in Islington. My brother showed us some of the sights as we were only there for the weekend. He took us to Soho and I saw some "girls" hanging out the windows and inviting passers-by in. I saw the strip clubs with all their neon lights and the doormen invited us in until my brother showed his CID card. They weren't supposed to tout their clubs so this would have been an offence coming out onto the pavement.. We saw Buckingham Palace and Petticoat Lane which we visited on the Sunday morning. I had never really seen a black person close up before and I remember subtlely taking a photograph because this man was dressed up in all the African garb. To tell the truth, London was a complete culture shock for me. I felt a bit frightened because the pace of life was so fast. I'm sure I would still feel like a country bumpkin and act like one too if I ever visited again. I found the people very abrupt and not a bit friendly but what could I expect never having left Lisburn at that time. A home-bird, that's me.
Ann, I DO like talking about myself.
With a lad from the Maze called Gordon Mercer, I shared a bed in Islington, in a house run by a Lisburn woman. We went to a show in Collin's Music Hall, possibly the last music hall in London. I cannot recall what the show was about. I was too busy staring at the two naked girls, one each side of the stage. They were the first I ever saw in my life. Gordon told me they were legally bound to stand still.
I got a job in a factory in Pentonville Road, but my friend Shaun Bushe was asked to leave because he failed to produce a document (birth certificate?), so I walked out in solidarity. I visited 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, but I confess that I was soon distracted by the pubs. I did not visit the delights of Soho, and can truthfully say that I saw nothing approaching pornography, till curiosity got the better of me at the age of (is my wife watching?) 46.
I am pretty sure, and the thought saddens me, that Gordon. like Shaun, is dead.
I LOVE London, and agree with the literary giant who said that he who is tired of London is tired of life.
I read with interest your comments about London. I visited it in the seventies and my lingering and overwhelming memories are walking down street after street with all the boarding houses and hotels with signs saying NO COLOURED OR IRISH on display. I have never been back since.
You seem to be an even sadder man than me, Despite finding a place to stay quite quickly - the lodging house in Wynford Road was run by 'Tiddley' John Martin's mum Molly, I had many traumatic experiences before settling down in England. Life can be tough, wherever you live. At least I missed 'the troubles'.
I am very surprised that such discrimination as you describe, common in the fifties, still prevailed in the seventies, when London was inundated with West Indiabs and Irish,
hello dabbler I hope I'm not as sad a man as you. you see one of the problems with this forum is that if your not one of the inner circle(you all know who you are)you are treated with downright scepticism, rudeness,or simply ignored. my wife was in London with me at the time and also was shocked at what we saw. perhaps you should encourage new people to post and then welcome them and acknowledge them. how often have I noticed new posts being completely ignored. it's one of the reasons I lurk in the background and I suspect there's many more like me.
Anyone can post. Whether or not there is a reply is in the lap of the gods.
Eamon, You're "full of balloons" in what you say. I love to hear from you, but have you a tiny chip on your shoulder about people not replying to your posts? If you check back, I have had zero replies many a time. Sometimes I reply to myself just for devilment. It depends on what you post. If people are interested they will take time to reply. If you are just commenting on something, you might not get a reply. It depends, so don't take it personally. Lots of people look in, but can't be bothered to comment. It irritates me too sometimes, but you can't make people reply if they're that way inclined. Everyone who replies is in the "inner circle" if there is such a thing. Jim Collins, RIP, initiated this Forum for ALL exiles. That means you, too, Eamon. "Gather in, gather in for a big, big ring".
That's how I see it Ann. I don't expect you to give me the likely Derby winner, but someone may.
do you know something everybody that's the most replies I've ever had to any post. I must criticize the ladies inner knitting circle more often. sensitive or what? going back my lurking seat is getting cold.
JACK Hobbs - Derby.
Jack Hobbs second behind his stablemate. And I was quite pleased for Frankie Dettori who rode the winner.
Dabbler, Dominic was allowed time out from papering the bedroom to watch the Derby. He told me that your horse was second. Then it was back to papering which he finished last night at 9.30 pm and for which he was rewarded with a very large single malt, followed by another. I think he deserved them. The paper is beautiful but the room will have to be tidied up later as it's in a mess. Then it's new curtains, bedclothes and light shade. Men wouldn't know about these things. Left alone Dominic would just put back the original furnishings, even though they don't match now. Can't be perfect. eh.?
Ann, as posts seem to be getting through today (not Sunday), I'll try yet again:
Dominic fully deserves his treats after his paperhanging.
I pay little attention to fashion, but sometimes, like yesterday, when Jean is watching QVC, I persuade her to purchase an article that she obviously likes. Yesterday, it was a Kipling shoulder bag.
Dabbler, the trouble with me is that I don't need any persuading to buy myself something. Regarding Dominic, I have to constantly ask him if he needs new trousers, shirts, ties or pullovers. He would just go on wearing the same old, same old.
Ann, I DID say 'sometimes'. Stuff is delivered here from QVC at least once a month - at least - and my opinion is not sought.
Dabbler, I'm glad to hear of your wife's QVC buying. I imagine this is some sort of catalogue but I haven't a clue. KEEP BUYING.