Author Topic: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.  (Read 2108944 times)

Joe Kerr

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13080 on: June 25, 2019, 08:11:14 PM »
Does anybody remember Dr Sloan who had a practice in the 50/60s, I think, in a street off York Road? He had a decided affinity towards cigarettes and whiskey. Always wore a three piece dark blue whistle and flute.

mmcgoverne

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13081 on: June 26, 2019, 09:56:43 AM »
I remember his brown ensemble Tommy! :-)

I'm sure it would be ok to share, I checked with Anne (the lady in the picture with her brothers) and she was happy for it to be shared publicly on here.

I'm good thanks, hope you're well too?  :-*

it sure is Margaret he is still relatively young in this pic as he got older aul shuie was always seen in big brown wooly jumper and brown trousers and of course the aul flat cap ,, do you think I would be able to share this with some of my friends ,, hope ya keeping well regards tommy  :-*
Looking for info re the Jamisons @ garage 265-269 Shore Rd 1950s-70s
Fred & Eliza, Ian, Clifford (Caesar) Stanley, Ken, Harold, Winnie, Phyllis, Hilda

mmcgoverne

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13082 on: June 26, 2019, 10:04:18 AM »
Thanks very much James, I am now much better educated!

I think I was going wrong just copying in the Imgur link, not clicking on the link or the actual picture to copy it.

For some reason my posts are full of the odd formatting, I think I catch most of them? Good to know about the ten minute limit.

Testing it out now with a pic of Hughie McCloy's sister., it works better for me to click directly on the picture online and paste below, I kept pasting the little brown icon above! :-D



Thank you again, Margaret

The picture below is on the corner of the Shore Road and York Drive.

Well first thing,... for technical computer software related reasons, the formatting on here can be a tad quirky, that's why you sometimes see things like this,... [size=78%] . That can be corrected if needed to via the modify button within about ten minutes of the post having been made.

If it happens which it usually will, with a copy and paste of text from another web page or website, the way to avoid that is to paste the text into a word processor and then recopy it from there, and the material in brackets won't be displayed when you paste it here.

Posting pictures, well that's pretty easy, and I did a how to for someone about that, I'll try and find it and post it or refer you to it.

It's usually done by uploading a picture from a web page, or from your computer, to an online picture sharing website, and then copying the link/URL from the uploaded picture, and posting it here by clicking in the message text window and then clicking on the little brown square icon above the message text window and pasting the picture link into that.

These sites can be used for uploading pictures to,...

https://postimages.org/          https://imgur.com/upload           http://tinypic.com/

That works with computers that use the Windows operating system, but people who use Apple computers don't seem to be able to post pictures on here,  so possibly there might be a software incompatibility issue with  the Apple operating system.

I've just thought of a quick and more direct method, and I gave it a try, and it seems to work.

I did this online with a picture of a premises on the shore road that I found on the internet, I didn't download the picture, but it would probably also work with a saved picture on one's computer, if it was first opened in a picture viewing program on the computer, and then copied from that.

One would also have to use the post message preview button to check if the picture would appear on here at a suitable size.

I right clicked on the online picture, and when the drop down menu opened I left clicked on the "Copy image" option.

I then right clicked in this text message window, and when the drop down menu opened I left clicked on the "Paste" option, and the picture appeared below.

Image result for shore road belfast
Looking for info re the Jamisons @ garage 265-269 Shore Rd 1950s-70s
Fred & Eliza, Ian, Clifford (Caesar) Stanley, Ken, Harold, Winnie, Phyllis, Hilda

tommytwotoes

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13083 on: June 27, 2019, 04:01:29 PM »
I remember his brown ensemble Tommy! :-)

I'm sure it would be ok to share, I checked with Anne (the lady in the picture with her brothers) and she was happy for it to be shared publicly on here.

I'm good thanks, hope you're well too?  :-*
thank you Margaret and im keeping well thank you  :-*
i never drop players ,i only make changes (shanks) justice for the 96

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13084 on: June 29, 2019, 01:04:07 PM »
 Even more about Graymount and related matters.
 
As the years went by it got easier. Familiarity didn't breed contempt because the contempt was there from day one. What is did breed was the ability for resourcefulness and endurance. We knew what menaces lurked around each corner and took measures to counteract. We got a bit cleaner. We rose up the lines and saw the older bullies leave one by one, possibly to go into the wider world and experience precisely what they had doled out. Possibly not, as all religious laws, such as karma, are tenuous. One of the worse cases of bullying will be known by persons of the community still struck by the darkness of it all and harbouring a deep worry that such things can happen, the innocent face of the girl from the past still radiant in the mind as a beacon of innocence.
 
But there is no room for the mention of depravity here in a light-hearted look at it all. To just clarify that,  I mainly address my comments to those who did not fit the bill one way or another in life – a state so easily picked up and preyed upon by school bullies, Christians and snobs. The set ways of that school brooked nothing fresh, and well dare you aim for anything that suited the  teachers' view of us as lesser mortals from the back streets of the Shore Road and outlying places. I hated those revolting old biddies (revolting because of their attitudes) and one had a wooden hand and I hope it caught woodworm.
 
Speaking, too, of brooking nothing fresh, the only place you got any of that was the Cavehill where silver streams coursed down to the lough. I once remember we went on the beak/beek (and let's add one for the pseuds who condescended to go on it, the beagh) and turning a corner on one of the many verdant paths we entered a sort of clearing and a rockface with a lovely waterfall. We were never able to find it again.
 
