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How many of you know of or were ever on the banks of that other Lisburn paradise "The Back River" As a kid many a time I made my way across the fields (now covered with houses) down to the river carrying a motor tire tube to float around in though one time before I could swim I fell in off a raft and somebody threw that tube to me which probably save my life. The only thing that spoiled that river was sometimes the remains of dead animals floating down from the "Burnhouse " factory at the Halftown I wonder if it and the river are still there???, Mauri
Mauri, where exactly was the back river? The only ones Dominic knows are the Lagan River at Moore's Bridge; also, the Ravarnette River, which flows into the Lagan at the same place. It was a popular spot for swimming in the 50s. Young people came from the town to swim there as there was no swimming pool in those days. The Low Road and Hilden youth used the Lagan, at the Point My brothers swam there, but I never did. Girls didn't anyway. I still cannot swim and I never will now.
Ann, The Back River was actually a triputary of the Lagan, I'm not sure where it actually started but to reach it you could go down 'Lavery's Lane" which ran off Warren Park lane or cut across the fields at the end if Warren Gardens, it also could be reached by going down "McCleans Lane" the entry of which was on the Moira Road, I'm nearly sure that those places I have mentioned have all gone now, it was also possible during the 2nd World War to watch the small planes land at Blaris airfield just across the way from the river and in the distance planes landing at Long Kesh which was then an RAF base. Mauri
My last responce dissapeared ,I wonder Maurie what you refer to as the back river we would have called the Maze,I think we swam up river from the factory I'm almost sure, it was very popular with quite high banks for heading off,but I am slightly disorentated at the moment as to were the entrance to the river was but it was off the Moira Rd somewere and I would have diffuculty finding it today ,but I still remember the enjoyment we got at the time in question, probably the early 50s Regards Ted
As boys we swam at the "Beatlers", that was a pool behind the Lambeg Linen factory where later Coca Cola was. It was called "Beatlers" because it was the pool where the wooden beatling rollers were soaked before they were machined as preparation before being installed into the Beatling machines which pounded the woven flax cloth, part of the production of Linen cloth then.
we used to swim at ravarnette river, and also rode our bikes to the maze swimming place, it was great, high banks as you mentioned,
to get to it we rode past lizzie drakes pub about a mile? and another smaller road to the left took us a bit furthur on, then across some fields to the lagan. great times.
Tom That sounds about right, I was on a message bike then and I took it home with me this give me the freedom to visit the different swimming spots from were Donald has mentioned the Beetlers the Point,Sandies, Wright's Peir,Ravernet,and the Maze,of course it all started at the Bush otherwise known as The Wee Race ! Memories Regards Ted
Hey Guys, I'm talking about the early war years as I remember my Uncle Frank being down at the "Back River with me trying to teach me how to swim when he was on leave from the Navy and he died from wounds received in the "Bismarck" action in June 1941. I'm not familiar with the "Maze" river though I used to be around there a lot with Arty Docherty when he was driving Issac Collin's grocercy van delivering groceries this was usually during the school summer holidays and for those who remember the Central School was closed for nearly two months after the Air Raids on Belfast and turned into an evacuation centre for displaced persons. Mauri
Mauri, I wonder if you remember the place where the Lagan and the Ravarnet rivers joined, this would be just east of Moore's Bridge and was easily viewed from same.
I remember, though I can not put an exact date on the occasions, when you could see " bad boys " playing Pontoon on this little wedge of land between the rivers on the weekends.
This was a fairly common sight from the 38 Bus, especially on Sunday in the summertime.
Fortycoats, No I don't remember where the Ravarnet and the Lagan joined though I must have been passed it many times when I was a telegram boy during the war.
Mentioning the pontoon schools brought back memories, every
Sunday in the Longstone and Moira road areas there were schools down the various lanes along with pitch and toss games,even on the Golf Course as of course there was no Golf on Sundays in those days, I wonder if there is now,? I was on the Golf course one Sunday when the police raided It this was before the war after climbing the fence on to Warren park road I was running when the police car passed me, they were after the big guys I was only about eight or nine at the time. Mauri
that little spit of land was where we used to swim, where the ravarnet river joins the lagan.
we walked along the dublin road from lisburn, then when we got to moores bridge, we walked on a bit to the next little road on the left. we walked a little while there until we came to a little bridge. there was a wee gate there i think so we got down to the river. we spent hours there playing and swimming, then walked home along dublin road again.
happy days, not a care in the world.