Names I remember from Varna St:
McIlwaine, Fennell, O'Hare, Billy Boyle, Jacksons, Lizzie Ritchie, Jinnie Porter, Paddy Casey, Hinds, Maureen Adams, Maggie Early, Rosie Fitzpatrick.
ann i went to sea with jim scullion.ithink his family came from varna st.i came from colin st not to many remember colin st.
I'll ask my dad. He's my info line! I was only 12 when I left Belfast.
is your dad Willie from around Leeson street and did he go to the hibs dance hall around 1959
when any one ask me where colin st was i say lena had her old shop at the corner then they remember it.they where the good old days.
what exactly do ye mean good old day were they really that good? for instance ma waiting for the wire from merrie ole englandto feed hungry kids or hurrying off to mc donnell st to get the clothes for sunday wear and then on mondday to repawn them or tell the rent man your ma wasnt home or the pru man or the gas man that it was strange the gas man said there wasnt enough in the meter for gas used ach yea were they the GOOD OLE DAYS?
gerry i mean they were good ole days for us kids growing up we had loads of fun with all our homemade games and they didnt cost anymoney not like today. yes it was hard times for our ma and da. we were all on the same boat there was very little money about if any.many a monday i had to go up to paddy laverys for my ma. i went to sea when i was 17 and thank god i was able to help my ma/da with a fiver a week. and everytime we got back to southampton i would send them 200 woodbine they thought they were in heaven.
dear john, didnt men to offend ye we tend to think off today,s standards [credit cardsetc]poor mom +dad 5 hungry kid sorry about that
I grew up in the Whiterock back in the late forties and fifties. Our family suffered as much as everybody else in those days. Drinking our tea out of jamjars because our ma and da couldn't afford to buy cups for us to drink out of. And yes, I had to go to the pawnshop for them every Monday. They always found something to pawn. We probably owned a share in Paddy Laverys' pawn shop down the Falls Rd.Never once did any of us six kids receive a birthday card or have a birthday party. Are you kidding me? But I would give up all the luxuries I have now here in California and ten years of my life just to be granted one year now of living back then because those were happy days and my teenage years were the best, even though I had to work at Greeves' mill for a year. I call those days the innocent years. Kids nowadays have everything including my own, but I think life is more stressful for them because they have never experienced the hardships we did growing up in Belfast in the "good old days"
Peace to all.
it seems i have stirred a hornets nest i am not saying they were not the good ole days but would we trade one day of wealth and worked at coome +barbers factory, silk and rayon, digging at the docks, cantrell +cochrane pop truck etc one thing havent been asked in canada is what foot do i kick with and ofcourse i dont miss the r u c peace to ye and GOD SAVE IRELAND PS UP THE REBELS
Don't take it to heart Gerry. Nobody is criticizing you for the way you feel about the way we had to live in those days. It's just that some of us have short memories. Like out-of-sight out-of-mind. The memories are all tied up with family who are gone now, so wishing for the good old days is wishing they were still alive. Like my mammy and daddy and brother Jim and all the rest.
Luck to you Gerry.
Margaret, your letter was perfect, when I pass on, my idea of heaven would being able to go back to those days of childhood, our parents had it hard but we were mostly sheltered from it.
Right you are concerned,and thanks for the kind words.
I hope you enjoy your day.
my dear margaret, thank ye for replying have not taken it to heart some memories are there till me dying day4 brothers gone school chums distant lands or beyond. hope to get back for a final visitsome day peace to ye all,
hi margaret i grew in the lower falls.our family up stairs and anotner down stairs 8 of us in 1 bed and the water tap behind the hall door.my granny worked in greeves mill iremember going to get pay 7/6 every week god knows how hours she had work that.my mother got a new house in ballymurphy i think it was in 1956 it was great 3 bedrooms and abathroom we didnt know we were liveing. we loved ballymurphy and had great times there.my mates and i would get up every morning at 6 and go to barney hughes bakery with our pillow case and for 6d u got it filled with buns and small bread.some times hafe the buns were eat before we got to ballymurphy.we also went to work at the spud fields them days u would for few bob and it was only a few we got 8bob a day.aaaaoooooooo my back still hurts.margaret they where the innocent years.good night and bless.
What a nice letter John. It brought a tear to my eye. I was thinking about all you little kids and my own four brothers and one sister doing practically the same things.My granny lived with us too. We had the same sleeping arrangements as you.I bet between you & I, and Gerry and Concerned we could write a book about our childhoods that would rival "Angela's Ashes". Remember that one? John, my Daddy had a friend called Patsy Taggart. He used to come up to our house in the Whiterock every Saturday night for a drinking party.Any relation to you? Also,do you know the Murphys' from Glenalina Cresent in Ballymurphy? They are my cousins.
Cheers for now John and luck to you.