 
 
Religions, by the way, are by and large simply death cults. Someone with a towel on the head dies and it's cause for celebration and the belief in personal superiority because of his gruesome death! And did the gringo the Christians only care about the death of, even exist at all!?  You can kindly go away if you want to pick holes, feel superior or have a burning desire to inflict your dogma on the rest of the world. This is my considered opinion wrought over a number of years studying it and topics which are deemed sidelights to it by the so-called enlightened mind: religion is pure crap.   
 
However, back to Graymount where it was promoted with such zeal on twanging guitars, and in boring assemblies with visiting ministers one of whom actually cried on stage because "Jesus loved us." It suggested he felt terrible because Jesus' love for us was wasted. We weren't worthy. He glanced down at us, and I'm sure he was thinking that we deserved duck all squared from on high. We couldn't stomach the whole load of double-standards, pretence, fakery and indeed these attempts to force us to accept the reality of the supernatural world in sandy old holes of places the other side of Europe way back in the days when, as the rhyme says,
"bum paper was not invented."
 
 
Re. the bullies: all they needed for operation was a collection of Toadies, and these short-sighted Toadies felt that in order to escape intimidation they could throw their lot in with the main bully. But sometimes they were ejected from the inner sanctum and experienced what the rest of us on the "outs" did at the hands of their erstwhile leader. If you're reading this, isn't it just like religion? You'll get ejected for a dalliance with someone 20 years younger not of the same sect who stole a tin of corned beef from the Co-op, yet the gringo that ejects you has a list of peccadilloes the length of your arm, and forby that thefts on the stock market left right and centre. And they bar you because they can, and have obtained in life a position of power born out of revelling in the gruesomeme death of a man 2000 or so years ago, and the said gringo might not even ever have existed! Weird. Creepy.
 
 The younger ones didn't dare try to bully us because mostly we were taller than them. Some were wider than we were tall but this didn't seem to count. I mean wider in a stocky, pugilist sort of sense rather than overweight, for few people were overweight back then as Arthur Fannin and Billy Kyle didn't stock a great deal, and flies that landed on the buns were inclined to put you off.  There was no dandering around rows and rows of biscuits in those days, next to come upon rows and rows of crisps followed by  fizzy drinks that you could strip paint with or maybe with a few more ingredients, send rockets up. But anyway, one young girl called Angela was quite defiant and had a go at bullying us. She came up to the school every day from Rathcoole to lower the tone further. Once I'd to "coillon" her in the corridor for having a go at a male teacher. The truth is, we felt a bit protective of the few male teachers who dared enter the school, for they were gormless fellas who wore expressions which suggested that they weren't sure how they'd managed to get into this sort of a pickle in life, working at a girl's school. (There was once an older man who came who wanted to open the pickle jar).
 
However, I'm sure that this particular guy who Angela had a go at, for looking like the wolfman, couldn't have envisaged in his teacher-training years ending up being abused in a girls' school by a 12 year-old. Well I'd to do something about this and in front of him gave her the third degree in language which swivelled his eyeballs on the spot. I'll grant it was an awkward situation for him. Rules being rules, he ought to have trailed both of us to old Mary for a good old thrashing and afterwards a lecture on the "fact" that Jesus wouldn't have carried on like this – presumably because he was too busy hanging around yarning a lot of crap instead of doing a good day's work. No, instead he went for the more human option and thanked me for sticking up for him, his face somewhat strained with the dilemma. How could he trail me off after I'd come to his defence? Now that guy was an English fella, and possibly a Southerner, so no doubt he'd a wound to nurse the rest of his fussy little life.
 
The problems with Christians minimised too though, for all that claptrap faded out as the hormones kicked in with gusto. Yes, a lot of them got interested in young men and couldn't quite reconcile this with the instructions in the so-called "good book," in spite of the fact that people in it were begetting all over the place and even living to 900 to do it. So this quest to overpopulate the desert and drink it drier than it already was, was a good thing? - If it happened at all? Anyway, if it did happen it's likely the source of global warming, for all that population created would have to spread out and drink other places dry too, and let's face it, people are inclined to bring the weather with them. But let's not forget this book was written by a lot of eejits in the Middle East and adjoining locales way back when people scrapped in lumps over anything at all, and would have run you through with a sabre as quick as look at you. If the atom bomb had been around then someone would have lobbed it into a tent in Mesopotamia. One extra stripe in that cloth head gear the men wore suggested you weren't in their tribe, and so you'd had it if they found you out in the desert sucking lemons. That reminds me, I must do the dishes.
 
So anyway the natural developmental trend of young ladies helped to push Christianity out in more than a few, and some of the diehard Christians came to excel themselves at wine, young men and song, the transference of religious zeal going into hanging round street corners eyeing up anything in trousers. In those days too, kids could buy drink willy nilly and you didn't have to ask an adult to go into the wine lodge for you. You could go in looking 12 and get served tins of Harp with pictures of glamorous ladies on the tins (probably a lot of lapsed Christians). The lapsed Christians we knew delighted in all these new experiences and examined the tins with interest. One particular girl who had been at the zenith of her sense of superiority as one going to heaven trampling over the rest of our burning corpses as she went up the main steps must have been tempting fate from the outset, for every time I saw her after she dropped her dubious  romance with Middle Eastern rubbish, she looked as if she was on fire. Having discovered the joys of Players Number 6 she smoked like blazes. She had really long hair and I couldn't get over the fact that the smoke used to cover all of it. 
 
