Author Topic: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area  (Read 24042 times)

catweazle

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Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« on: February 08, 2011, 10:16:20 PM »
If anyone has any old photos of the Forthriver/Glencairn area from before the housing estate was built, I would be most grateful, if you posted them on the site. Even, any photos from the late 1960's- early 1970's, when the estate was first being built, would be appreciated.
 
I am most especially looking for snapshots of the old Robbins Well at the top of Glencairn Road, before it was covered over, even recollections of this area from anyone would be great. Many thanks.

Patricia Margaret

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 01:19:37 AM »
Catweazel- remember the Inkwell the wee cottage way up the Glencairn? you could buy ice lollipops in it? I remember Robbins Well.  Used to walk up the Glencairn on a Sunday and then across to Ligoniel. We used to pick primroses, bluebells, pussy willow and watercress and my daddy used to go up early and gather mushrooms!!!!  Oh I forget, blackberrys also and what we called wild woodbine the proper name of which is honeysuckle..  Of course the flowers all bloomed at different times.  Remember you could look up at the mountain and it looked blue and we used to call it blubell hill?   Lovely memories.  Sorry no photos.

catweazle

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 11:32:50 PM »
Hi Patricia,
 
Thanks for the reply. My late father used to tell me stories of the Inkwell Cottage, and how you could buy bottles of lemonade there. The ruin of the Inkwell was still there until the mid 70's. Just down the road from it, smack on the bend, stood a large mansion, with steep steps leading up to it. Again, it stood until the mid 70's. Correct me if I am wrong, but was it known as Frazers House?
 
My first memories of Robbins Well, are from about 1972, when my dad took me for a walk up there. He had told me it had just been recently covered over in concrete, so I am guessing it must have been concreted in at the start of The Troubles, circa 1969 or 1970. There was a hole at the bottom of the concrete casement, and water flowed from it. I remember being excited at the prospect of kneeling down, and cupping my little hands together for a cool drink. There was also, another cottage behind the well, until it finally fell into disrepair/vandalised, as the 70's progressed.
 
As time went on, the outflow of water decreased and by the early 1980's it was just a tiny trickle. That was the last time I had been there until ten years ago, when on a whim, I asked my wife if she fancied a walk up there, as she had never been to that part of Belfast before. I told her beforehand, that it was nothing like the Devon Moors, but it was enjoyable, when I was a kid.
 
Along the wayside of the old Glencairn Road, was  littered with old washing machines, and by the time we reached Robbin's Well, it was completely silted over  - so no cool drink. We eventually took a detour towards Ligoneil direction, to the river at "Green Gate", but that is another story. I have no idea as to why the well was covered up in concrete, and anyone I have asked down the years, doesn't know either. A real shame, as it was a step backwards covering this up. If the relevent government bodies, took the step of cleaning this place up, had something like the Inkwell Cottage along the way to serve refreshments, opened up Robbin's Well as it was years ago, you might get not just more Belfast people going up there, but potential tourists.
 
I am actually surprised, no-one has thought of building a little dwelling/cottage on the site of the old one, behind the well, as I said, if cleaned up, this area could become nice again.

Patricia Margaret

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 12:48:44 AM »
Hi Catweazle. Welcome to the Forum.  Very interesting the information you provided.  Sorry but I do not remember the name of the people in the house you refer to.  Will be intersting to see if anyone else posts on this thread.

Rosser

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 09:28:47 AM »

 
 
Hi Catweazle, This is the bottom of what is now the Forthriver Rd, I can remember that little house well, there was another house about 100 yds behind it which was not visible from the road which my cousins mother in law lived in, it too was knocked down in the name of progress :angry2:  she ended up in a flat at the bottom of the Forthriver Rd, nothing was built on the site of her home which was chocolate box lovely :scratch_ones_head:
 
Rosser
 
 
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catweazle

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 10:39:56 PM »
Hi Rosser,
 
Thanks for this class photo, just the type of photos I am looking for. I would guess, with the trams, this was taken in the late 1950's. The area looks so well and very clean, a lot better than it looks now.
 
I remember the house on the left well, but by the early 70's it had been abandoned, and completely demolished by about 1977. I also remember the little house, which you are referring to, which was to the left of one in photo, but not visible from the road.
 
As I said, I haven't been up the old Glencairn Road for over ten years, but I was up near where that photo was taken, two years ago. At the bottom of Forthriver Road, new houses have been built, and they look very impresssive. This new build is referred to as Altnagarron Heights.
 
Keep up the photos and memories as they are much appreciated. again, many thanks.
 
 

Patricia Margaret

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 12:21:27 AM »
Hi Rosser, I remember the wee house too. 

Rosser

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 11:54:44 AM »
Hi Patricia Margaret and Catweazle, I have vivid memories of the glen and can remember most of the houses between the Ballygomartin Rd and Robins Well, when I mention them you will remember them too, there were not so many so it`s easy.
 
