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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.
Today is a typical early spring morning. There is rain, as opposed to April showers, but the springtime flowers are in bloom - daffodils, red and yellow tulips and primroses. The purple and white heathers are making a nice show on the rockery in the back garden. All in all, the signs are there of an awakening sun and warmth in the soil. I sat out in the sun the other day, on a seat in the front. I didn't notice anyone else sitting out, but I didn't care. My spot was warm and sheltered and I enjoyed the hour or so just reminiscing and dreaming. 'What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare'. Haven't a clue who said that, but they were correct.
Today, 12th April, would have been my brother Joseph's birthday - 72. He died aged 52, but is still remembered with warmth and affection. Two brothers gone before their time, so I feel blessed to be able to take time out and enjoy the sun.
I remember Joseph, we shared a desk in Hilden school in the 50s, he was about 6 weeks older than me. Your brother Malachy I remember also as an instructor in the Boys club in the EMB. If Lowroader is looking in he can tell us more about jumping over the horse and storing the gym mats under the stage. Andy Brodie teaching us to sing " When Johnny comes marching home again" for Colonel Smyth and his lady bride ( Sir Milne´s daughter ) at the Xmas concert and the bus excursions to their residence in Newcastle each summer.
Pansy McMaster teaching us tennis and handball in the wee park ( Pamela would know more ) and Jimmy ( bucky ) Hughes lighting the gas lights in Hilden each evening and extinguishing them each morning and also acting as park ranger. Who remembers the "guttie slipper " man ?
Donald, I remember wee Jimmy Hughes well. He took care of the park and the children playing there too. I remember one time - I must have been very young but I still remember - my late brother Malachy was pushing me on the baby swing. Jimmy Hughes came over and said something about me being in the baby swing. Malachy was able to tell him that I wasn't attending school yet. I suppose if you were at school you had to go on the big swing. I don't know. Funny how I remember that incident. I loved the wee park and it was where I spent a lot of my childhood - the wee park and the wee pool. I can still recall the thrill I got running my fingers along the wall as I neared the park and my heart racing as I ran in all excited. I loved the "burlies" the best.
I don´t remember any wee pool in Hilden park. Behind the hedge were small gardens for kids, left were for girls and right for boys, we were forbidden to garden together. Just imagine what mortal sins would have been committed if we had been allowed to plant vegetables next to each other.Similar to when we took religious classes in Lisburn Tech, it was forbidden for different sexes to share a desk. unimaginable today.
Donald, the wee pool was down the line. After reaching the bottom of the 41s and crossing the bridge you turned right. ran along for about 100 yards, deftly swung
under the bars,then slid down the bank and landed on your bottom at the wee pool. It was a magical place where I spent many happy summer days and evenings. The wee pool and the wee park, my childhood playgrounds
indeed ann you are right about the wee pool. there was in fact two of them known collectively as the "sandies". we learned to swim in these before progressing to the "point", a large tree that hung over the lagan river adjacint to them. there was also the "plumhole" on the other side of the sluicegates and was supposed to be bottomless. on several fishing expeditions i hooked but never landed the largest pike i have ever seen in there. those were the days of innocense and adventure that can never be copied by subsequent generations today who literaly are androids forever welded to their smartphones. its so sad.
Eamon Regarding the Plumhole I use to watch Bobbie Hazley fish it but never seen him or anyone land anything out of it and I know for a fact it and the river contained some great trout as a few times the river was poisoned and trout that floated belly up would have brought tears to your eyes, but just behind the slush gates at the point we use to catch some great ells with our hands ,you know with hindsight the summer evenings were brilant then around the Sandies and the Point and for some reason there was always that elusive corncrake in the background ,and mobiles were for Dan Dare and the likes God but life was simple then ! Regards Ted
yes ted the river was full of fish. i learned to fly fish on the stretch below the falls and caught many fish from there down. for some strange reason upstream i caught very few. i suspect it had something to do with pollution the water being aerated from the falls down. some years ago i thought i would have a session on it only to be ordered off by local thugs who informed me that their organization had taken over said stretch. well you can guess my reaction to that one propriety dictates that i cannot print my reply to them here. suffice to say i fished on undisturbed for sometime afterwards. ted i was wondering did my self or my brother know you ?
Morning Eamon I was rather surprised to learn the local juanta have taken over the water rights ! Enough sayed, Eamon it's unlikely I would have known you though I was aware of Donald around Hilden as my aunt lived in Mill St my cousin was Joe Keenan who you may have known ,actually the first time I meet you was with Ann and Donald in Witherspoons Last year, Regards Ted