Do you remember ‘Rolling’ Your Easter
I recall the days before chocolate Easter Eggs, the days when your Easter egg was an ordinary egg, hard boiled and dye would be put into the water as the eggs boiled. In our house when we were kids my father used to go over the fields and gather the yellow buds from Whin bushes and these were put into the boiling water. These Whin bushes you will notice usually bloom around Easter time. The custom of children taking their hard boiled dyed eggs to roll down a nearby grassy hill died out nearly sixty years ago.
To show how old the tradition was I came a cross a very interesting and colourful account written almost 200 years ago in Belfast , and goes.....
“ There is a custom, at least in most parts of this kingdom, of repairing on Easter Monday to someconspicuous or celebrated place, generally an old fort, for the avowed purpose of mirth and festivity. The good people of Belfast and the neighbouring country, who are disposed to forego for one day the toils and cares of this busy world, have selected, from time immemorial, the Cave hill as the scene of their convivial sports. Mac Art’s Fort, as being the greatest for many miles around, is probably the ostensible object which attracts their visit ; but dreading to wrestle so near the sky with a certain potent and insidious enemy who is no respecter of times or places, and who has never been known to be absent from any Irish fair, wake, patron, Easter day, or other jovial meeting, they very prudently choose a less elevated situation ; and pitching with much circumspection, numerous tents on the soft green sward beneath, where the advances of the said treacherous adversary can be watched, his attacks resisted on firm ground, and where the vanquished may rise uninjured from the combat, they indulge in all that mirth which the scene and the occasion cannot fail to inspire. Among the more juvenile revellers, at this great festival, there is a singular custom, and one which is nearly local. Eggs are boiled hard in a liquid in which some colouring matter, generally logwood, or furze blossoms, has been infused. When properly dyed they are carried to the fields, and rolled on the ground, thrown into the air, or used in Whatever manner may suit the fancy of the clamorous throng. This practice is here entirely confined to children, and certainly to all appearances very unmeaning.”
Hi! Joe: Regarding colouring the hard boiled eggs for Easter, we still do that here in California. We boil them hard and colour them with packets of dye we buy from the store. we also decorate them with kids' stickers and hide them in the backyard. The grandkids have a ball looking for them. Our little town (Vacaville) also has an annual Easter egg hunt downtown in the park and kids come from all over to hunt for eggs. We also have the chocolate eggs and the plastic eggs. We fill the plastic eggs with candy and hide them too. I don't think we will ever stop boiling and colouring the regular eggs. It's a big tradition over here. And thanks to you Joe for your hard work in putting this site together. I just love reading all the comments.
It's nice to hear old traditions are still going Margaret, but I chuckled in a way because back then it was a big deal just to have an egg to eat let alone get a coloured one to roll down the hill, there wasn't a lot as you mentioned in an earlier post but we were happy.
Thanks for your kind remarks on site.
hi joe i still paint the eggs at easter for my grand kids.they just love to come to our house to get the coloured eggs.happy days.joe for years my wife always got the rushlight when she went to bingo.and i would send it to my uncle in england he just loved to get them. joe i am new to this laptop game and ijust found ur site by accident its great to go down memory lane.and gerry and margaret are great craic.keep the good work up joe and good luck. and god bless all.
Hiya John , yes these are great days we are living in, and this internet fairly makes the world a smaller place.
hi john,my mums cousin betsy married a barney taggaret they lived in new lodge rd..he went to sea,. as well.so did a few of their sons,barney,john. my grandfather michael wylie was in the merchant navy.he live in harding st.i have his old sea books.i remember thay had relations in the lower falls.could it be the same taggarts?.
..hi ann, i had no relations in the merchant navy.but i went to sea with a john taggart from st james,he might b one of ur mums relations.also jim mc donnell from harding st.in my 1st job in belfast a davy wylie was my boss. he might have a been one of ur grandfathers relations. god bless
hi ann i came from varna st,my parents were andy n mary i think you n my sister eileen RIP, were about the same age. my brother andy was in the merchant navy. my other brother jim is in a photo with kids at corner of cyprus st, john hinds ,liam robinson,n a few others,I am doing the family tree on my aunt ria mcElvogue/nee Grimley,she lived in 35/37 varna st she died in 1958,maybe your dad would remember her n her husband Joe. nice talking to you,hope your dad is keeping well.
Hi R, Sorry its taken so long to reply. I'm seeing my dad tomorrow and will ask him about your aunt Ria. We lived in 39 Varna. Unfortunately, my mother passed away 14 years ago and she lived with her grandmother in 39 Varna. Her grandmother's name was Hannah Hillman. Mum's maiden name was Robinson. Her parents died when she was young. Get back to you shortly. The photo you refer to was one my dad took and my two brothers are in it, Sam and Robert Delaney.
Regards, Ann Delaney
My dad tells me your aunt Ria lived next door (37) to where he eventually lived, No. 39. Her husband was killed in a railway accident in the early 50's. Her brother lived with her there and lived there after she died.