Further, on the subject of religion. I'd a school pal who got caned for the most unusual reason imaginable. One time she got into some very serious scrape with a history teacher. I never did know the full details but it was a weighty do right enough, you could sense it in the atmosphere thick with intrigue that day in room four. The history teacher, normally an unruffled, deadly serious woman, deemed it all so bad that she flew off to old Mary the Head Mistress to consult her on the matter's intricacies. I remember thinking that it must be bad, because this history teacher never, ever lost her cool in all the years she was known. She was a pro.

Well, with the same sort of trepidation  people were ordered to places for knee-cappings, my pal was summoned to see Mary.  She knew it was coming. We were doing about Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the time when the heavy door knocked and opened, and in strode someone from on-high. The history teacher looked up from her steel-rimmed spectacles and nodded approval: it was a deputy head girl who had been rounded up and asked to fetch my pal to Mary's. They picked a stocky one with blond pig-tails and a face that looked like someone had had a go at it with sand-paper, so they must have expected a brawl. I shuddered as I saw her go out the door with this hench-woman, and in fact this was the last period in the day so I didn't get to hear what happened until the next day as my pal was kept behind long after the bell went.
 
The gist of it all was that my pal, who was an imaginative sort of girl, had got caught on at something by the history teacher, possibly smoking, and for some strange reason she decided that a less-than-regular cover story was required, so she told the teacher she was  a Devil Worshipper. No stretch of my imagination can fathom how she fitted this round smoking up one of the chimneys in a way that made it all plausible, but anyway that's what she did, and so off she went to Mary's to tell her the ins and outs of it all. Whatever she said Mary believed her! If a 16 year old can convince a Head Mistress of a school that she's a Devil Worshipper then it proves that at the helm of Graymount was a woman who was either as numb as a [censored], or else so keen to beat people up that any reason would do. So how about that? Caned for having an alternative religion! They could worship who they wanted to worship, but you couldn't worship who you wanted! And anyway, who would the act of caning belong to in the scheme of this type of stupid religious logic? Surely Mary, in caning people, was engaging in the Devil's set of rules and regulations? Oh aye! It was all right for her to follow the Devil's rules when she felt like it. This is the thing, isn't it, with these people: you're not allowed to point out stuff like this!!
 
So does the Devil exist folks? Don't tell me for it's neither here nor there, I'm not interested and I've heard it all before. But have a listen to this little tale put to music below, for maybe the Devil is where people think nothing other than respectability lurks. What a great, menacing tune this guy made!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr8qltw4BXA

 
 
 
 

 
Cryptic clue time: who wrote 1001 uses of vinegar but forgot chips? It's a war of attrition folks, make no mistake. Keep your thread alive. TF.

James James

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13085 on: July 02, 2019, 09:55:06 AM »
https://www.rainbow-project.org/Event/fvh

"Football vs Homophobia 2019 - Newry and Belfast"

"The Rainbow Project are proud to be holding three football tournaments to raise awareness of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in sport, in association with Concentrix. Register your 2019 team, below. !"

"The tournament will take place on Sunday 28th July at Seaview Stadium, Shore Road, from 09:00am."



arch

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13086 on: July 02, 2019, 04:00:18 PM »
The picture below is on the corner of the Shore Road and York Drive.

Well first thing,... for technical computer software related reasons, the formatting on here can be a tad quirky, that's why you sometimes see things like this,... [size=78%] . That can be corrected if needed to via the modify button within about ten minutes of the post having been made.

If it happens which it usually will, with a copy and paste of text from another web page or website, the way to avoid that is to paste the text into a word processor and then recopy it from there, and the material in brackets won't be displayed when you paste it here.

Posting pictures, well that's pretty easy, and I did a how to for someone about that, I'll try and find it and post it or refer you to it.

It's usually done by uploading a picture from a web page, or from your computer, to an online picture sharing website, and then copying the link/URL from the uploaded picture, and posting it here by clicking in the message text window and then clicking on the little brown square icon above the message text window and pasting the picture link into that.

These sites can be used for uploading pictures to,...

https://postimages.org/          https://imgur.com/upload           http://tinypic.com/

That works with computers that use the Windows operating system, but people who use Apple computers don't seem to be able to post pictures on here,  so possibly there might be a software incompatibility issue with  the Apple operating system.

I've just thought of a quick and more direct method, and I gave it a try, and it seems to work.

I did this online with a picture of a premises on the shore road that I found on the internet, I didn't download the picture, but it would probably also work with a saved picture on one's computer, if it was first opened in a picture viewing program on the computer, and then copied from that.

One would also have to use the post message preview button to check if the picture would appear on here at a suitable size.

I right clicked on the online picture, and when the drop down menu opened I left clicked on the "Copy image" option.

I then right clicked in this text message window, and when the drop down menu opened I left clicked on the "Paste" option, and the picture appeared below.

Image result for shore road belfast
James James i have no problems putting pics on here with my Apple macbook.

CMcG

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13087 on: July 04, 2019, 07:44:10 AM »
1946:



If there are any images posted above that are important to you, take your own copy - I cannot guarantee they will appear indefinitely.

CMcG

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13088 on: July 04, 2019, 08:16:22 AM »
1939:



If there are any images posted above that are important to you, take your own copy - I cannot guarantee they will appear indefinitely.