The first large mansion on the right I believe was owned by the Crawford family, Mary Crawford was the headmistress of Glencairn girls school.across the fields on the same side aws the big white house owned by the Cunninghams which later became a museum. Next was the Fraser house on the left at the bad bend,on the wall at the entrance we used to mark an X in remembrance of a motorcyclist who crashed into it and was killed, at the edge of the garden there were steps which led down to the river, these were covered with bushes which had been cut into tunnels,a great place for an adventure when I was wee, behind Frasers house was a small cottage where their housekeeper lived, I remember my mates mum took us to visit the housekeeper who was her friend,she had baked homemade scones and bread and jam from the fruit in the garden,never tasted better, beside the cottage there were 7 huge chestnut trees known as the 7 sisters, later after the houses were knocked down we would gather cheesers this was early 70`s, I`m sure the trees are still there unless they have been cut down for the bonefire.
Further up the Rd on the right was another picture postcard cottage called Four Winds, this was the gardeners house of the Cunningham estate and was later taken over by the parks dept, the guy who cut the grass in Woodvale and Glencairn parks lived there, you might remember him he was very tall with an overly long neck and handlebar moustache,he later moved into the park rangers house at the bottom of Woodvale Ave after Four Winds was also knocked down.
 
Then there was the Inkwell on the left, I can remember an elderly man living there, on up where the road bends left and at the start of the steep part there was a two storey cottage which ahd a natural spring at the side of the house,the owner would leave a tin cup on a rock so walkers could have a drink, the water was freezing even on the warmest day. and lastly Robins Well to pick watercress, there was a marker on the side of the Rd opposite the Rd to greengate which was the city limit marker for Belfast.
 
Rosser
 
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wavey davey

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 03:16:42 PM »
Hi all
I've some happy memories of this area.It truly was an adventure playground as I grew up in north Belfast.My first introduction was when my dad took me and my brother out for Sunday walks. Dad would explain that when the air raid sirens went during the second world war that many families from the Shankill would come up the Glencairn Road for safety, although he was able to show me a bomb crater part way up the road which had since filled up with water. We walked up this road all the way over to Ligoniel.Later I remember going with a friend to visit his relative who lived in the house at the entrance to Glencairn Road, the house backed unto the Forth River. We used to walk from there up to a large house and grounds which was by this time empty except for the caretaker who lived in one of the rooms. We had great fun exploring the house and grounds. I also remember on the way up to the house  a building which contained a number of Green Goddesses, this always appeared locked up although we were able to peer through the windows. We did however get in one day when the warden was up to do a routine check of the premises.
I have in front of me a 1901 map of the area. Along the road are what look like four large residences, Glenview,(this appeared to have access from the Ballygomartin road. Glencairn(the large house we explored). Glendivis, and finally Fernhill.  On the map the road appears to be called Monks Hill Road. There also appear to be two lodges to the entrance of Glencairn House with a well nearby. The only other abiding memory is when the Forth river used to run with vivid colours, I suppose this reflected the dying operations being done in the factories further up the river.

Wavey

harrydunn

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 05:02:15 PM »

 
Glencairn Road taken from 1941 street directory.
I remember the bomb hole used to go there for frog spawn and tadpoles also remember the horse shoe well right away up at the top of the Glencairn, we knew the fields to the left of this well as bluebell hill as it was covered with bluebells when in season.

Patricia Margaret

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 02:00:16 AM »
Guys, I loved reading your posts.   You remember a lot more than I did.  Brings back many happy memories.  Thanks for sharing your memories.

catweazle

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2011, 08:37:06 PM »
Thanks for all the posts everyone. Please keep them coming, these are just the type of memories and photos, I am looking for.
 
Rosser, could you please explain exactly whereabouts on the old Glencairn Road, the cottage was, with the natural spring beside it, and roughly when it disappeared? This sounds as if it is before my own personal recollections of that area, and I am totally intrigued by this. Cheers.

the orrs

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2011, 09:32:25 PM »
HI  I WENT TO FORTHRIVER SCHOOL 1944, REMEMBER THE HEAD MASTER WAS A MR GALLAGHER ALSO A TEACHER MISS ORR WHO I REMEMBER MARRIED A MINISTER,  IN THE WINTER  THE ROAD  WAS ALWAYS FLOODING ON    THE BALLYGOMARTIN RD .UP THE GLENRIVER RD I REMEMBER THE BOMB CRATER ALSO ROBINS WELL AN USE TO WALK  OVER TO HARMONY HTS TO THE CRUMLIN RD WERE THERE WAS TWO MILLS  AN A DAM GREAT MEMORIES.

oilyrag

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 02:39:31 PM »
Forthriver school , some of the teachers names just came back to me , Mr Gallagher , Mr Holmes , Mr Kyle (kyler), Miss Matchet , Mrs Seewright .
A great write up Rosser....imagine forgetting the bomb hole  :swoon: 
so drunk to hell I left the place , sometimes crawling sometimes walking

the orrs

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Re: Old photos of Forthriver/Glencairn area
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 03:14:47 PM »
AN WHAT ABOUT THE OUTSIDE TOILETS :swoon: NO PAPER :swoon: