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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.
We were having a yarn, as usual, over our early morning cuppa. Because of my sight problem, I was thinking of taking up knitting, as I cannot now read a book. I never was a good knitter, as my aunts spoiled us by knitting all the little matinee coats, Aaron sweaters and everything we needed. That's how we began to recall how, when we were young, almost everyone had a skill. All my aunts could knit, but my aunt Annie was accomplished in this particular art. My Aunt Ellie was the seamstress and would pedal away on her Singer sewing machine, making clothes for us all. My Aunt Bella crocheted and we were never short of doilies, chairbacks or anything we needed of this nature. My mother was the cook of the family and could turn out good plain food, but also nice apple tarts, shortbread, rich Christmas puddings - everything and anything she put her mind to. My father mended our shoes. He had his own last, hammer, tacks and all the equipment for putting on new soles and heels and did this on a regular basis. My father also was a trained First Aider and was able to deal with small cuts, nosebleeds, etc.
Anyhow, that's what we were taking about and reminiscing on earlier; how people from that generation had, of necessity, to avail themselves of these skills because there was very little money around. Most households were like a cottage industry. Funny to think back on these things and compare how we live today. I may or may not take up knitting, but it's an idea which Pat put into my head this week. Do the rest of you share my memories of yesteryear?
I remember my grandfather repairing shoes and boots, he re.soled them with pieces of leather drive belts and when finished put "sparbles" or oval pieces of iron were nailed at the front and back to prevent wear. As boys we used to slide on the footpath to see sparks coming out of them. Between Xmas and New Year I attended a wedding on the border to Holland which was held in an old windmill which now houses a shoe museum and couldn´t prevent myself from taking a few "sparbles " for old times sake.
Do you remember the shirts with changable collars fastened by "studs" front and back? I was often sent to the corner shop to buy new "studs" when the old one got misplaced. Another thing of the past are men´s suspenders for socks. Wash tubs,scrubbing boards and a hand driven clothes mangel with wooden rollers were part of every household as was a smoothing iron which was heated by inserting a piece of cast iron which had been heated in the open fire into it.
I think I remember your "Sparbles", is it possible that they had the name SEGGS stamped on them, very important to have these on your boots before engaging in the sport of sliding.
it is so long here I do not remember, the one which "fell into my pocket " in the museum does not have any stamp upon it.
Hi all. I forgot to mention another money saver, again of necessity, which most people had to do. I know my mother did. When my father's shirt collar was worn, it was taken to a dressmaker, who turned it over to the unworn side and stitched it back on. Can you see anyone doing that now? What was the old saying - "necessity if the mother of invention". Very true. I also remember my mother using the washboard over the kitchen sink, scrubbing the clothes with a big bar of washing soap. She wrung the clothes with her hands first, and then dragged them outside to the big mangle in the back garden. Hard work indeed. I also remember having bread toasted at the fire long before electric toasters came to our part of the world. I remember too the griddle in the kitchen and my mother turning over the soda and wheaten farls which we devoured with lashings of butter as soon as they were ready. Delicious. I'm sure there are many other things that people had to do in the "old" days to make the little money they had last out the week.
If I make some mistakes, forgive me, because only for the little red line which denotes an error, I can't really see what I'm typing most of the time. I can see everything in the world outside and inside the house, but reading or print, even the large display signs in Tescos, I cannot decipher any more, much to my regret. However, could be an awful lot worse. I have to ask Dominic to read out everything now,, like this morning when I was ordering spring bulbs. Ah well, I can see enough as I told Pat one day. I wonder would I see a £20 note if it was lying on the street? I know I wouldn't. I'm in good form today believe it or not, just passing on a few random thoughts. As I said before, appreciate your eyes, because there's no going back from this affliction. On that note, "have a nice day".
turning collars was not always possible as some shirts had an opening at the back of the collar at each side to allow flat pieces of plastic to be inserted to stop them from turning up. If we did not have these we sometimes used matches which if my gran did not remove they stained the collar when washing. Herself´s aunt sometimes who was a seamstress repaired shirts for me and used a piece cut from the tail to re-cover the collar.
Another thing I remember was my gran mixing butter and margarine using 2 wooden platters as butter alone was too expensive and could be stretched.
Did your family have a Holy water font in the entrance hall? We did and you had to bless yourself when leaving the house.
When soda, wheaten and potato bread were being baked on the open fire keeping the griddle at the proper temperature was my grandfather´s chore, he had to sit beside it and kindle it with small pieces of firewood. Later a gas heated stove was available, I think one of my uncles, both of whom were fitters made it. I still remember the smell of oil from their boiler suits when they came home from work and it was this smell which influenced me to follow in their footsteps.
Donald, I was shocked when you suggested that men's suspenders for socks are no longer fashionable. Does this mean that my tartan suspenders and matching galluses will have to go ?