CMcG

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13089 on: July 04, 2019, 08:22:56 AM »
1939:





If there are any images posted above that are important to you, take your own copy - I cannot guarantee they will appear indefinitely.

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13090 on: July 06, 2019, 08:49:20 AM »
 GR'mount again.
 
When I was a kid in Graymount there were a few of us who liked Bilko and his side-kicks Henshaw (with shoulders the width of a small town) and Rocko. The T.V. used to be great but it seems to have gone the wishy-washy way of the rest of the world, sadly. Looking at that photo's of that guy Phil Silvers now, he had the most attractive smile and if he combined that in real life with the speed of mind he had as Bilko, then no doubt the women flocked around him. Each to her own, but many will agree that his antics as Bilko were fantastic, and it is the episode called "The Twitch" which is relevant to my next words about the illustrious seat of learning that was Graymount School. If the vast majority of the teachers resented being there, and displayed it one way or another from snobbery and mockery to violence and hatred, why should one single pupil feel otherwise? When my pal was in first form, her English teacher said on the first day of meeting them, "put up your hand if you got your eleven plus." One girl did, and the remainder of the class was routinely ignored the rest of the year. It does my heart good to lambast it all these years on. Furthermore it is my sincere belief that anyone who liked it wasn't paying attention to the bigger picture, or isn't wise.
 
Back to normality for a moment. Re. The Twitch, it goes something along these lines:
 
Long-suffering Colonel Hall is on the verge of another nervous breakdown over Bilko wangling every cent out of the men on the camp, and is devising ways to thwart him ("would the FBI come out for one man?" lol). Exasperated, he invites some aul doll into the camp to give lectures about classical music. He orders the men to attend to see if he can curtail Bilko's gambling rackets by inspiring his victims to turn away from card-schools and embrace culture. This puts Bilko and his cohorts into the doldrums as the date of the venue clashes with one of their illicit do's. But the irrepressible Bilko gets a flash of inspiration.
 
He remembers that this aul doll has a habit of yanking her skirt on one side all the time, and so he decides to run a book on how many times she will twitch like this during the lecture on classical music. Well, it turns out to be a massive occasion. The camp men attend it in their droves. The U.S. army camps all over the world are in touch by short wave radio the night of the lecture as the scope of the racket is of international proportions.
 
Well, I mention this because the Graymount teacher I want to speak of was someone we could have ran books on for twitching, had we been able to figure out how to calculate odds. We were all a bit numb at maths x equalling y seeming complete nonsense and nothing we ought to hang our hats on.  Well, the Twitch in the school was always pushing her neck out, physically, then winding it in again. I wouldn't be surprised if the phrase "wind your neck in" was inspired by her. It's difficult to describe the mechanics of this movement, but I think it's worth having ago for the sake of the historical records of the Shore Road.
 
It looked as if her neck was on a switch-operated spring which got released when a button was pressed, for her neck sort of rotated out and then in again in a taut, but longish range manner. The neck described small, precise circles as it went in and out, but the circles got wider towards the end of the manoeuvre when her face was as far away from the neck as the manoeuvre allowed. Then it would wind in again in reverse to what I've said, the widest circle being first, then the smaller circles until her head was back where it belonged. It was very peculiar, and I could imagine that many young men in her day were well put off by it, but not one particular foreign gringo - if she could be believed. And was it the top man at the time? Read on if you've duck all else to do and are interested in aspects of the Shore Road which would otherwise be consigned to the Tip Head (and may well be).
 
Well, the movement outwards made it seem that it was as if her face was trying to get away from the rest of her. I'm sitting here trying to replicate it and holding up a measuring tape. I'd say the neck, when fully stretched, made her face jut forward easily 8 inches from where it normally sat. Stand too close and she could have knocked a full fag out of your mouth. Even a  dog-end might not have been safe.
 
She was always dressed in flat shoes, tweed skirts and knitted cardigans and her breath was rotten. It always competed with the stench of the T. Head and the T. Head only won by a narrow margin. But boy did she love herself, and I even remember other teachers being sarcastic with her, so you needn't think it was just some of us pupils who could be cheeky and in recognition of what was truly crap about that place. She never married and I heard other teachers rub this in, so she must have got on their wicks too. Graymount had it that marriage was the ultimate goal and it was promoted like there were no other options available.
 
Maybe it was just as well because of what else they thought us capable of: snow-clearers at the Equator, or persons likely to do a stretch in Armagh jail or indeed create a need for a new wave of penal servitude in remote places. You see, we were treated like we were too stupid to do anything else, for no other reason than we were there under those dragons. If anyone's reading this believes otherwise, did you ever ear-wig on the conversations in the staff-room? Well we did, and beyond the curtain of smoke that hung around in there, bar-room words were engaged in to describe us by teachers who later came up and whacked the legs of us for not being like Jesus. That room was like the Bakers' Club. This set the tone for many infringements of the rules.. Frankly it was a good education in that regard, for what we all need to do in life, whether we care to admit it or not, is sharpen our brains with a razor blade for every occasion we go out the door.
 
The ones who were deemed bright and promising were actually only patronised - as if little lap-dogs who might be trained to guano in a tray. The school song was about furrows we'd all to plough with the seeds of the womb. It was a revolting song. I think it was composed by a former headmistress whose surname "Freeman" should have encouraged a wider field of vision,  wouldn't you think? Nah but it didn't. A good old-fashioned case of:
"Don't do what I do, do what I say."
So much for the educated classes as persons operating in a higher mindset and encouraging free thought and an inner flow in youngsters which opened the way for learning. Bunkum.
 
