Ha’penny Liqourice Sticks, Penny Drinks.. And Four For A Penny Walkers Caramels, sure we didn’t know when we were well off.
By Joe Graham
I remember a few years back, during a quiet moment at the “Half Bap-Little Italy” Re-Union and celebration events, I was talking to Christine Mcllveen(nee McFarlane) who was reared in Edward Street, about childhood memories, Christine had just written a wee poem about the days, about outside toilets, ‘Newspaper Squares” (toilet paper), “Penny Drinks” and such like, she said, “Joe. .we were poor and we didn’t know it’. Now years later and I still often think of those words .. no doubt we were poor, but sure weren’t we all in the same boat, not like today everyone seems pretty well off.. how many ‘poor people” do you know today.. kids today have everything, and rightly so.. but .. BUT.. they are “poor” compared to what we had in our Belfast childhood.
I and Christine spoke of Hapenny Liquorice Sticks.. Four A Penny Walkers Caramels, aye “Black Jacks’.. “Fruit Salads...four for a penny .. 3d into the pictures.. 1d Drinks, Penny on the bus.. 3d into the Falls or Peters Hill Swimmers or even the Falls Park “Coolers”, ..Jeess,... we lived like Millionaires on a Bob(Shilling), I would hate to be a fly on the wall in fifty years and listen to today’s kids talk of their childhood memories. £80 for a pair of High Tech Mutton Dummies,.. £50 for a shirt with a wee badge on it .. £200 for a “Game”., we had a “Hoop and Cleek”, that didn’t cost us a penny but gave us hours and hours of good healthy play... “Rally 0”.. Free... “Camping” up the mountain.. Free.. trekking out to Whitehouse for a swim.. or to the Rock Dam...Free...”Robbin’ The Orkey’s”.. Free.. Cheesers” Free...