Guess I'll just have to pull my socks up.
for us boys they were neither fashionable nor affordable we kept our socks up using a piece of elastic tied into a garter, maybe that is why I have varicose veins today as they cut into your legs and blocked the flow of blood
My posting just disappeared. Probably something I did. I was replying to the post on suspenders. When I was at the Tech, we girls wore black stockings. Our PE teacher checked each week to make sure no-one had garters holding up their stockings. She explained, quite correctly, that garters restricted the blood flow and could cause problems in later life. SO, we wore suspenders. Thank goodness I never developed varicose veins and have a good oul leg to this day. Some of the girls in my class had nice, fine black stockings, which I envied. My mother bought me thick ones, probably because she assumed they would last longer and they probably did. Another money saver. Another thing which was a money saver, although embarrassing for me. When we went to cookery lessons, everyone wore a crisp, new, white pinafore. Except, my mother had dug out Pat's old white cookery coat from 8 years previous and this is what I wore. It even had the initials PL sewn into the coat and the red ink had run due to repeated washings.. I suppose the saving was 2p or something equivalent. We had to do what we were told then, no arguments.
Donald, I still have a holy water font in the hall beside the front door.
remember John Wayne in "The Quiet Man" holding the Holy Water in the palm of his hand for Maureen O`Hara to dip into and bless herself?
Donald, I remember it well. In fact, Dominic has watched that film so often, I think I know all the words by heart.
The holy Water font is still in use in practicing Catholic houses in the South & we have one in both the hall & living-room. I sprinkle the doors every night with the water & sleep easy, protected from evil spirits, as we were taught.
Has worked so far & it is comforting to keep the old traditions, reminds one of home. Like the Sacred Heart Lamp burning before the before named picture, it is a reminder of all that was good in the days of yore.
As the water is blessed at Easter in Rome, according to old teachings it can't be dismissed, as Our Lord blessed water Himself as did John the Baptist.
Yesterday Morning I received a e/m from the oldest of Isobel's 3 sons informing me of her death last year, seemly he was going through some of her things and found some correspondence we had some years ago when she asked for some help on the forum which I had answered , and of course it got me thinking back to that period when she worked in Kitty Malloy's and any one who remembers her will acknowledge she was one fine looking girl or as we would have described as a real smasher, and of course an incredible Irish Dancer who must have had more medals than any one in Lisburn at the time and broke a few hearts as well It brings to mind Sunday nights in the town when we would walk the fly side for a while then maybe head down to Kitty Malloy's shop and see if Isobel was behind the counter then go in for the craic and depending what few bob you had it was a 99 or a wafer or a poke or a penny chew anything just to get chatting to herself of course Kitty would open the kitchen door and just look in to the shop and you knew it was time to move which we did to the window-ledge outside were sometimes she would talk to us at the door for a while before we would head back and see what the town had to offer, Anyhow Isobel were ever you are ,May you rest in peace and thanks for the memories, Ted
those where the days my friend , the "fly side", back seat in the stalls in the picture house, ( Lurgan cinema was more advanced, they had double back seats ) dances in the "big hall". When I was attending a 3 month trade scholarship in Belfast Tech in 1962 we used to go over to the Plaza dance hall for the 6d lunchtime hop. Lots of "millies" came, the "pouse" still clinging to their clothes and hair. We always waited and hoped for a slow melody then we could "moody" Oh to be young again!
Donald The Plaza brings back memoires all right, early 50s on Wednesday afternoon which was the half day my Dad used a weekly ticket on the train Hilden to Belfast which you just flashed at the attendant which I borrowed as he was of on Wednesday and headed for the city and you got dancing with the staff from Sinclars and Goorwiches and Anderson & Mc Auleys Nat Allen was on the bandstand at this period afterwards I think Duke Ellington played and the vocalist was Margere Ryan it was a great time 'after the dance I use to go round to Mooney's in the Cornmarket for a pint and one of there favourite sandwiches,of course they are both gone now the Plaza now an office for Social Services and Mooney's I think a Boutique now,they really were the best of times,thanks for the memories Regards Ted
Sorry The Band leader should have read Ray Ellington and the vocalist was Marion Ryan (Nearly right) Ted
another attraction for us in the 60s was "THE TOP HAT " facing Dublin Road and the Church Hall in Glenavy on Sunday nights. Father Kerr (Patch) who was Principle at St Malacy´s College was transferred there and used to supervise the moral of those attending. I remember one Sunday night herself sitting on my knee and him making a hand gesture that she must stand up. What a load of sinners we were then.
Hi Donald I answered this early this morning before going to the pool and I pressed the review button and the lot went in to thin air, Donald of all the dance halls I visited these two I missed as I would have been in Luton during the period when the Top Hat was in full swing but my Mum used to send the Star over every week and read the coming attractions Big Bands Etc also the different Court appearances of some of the regulars because of the hassle outside after the dance , and regarding St Clare's I never did make it there either as Banbridge was our favourite haunt on a Sunday night Danny Magee used to drive us in the big Austin Limousine .one Sunday night the Taxi would not make Cairnbane Hill because of the snow so we went back to Rathmore were Seamy White and the band were playing this is 1959 and my Waterloo as I meet the wife that night as there was a bus up from St Paul's in the city got married the next year and lived in Ilford in Essex and the rest's history but still retain the memories they were the best of times, Regards Ted