 If we'd taken a cue from Bilko and run a book on The Twitch at Graymount during the earlier years we might have been able to stretch to a Two bar Kit-Kat as a prize, or a second-hand frozen someone had sucked all the orange out of. A Flash Harry character might've been able to perfect a thing like that but no fella on the premises ever came forward to mimic the inimitable George Cole. The collection of regular gardeners and others men who worked there at maintenance all looked like they wanted to be elsewhere, possibly Mount Vernon School which had a much nicer atmosphere and the Weeping Ash to shelter under from the sun. One particular man with a fantastically large nose mowed the grass with the noisiest machine in the world. It was a big, green monster of a thing which looked like it needed three phase. He was dead on, as were the others who worked at maintenance (that contact with machinery or the earth being of the earth). I remember once I actually had a conversation with him, of all things, about ufos when he told me one came down so low over Fortwilliam Golf course that he could see the rivets. It was great when he was outside a classroom window in summer and it was a boring lesson, because the teacher had to stop her lecture short and tell us to read a book. Grass flew in like natural party poppers, and then it all went sour as the noise got quieter indicating he was driving off to shave somewhere else, and then the boring lecture would resume, and ashtrays on motorbikes spring to mind.
 
But things altered as the years went by. Speaking, that is, of us running a book. For later on when some became Prefects and ran the milk bar we could have offered a whole hamper of confectionary as it became obligatory for the Prefect who controlled the milk bar on any given week, to rob it blind. Christians and snobs found their level at last as they were great at this pilfering lark. They were naturals. They had been made prefects in the first place by dint of being Christians and snobs but after they got their badges of honour this propensity for petty larceny developed. It was handy that it burgeoned when they got control of the milk bar. They came into their own.
 
When the shortfall of milk bar takings came to the attention of "The Twitch" in our school- cash not matching the amount of Mars Bars and Choc Ices missing- she overlooked the crime! It didn't suit her that the ones she picked to run it had guano'd on her.  She would have loved it if the riff-raff had done this, but there was no way we could blamed. Knowing her she probably sat up all night wondering how we could be made responsible but as you can't fit a square peg into a round hole she was beaten. No, we had nothing whatsoever to do with the 2 grand discrepancy apart from eating and drinking the stolen goods which the Christians distributed like loaves and fishes. 
 
2 grand down, it was,  in the early 80's! Translated in today's money that must be about 20 grand, inflation being what it is not to mention the further, phoney inflations of the accounting fraternity. This achievement, 2 grand of larceny, would have given some of the pilferers a headstart over the competition should they have wanted a job at the Sugar Hut.
 
"And what qualifications do you feel you have to offer, Miss?"
"I was part of the team what robbed Graymount Milkbar to blazes."
"When can you start?"
 
 
2 grand down and me and my pals didn't even have a hand in it!! Another embarrassment I'll have to live with. We were possibly in the wrong business- of being rebels- for the best of the rebels turned out to be former god botherers and people who looked down their noses at us for not  having a bottle of wine on our dinner table every night, and other infringements connected to upstart living. There was an Italian girl in our class, and she said that there was an Italian saying which went along the lines that when the guano rose up another rung of the ladder it stunk even more. The daughters of the parvenu classes at Graymount school were few, but hideous. However, this was unheard of on the Shore Road in those days – wine on the dinner table (unless a consignment had been dumped at the Head) and old habits die hard because to this day I prefer dilute orange to wash down 2 or 3 Magnesium tablets.
 
Not surprisingly, we weren't asked to be prefects as we didn't fit the bill, but later on when they had to scrape the barrel we were asked. I refused up until the last 6 weeks of being there as I had a desire to be the very last one made a Prefect. Well there were some nail-biting moments but I pulled it off. What a feather in my cap it was, but more's the pity that the 2 grand theft can't be added to the glory. On 30th June 1982 I was able to leave the place for the very last time, the last Prefect made and under my arm two books stolen out of the library: A Candle In Her Room by Ruth M. Arthur, and Arthur Grimble's classic : A Pattern Of Islands. I'm so glad I had the foresight to hold onto these much-treasured souvenirs over the years, and the icing on the cake came when someone invented E-bay. With the funds raised I was able to feed my Magnesium addiction.
 
More about Graymount's Twitch later on.  

 
Cryptic clue time: who wrote 1001 uses of vinegar but forgot chips? It's a war of attrition folks, make no mistake. Keep your thread alive. TF.

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13091 on: July 06, 2019, 08:52:43 AM »
This song is in memory of my old pal Maggy from the Road who died prematurely a few years ago. We loved this as kids. We didn't understand a word of it but the strains and tones spoke of much wider possibilities in life. Listening to it to this day, it amazes me how devoid of bombs, bullets and religion it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWYchJI0Cv8&list=RDiWYchJI0Cv8&start_radio=1&t=7&t=7
Cryptic clue time: who wrote 1001 uses of vinegar but forgot chips? It's a war of attrition folks, make no mistake. Keep your thread alive. TF.

James James

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13092 on: July 12, 2019, 12:51:32 AM »
That series of essays about Graymount girl's school are fantastic pieces of writing, and regarding the bullying that went on there,... there is a related thread about school bullies in this section,...