Good luck with your research,
Hi R, My dad, Sam Delaney, was asking after your father, Andy.
Regards, Ann D
Hi ann thanks for the info on my aunt Ria,my dad died 1993 n mom 1980.its great you still have your dad with you, give him our best wishes n god bless. R
Hi theresa my uncle Joe McElvogue came from
Cookstown Co Tyrone.
CHARLEY McKIBBEN FOUND £50 AND LOST IT.
Some years ago a Pound Loney man by the name of Charlie McKibben was walking down College Street with his hands dug deep in his pockets, this was the 1950’s and like most men Charlie had been out of work for a long time,and had gone for a “wee Dander” to pass the day.He kicked the folded big white enevelope that lay on the pavement in front of him and was curious as to the weight of it, glancing round to see that no one was watching he bent and picked it up,he opened it and couldn’t believe his luck. .inside was 5 crisp $10 notes. he slipped it into his pocket and turned to make his way back to the Pound Loney. What a God send,he thought,I’ll have a few “Yard and a Halves” in McCorry’s and a bet at “Blink” McCloskeys”, his fist tightened round the roll of money in his pocket as he thanked God for his windfall. He walked up Albert Street by Quadrant Street and Brook Street and as he got to McAleese Pawnshop a group of women whom he recognised as neighbours were comforting this woman who lived only a few doors from him,”Oh Mary”, he heard one woman say to her,”That terrible. .where did you lose it”?..Charley froze on the spot...”What did you lose,Mary?” he asked,Mary was crying so uncontrolably one of the other women answered for her, ”Ah,Charley,poor Mary poor Mary was going into the town to pay for her Daughter's wedding dress with money she had just borrowed from the moneylender and she lost it”. Charley’s eyebrows knitted...”Was it five crisp £10 Notes?’,Mary quietly said,”It was son. .it was!”, Charley licked his lips and gulped,he crossed his fingers while they were still in his pockets and asked, “Was it in a Big White envelope?”, Mary lifted her tear stained face and whimpered,”It was Son, I dropped it some where in Castle Street or maybe even College Street..why do you ask,Son?”. Taking the envelope from his pocket he handed it to Mary,saying,”Because I found a big white envelope with five crisp £10 notes in College Street. .and it’s got to be yours”,with that Charley turned on his heels to finish of his “Wee Dander” to kill time.. .for you see,Pound Loney people were like that.
I grew up in Ballmurphy, our next door neighbours were, the Laverys and the McDonnaughs, (not sure on spelling) my older sister was Pearl, and she sung at many places throughout Belfast, esp. with Edmund Heath/singers, dancers, etc..myself and my younger sister Josephine and brother Philip went to St. Kevins, we moved over to Turf Lodge, oh, in the 60's then moved over to England, now in USA. Putting on basic info. so that perhaps I can get great feedback. Love this site, will certainly enjoy it. And, yes, great times, great memories, they never die.
My sister Ella and her husband
houston lived in Varna Street at the corner of Varna, n Leeson st? I also remember Felix Robb n Tom Lappen.
there you go. I get into a banter with Desi and it turns out he's my neighbour. Small world.Thats us loney ones. Have a nice day Desi
Willie is my dad's brother. We have been living in Australia since 1962. my dad is Sammy.
Does anyone remember a tailor by the name of Baxter coming from Falls Road - would be a long time ago though around the 1940's.
was there even a tailor shop on Falls Road then?
I am looking for any information possible about this.
yes I agreeg the pawn shop on monday was the norm, i also worked at greaves mill in my first year after leaving school ( milford st)1958. but it seem that we who left old belfast seem to relise what we had in the GOOD OLD DAYS, they were great days for me,
john you must have lived in ballymurphy road on whiteclif cres, that was all was there in 1956, my uncle tommy kearney moved in to no 12 whiteclif cres around that time.
mitchels lived in no1 varna st their da was a seaman
yes, i remember Helen Creighton. a lovely tall girl with long hair. I was only 12 when I left belfast so they are only fleeting memories.
Yes, Ollie,it is my uncle Willie. He is my dad Sam's brother
Rose Fitzpatrick my Gran minded me every day not a day goes past dont miss her x
ANN THOUGHT YA LIVED IN VARNA ST NXT DOOR 2 ME GRAN WHEN YA SAID HER NAME THATS WHY I ASKED U HAVE 2 BROS SAM AND ROBERT AND A WEE SIS LOL X
Roberta, I remember when Rosie's son called in to our house in 39 Varna to say that Rosie had passed away. I was only 11 or so but I mourned her very much. I loved going into her house and listen to my mother and her talk. And I can remember when she died, her coffin in the living room. It was hard to comprehend. Oh Roberta, I can remember now. You were only a child yourself weren't you. I have a lovely photo of her and my mother outside their houses which I will endeavour to send to Rushlight. Regards, Ann Delaney