"WERE YOU EVER BULLIED AT SCHOOL"
http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,49318.0.html

The posts containing you essays are getting a bit spread out and separated and lost in this thread though,... so I've gathered the links to them together, so that they can be found more easily.

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,39272.msg2139323.html#msg2139323

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,39272.msg2141285.html#msg2141285

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,39272.msg2145280.html#msg2145280

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.php/topic,39272.msg2148332.html#msg2148332

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13093 on: July 13, 2019, 08:14:40 AM »
G'mount again. ...

As a prefect I beaked off the duties I'd been designated to do except for the one which redirected the traffic of girls walking on the spongy, first floor corridor of the old house. It led into the extension. This potential hell-in-the-making was the result of dodgy building practices when the old house was enlarged, the new bit being clapped onto the end of this corridor the Grays had once stalked with imperious joy when moving around their mansion way back in the 1800s, the real wealth-creators slogging on the bleaching greens nearby. It was a mistake teaching me about The Tolpuddle Martyrs, and another blot in the copy-book of Graymount thereby. They should have culled out people from these lessons: I mean people who would think the carry-on at Tolpuddle an outrage and a cruel damnation on people struggling to live who were transported to Australia as convicts in the 1880s for protesting about having their wages reduced from starvation level to death level by landowners who simply wanted them as bonded slaves. Not that much better than the death-camps of Hitler. (More about him later, for he could well have fancied The Graymount Twitch). 
 
Yes indeed, had Graymount  wanted to promote the death-cult society of automatums they had in mind, they should taken a few of us out of the class when Tolpuddle was mentioned. But they didn't because they were too numb to understand anything at a deeper level of society. I mean, if the Head honcho believed a 16 year-old was a devil Worshipper when she was just trying to be a bit creative with an excuse for smoking, what hope for the staff she selected? She may as well have applied to the numb-as-a-slashstone directory and selected her underlings from there. As it was they didn't have the sense to get some of us out of those lessons, and so the tone was set for those of us who will fight for injustice until the end in ways never known to the critical rank-and-file.
 
The join into the extension was so bad it felt like there was no more than a couple of planks underfoot, and they were as bouncy as a diving board down at the Grove. The whole thing with pressure on it sagged and made an ominous creaking noise like something from Dracula's castle.  It was scary. It was a social conscience in the making, perhaps, that made me do this duty, for I thought it would be terrible if the floor collapsed and we all landed on old Bell's typewriter in the office below. But equally it might have been because this duty was handy for the toilets we sloped off into when we didn't want to go to a lesson. After being hunted down by a teacher sometimes we fled into a toilet, three at once, one sitting on it, the two others standing on the rim of the seat balancing against the walls. Then we locked the door and waited.  The teacher bent on known rat-runs and hidey holes came in and the seated one would raise her feet off the floor too. The teacher then looked under the door. No feet could be seen, and believing no-one was there they went elsewhere. Had they have tried the door they would have realised something was fishy, for how can a locked door have no-one inside? But that would be attributing brains to them, and let's face it, it's not that easy a leap of imagination when they all stood on a stage first thing in the morning and sang down to us about a man who died on a stick in the Middle East 2 thousand years before, and he was the one going to save us from everything while madmen were hurling bombs and bullets all round Belfast because of the division of the sects this man's "unconfirmed" existence created!!! Weird. Mad. Stupid. "Let there be light" indeed……………..
 
 
Cryptic clue time: who wrote 1001 uses of vinegar but forgot chips? It's a war of attrition folks, make no mistake. Keep your thread alive. TF.

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13094 on: July 13, 2019, 10:43:55 AM »
 I remember once in the 6th form room every single person from the class of an aul doll called Miss Copes (the former missionary) hid under the desks as her classes were so boring that loss of the will to live was a widespread problem, and what with the weekend looming and plenty of bushes round the Shore road to drink cider in, it could have spoiled the mood. We weren't in her class as she took some subject entitled "commercial," and that might have meant anything from typing to learning to how to steal with legitimate title. Well it all sounded far too tedious for words, and why steal what you don't need? Instead, we'll have taken some subject with a shorter title which contained the potential for a kip. Classrooms were more important than the subject, and if a given room had nooks and crannies to sleep in then that was the subject taken. But anyway,  this whinging on the part of the others on how bad her classes were rubbed off on us, so we hid under the desks with them even though we could have sat there bold as brass as she entered looking for her missing pupils.
 
Well this day someone had seen her looking for them and ran in to alert us, and everyone dived under the desks and threw coats all round the place to make the underneaths more concealed. We heard the door open and footsteps entering. Then a space of silence and the footsteps withdrew, the door closed behind them. The coast was clear we got out, and then suspecting something was fishy she opened it again about 30 seconds after we'd all re-arranged ourselves. The truth might be that she could have got wise some time to people's modes of evasion. Maybe all those people she went off to try to convert to Christianity up the jungle  slunk off behind mahogany trees and she'd had to round them up, her prominent teeth gnashing at a few mosquitoes as she searched Those very desks we hid under might have once been those very trees, and that's an abstract enough thought in spite of all the discouragement we were given to think laterally about anything at all.
 
 
There was a dragon of a woman if ever there was one, old Ding-Dong. An office lackey, she was feared as much as some of the sadistic teachers, for if you knocked on her window with the roll book in a way she wasn't keen on, namely any way, she recommended you for a thrashing to Mary. On these occasions Mary was only too keen to oblige her "inferior," and hit out for all she was worth on the strength of Ding Dong's fictitious gripes. She was a horrible old bid. I remember once she said to me, as an 11 year old terrified of school, "patience is a virtue" when I knocked loudly simply because she hadn't heard me the first 3 times, the deaf bat. But you couldn't defend your actions for it would have been considered impertinence. Talk about a rock and a hard place? Wait till your hear later about rocks. ……
 
 But anyway there was a comforting thought: if the corridor did collapse and we did all tumble into old Ding Dong's office and land on the typewriter, with a bit of luck it might take a spasm and type "f… off."   I remember discussing the possibility of this with a girl called Diane who seemed a snob, but it had occurred to me that she was actually on the fence and might be restored to normality with a bit of coaxing. Well I took a chance to see if I could draw out the human, for her Prefect's badge gleamed ominously on her lapel. well, I collared her and told her about what old Bell's typewriter might judder out, words-wise, upon us landing on it after the landing had collapsed. Diane looked mighty relieved to at last get a chance to reveal her inner self. She enlarged on the "f… off" with a 2 extra words which described Ding Dong and at the same time demonstrated that she'd had been having second thoughts about having her feet in the snobs' camp for quite a while. I expect there was no wine on her table at night either. Diane's 2 more words she wanted tagged on: the first one relating to the obvious weight behind Ding Dong's shape, which was like a cannon ball, the next word being the bad version of "Baxter." After that Diane became one of us, and no more remarks were made about her being a greaser.
 
But back to the Christians and the snobs en bloc: give them their dues, they did a commendable job of stripping the milk bar of its assets. They threw caution to the wind and were blatant about it, carrying the stuff off in a cardboard box for all the world to see. On a given day, £2.50 takings; corresponding loss of stock, £75.00. Yes, the truth is they had a bit of panache when it came to theft. I guess that what gave them the green light was the "fact" that Jesus liked the criminal classes and hung around yarning with them mostly. Just think: as a result of Jesus' propensity to ruffians we'd Bounties and ice-lollies coming out of our ears. 
 
Back to this aul doll who was our version of "The Twitch." Well she did something on us which these days would have had her hanged, drawn and quartered. These days of children as sacred entities she would have lost her job for it, and no mistake, and possibly ended up in court had some greedy little lawyer got hold of the details and some of us had fallen ill with  Dreaded Lergy. A Judge would have had a most extraordinary case to preside over had this all come to court, and anyone in the gallery could have had a rare day out on the strength of it, but would they have wanted to eat their sandwiches as they looked on?
 
You see it was like this: we did geology with The Twitch. Yes, geology, just about the most useless subject imaginable and it didn't even cover which bricks were best to chuck at passing buses Dunlambert Dunces were on and yelling abuse from.  We were forced into Geology as the hierarchy thought we didn't have enough to do whilst on the premises, and any lesson at all meant we couldn't escape quite so easily and get a black taxi to Rathcoole. We went there because there was a girl whose granny was sympathetic to school girls who hated school, or else it was because by giving shelter*  she was in a strong position to ask us to mow the lawn. But Rathcoole also had  a strategic importance to us.  Teachers sent out in their cars to find us in there had no mission in a place that size, it was truly remarkable. If they have enlarged it in recent years it must be the size of that other illustrious place, the Vatican.
 
This girl's granny: if you brought a Victoria sponge to her house she welcomed you with open arms, you could stay until the school day was over. And while you were at it, could you fly round with the hoover and reach up and be rid of the fly paper on the kitchen ceiling? Well, we knew the score and obliged. The teachers who did actually  follow us in cars when we left stuck to the Shore Road area as that was all the geography they were prepared to contend with in spite of ordering us to give an account, in exams, of directions to the North Pole. We were caught once running off by the Deputy head who screeched up to the steps at Parkmount flats in her car, last chance to nab us before we fled up them and into complete obscurity. The door of her car was flung open and her foot trailed the ground before she'd stopped, sparks flying off the heel of her shoe. For she knew that  there were too many hidey-holes for her to deal with in the streets above those steps.
 
 "Get in!" she said.
"Nah," we answered,  and explained that we were going home to watch Diana Dors' chat show as Spike Milligan had rolled on the floor laughing last week instead of answering the questions (there was something truly outrageous, shocking and compelling about this at the time). We told her we might be back later if the notion took us, and later that day my pal's ma got to hear all about our absence and the reason for it, and chucked a pan of warm milk round her.
 
Well look, we had to leave for the only rocks we were interested in were those which went with, "and roll," and the attraction of Rathcoole wasn't just granny's house, there was a band down there called, "The Ex-posers," so why not go where the glamour was?
 
So the Twitch was told to teach us geology, and at this stage it was at the order of a truly gormless male headmaster we called "Gad," because of a character from a Thomas Hardy novel called "Granfer Cantle." It's a long tale I'll refrain from. They progressed from teaching us about mediaeval outrages with chopped off coillons and other bawdy scandals, to these Hardy novels which were pure dirt apart from the mystical descriptions of the countryside which frankly are breathtaking. The contradictions of school life were of gargantuan proportions, one the one hand it was religion, on the other hand people taking swigs of ale out of cups with dirty slogans on them. As for Gad's presence there:  I think Mary retired, but I forget now. Either way he came along to replace her. But rather than retire, she might actually have eloped with Bigfoot, I don't know for sure. Gad was like something dug up which had lain in yellow soil for a number of years. He was a real tube, and a more bland and ineffectual man you couldn't wish to meet. I think he was only there because someone from on-high at BELB had taken against him and told him he had to see his working days out in unadulterated misery. So he ended up in the same miserable club as us: Graymount School. It's funny how life can be a leveller.
 
Well, it was incredibly boring was geology. Worse than the sociology The Twitch had taught us the year before when she informed us that we all belonged to "Class 5" in society  which was at the bottom of the social scale and the equivalent of the villeins and serfs of feudal times. All we'd be good for was licking stamps in an office. She indicated that we'd end up living………..on the Shore Road!! Of all the cheek of that, for she lived on the Doagh Road! The Doagh Road in 1982: half a dozen haystacks and a telephone factory.
 
To try to forward our interest in rocks she drove the school mini bus and took us up round the Giant's Causeway. Yes, granted, it's an interesting place, but not when you'd to listen to her minging patter and stand down wind of her breath. And there was this other place too a few miles up the road which was like a sheer cliff where she said the rocks were unique. It was like a tiny canyon and there was no escape from her breath. Not another place in the world had these rocks – whatever they were (don't tell me I'm not interested). I can't really remember though, and maybe it was 5 or 6 other places that had them. Either way the score was low. There was nowhere to buy candyfloss. It was a dead loss and I got car-sick on the way back and threw up my breakfast.
 
The Twitch thought she was gorgeous and once told us a story of how, when she was young, she had naturally blond hair and dark eyebrows meaning it was a winning combination and that personality didn't have to matter. Stand aside Marilyn Monroe!
 
She enlarged on this being gorgeous thing. Of all types of men, according to her a German took a notion of her whilst she was at university after getting her 7 "A" levels! Yes, this is what she told us about when she didn't want to talk rocks: a Kraut admirer and 7 "A" levels. I doubt that even Einstein could have passed 7 "A" levels at the height of his mental prowess. So it was probably a case of half it and divide in two again for the real answer: she had 3.5 "A" levels and her admirer came from Southend-on-sea. When she told us this about the Gerry fancying her, there was a strange, worrying emphasis on the man's nationality, as if it mattered. Straight up, she said it in a manner which suggested she had been chosen by someone superior, and us less than 2 generations away from the end of WW2!  In fact,  a lot of the older teachers' fiances had been killed in WW2.  I wouldn't be surprised if The Twitch had been a Quisling in her day and that neck thing was a throwback from nefarious activities signalling to the Gerry planes from Carnmoney Hill.
 
Anyway, someone whispered to me that it must have been Hitler chasing her as it was known he hadn't been in his right mind, so he fitted the bill - if all this was true. All our older relatives had said he was bonkers, and some knew through grim experience, my Great Uncle having a withered arm over the head of it. By this stage The Twitch  was our mortal enemy, one and all in the geology class, for a wholly legitimate reason which will be explained. Even the Christians black-listed her for there was no justification whatsoever for what she did. For two pins I'd…………….no wait, of course! she's dead and in Heaven - according to her own judgment on herself.
 
 "And girls, I knew what he wanted but he wasn't going to get it!"
 
It was a truly mortifying moment for us, for what are you supposed to say? And why
was a "Christian" talking to us like this? What was the right answer? It was a "taxi for everybody" moment. She searched our faces to try to draw out a dialogue. Never was there a time in school which required someone throwing up all over the place to deflect the moment, but that wasn't likely for it was a morning lesson and the contents of the milkbar hadn't yet been eaten. I can't remember what happened, but someone whispered to me that it couldn't have been Hitler after all for likely she'd have obliged.
 
However, we already hated her guts for this, and this is what, by today's standards, she might have landed in court against: 
 
A few weeks before, one day she'd opened up this glass cabinet because some other class was having the mini bus to go out for a jaunt (it would be one of them who would throw up cornflakes on a County Antrim wayside). Well, there were a few rocks in it and she decided we needed to be educated on them. Some might not believe what I'm about to say, but that's up you. I will state quite categorically that the following is perfectly true:
 
Such-and-such a rock was a schist. Yes, a schist (what a useful word for a non-swearing forum), and she told us about it with a wicked gleam in her eye. In fact, it was the shape of things to come, so to speak, had we been more cognisant of a twisted psychology. But we were young and still learning what we could - never between the hours of 9 A.M. and 3.35 P.M. on a weekday, though. It was mainly through T.V. we learned, from the likes of Dave Allen at Large and The Magic Roundabout.
 
Well anyway we moved onto this other rock in the cabinet. She built it up like there was no tomorrow. She told us that we all needed to put it into our mouths to experience how cool it was, as this coolness helped identify it, and in the exam there would be a table of rocks to identify so we'd better get on with learning the different ways a person could get wise about rocks, tasting them being one of them. So we did this. We stuck it into our mouths, passing it down the line having reservations natural to an act like this, but doing it because we were told to. She looked on with preternatural stillness and kept her neck in lest we smelt a rat. And when everyone had had the rock in their mouth she then fell back laughing, shoved her neck out and winded it in again with such speed that we knew something was terribly, terribly wrong. Then she told us it was dinosaur crap, or to give it its technical name, coprolites.
 
Now, my father always used to ask me what I did at school that day. I could have truthfully said that I ate schists, but I thought better of it. ………..
 
 
 
 
Cryptic clue time: who wrote 1001 uses of vinegar but forgot chips? It's a war of attrition folks, make no mistake. Keep your thread alive. TF.