Author Topic: The Crumlin Rd  (Read 1255 times)

balfor

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The Crumlin Rd
« on: January 02, 2021, 01:47:38 AM »
Hi gang, I'm the latest newbie by the name of Balfor. Left Belfast headed for Brisbane, Australia seventy years ago to-day, 2/01/1951.

JohnKelly

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 03:00:38 AM »
 :hi: - Hello balfor, welcome to the Belfast Forum, I arrived in Australia in 1964, so you beat me by 13 years.

I lived mostly around the Newtownards rural area and then a few years around the Ballyhackamore area.

Left Belfast as a young bloke and arrived in Sydney, joined the Australian Defence Force a few weeks later and served throughout Australia plus a stint in SE Asia.

Finally settled in Victoria and joined the Victoria Police and retired in 2007 after serving 25 years.

Our son lives in the Brisbane area and is a dyed in the wool Queenslander, we have been to visit him and his family a number of times but I prefer the cooler climates of Victoria and Tasmania.

Cheers for now.


balfor

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 03:41:16 AM »
John Kelly, good to make contact. In Belfast we lived at first in Newtownabbey, Whitewell Drive to be exact until the blitz Easter on weekend 1941. Moved to Oregon St off the Crumlin Rd before deciding to emigrate to Australia. Lived in Goodna west of Brisbane before joining the RAN in 1954. [Malaya veteran] then Naval Reserve, Merchant Navy and Army Reserve [CMF] Currently retired on the NSW Central Coast and loving it. Never been back to the 'oul sod'. Balfor. [size=78%] [/size]

JohnKelly

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 01:36:20 PM »
Most of my time was with the Air Force both full time and part time, I also worked briefly with the Military Police (Army), never had much to do with the Navy other than when I stayed at Royal Naval House (Johnnies) in Sydney.

You live in a nice part of NSW, I was stationed at Williamtown near Newcastle for a few years and at one time owned some property in Wyoming near Gosford.

I belong to other Expat Forums and read the stories of people who are coming to Australia usually under the Skilled Migration Program and the hoops they have to jump through sometimes taking over a year is awesome plus they have to pay most of the costs which runs into thousands of dollars.

Not sure about you but it cost me the sum total of 10 and let me tell you, it was money well spent.

During my youth in Ireland I really did not see much of it and I really only have a basic knowledge of Belfast and its surrounds, I could catch the UTA Bus from Newtownards or the red bus from Cherryvalley/Ballyhackamore into the High Street in the city centre where I worked and that would be about it.

We went back for a holiday in 1999 toured the whole of Ireland, England and then up to Scotland to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Cheers for now.
 

balfor

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 05:03:00 AM »
JohnKelly, Fortunately for us the total cost our passage out to Australia, Mum Dad and us six kids was covered by The Royal British Legion. During WWII Dad served with the British Merchant Navy in the North Atlantic, Liverpool to Halifax Nova Scotia. Best thing we ever done. Never been back. Toured the world with the Royal Australian Navy, The Pacific Tug & Salvage Co, Hong Kong plus various Australian merchant ships, Rollon/Rolloff general cargo vessels, bulk carriers, container ships, chemical carriers, tug boats, etc. Did both sides of the US, Panama Canal, Japan, Malaysia, Hong kong, all Australian ports, etc. Great life, great times, would do it again in a heartbeat despite being 83 years old. Balfor.


balfor

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 05:18:59 AM »
Spudz, during the Belfast Blitz on Easter weekend 1941 in WWII we lived a Number eleven, Whitewell Drive Newtownabbey just off the Serpentine Rd until I was about ten, ten and a half. We moved to Number eleven Oregon St just off the Crumlin Road and I went to Edenderry Secondry school in Tennent St. The names I recall from Whitewell Drive were the McKnights in number nine. The Magills in number seventeen, Gerald I think his name was. The Meadons, their son Keith who was in the RAF
 was taken by a shark in South Africa. Mr Strange moved into our place when we moved to Oregon St. Balfor.

Erin Erskine

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2021, 05:46:20 AM »
Hi Balfor
I think you might have been neighbours with my grandparents, James and Mary Magill, although they lived at 15 Whitewell drive.  They had a son named Gerald, one of 3 and 5 girls. 

JohnKelly

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2021, 06:44:35 AM »
 :hi: Hi Erin, you have an nice name, one of my grand daughters is call Erin.

Spudz

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 10:02:59 AM »

Spudz, during the Belfast Blitz on Easter weekend 1941 in WWII we lived a Number eleven, Whitewell Drive Newtownabbey just off the Serpentine Rd until I was about ten, ten and a half. We moved to Number eleven Oregon St just off the Crumlin Road and I went to Edenderry Secondry school in Tennent St. The names I recall from Whitewell Drive were the McKnights in number nine. The Magills in number seventeen, Gerald I think his name was. The Meadons, their son Keith who was in the RAF
 was taken by a shark in South Africa. Mr Strange moved into our place when we moved to Oregon St. Balfor.
I vaguely remember Mr and Mrs Magill and also The Strange's, although they lived at No 13 beside Magills when I frequented the area.
It must have been a horrific experience for you and your family during that blitz as Mr Bobby, who lived at No 14 and who was a fire warden. told me some scary tales.

balfor

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 05:07:55 AM »
Hi! Spudz and Erin, we seem to be honing in on some memories here. We're talking almost eighty years here, WOW. Yes Spudz, the Magills did live in number 15 and the Stranges lived next door to us in number 13.  Number nine was the McKnights. The McEnallys lived in number two, I think.
March 2021 it will be eighty years since the blitz. I remember that AFTER the blitz, the powers that be built air-raid shelters in Whitewell Drive. The RAF supplied a squadron of Hurricanes, not equipped for night fighting but did provide some protection. I recall a prisoner-of -war camp off the Whitewell Road. My older sister Marie and older brother Jim, both since deceased and I would just, as you do, wander in and nick apples from their orchard. Scarey that, why wer'nt we told. We wouldnt have taken any notice of course, but scarey nevertheless. A kid across the street, I think his name was Ernest, got a model aircraft carrier from his uncle in the RN. The ship was, starangely enough named HMS Ernest. Balfor.

Erin Erskine

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 09:53:45 PM »
Thanks John Kelly.Balfor and Spudz you both amaze me with the memories you have.  I have vivid memories of my Mum telling me about the blitz and the damage to the house.  I do believe the Strange's were one of the few on the block to get a telephone, that's how we called my grandparents.  Your posts are a delight

balfor

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2021, 12:12:20 AM »
Thank you Erin for your kind comments. I recall that the houses in Whitewell Drive all had a small garden? in the front. I notice in recent photos that they no longer exist. Ours had a six foot hedge around it and a tiny grassy patch. I mentoned a family called Meedon earlier. When their only son was taken by a shark in Africa they came to our door and kindly gave us kids some of their late son's effects. They gave me a small yacht made of tin which became my prized possesion. After the war some of us kids dug an old ex-navy Carly float made of tin out of the tip next to the Shore Road. [I think that pre-fab houses were built there later]We patched up the holes with bits of spud bags and tar from the road and decided to venture forth, via the open sewer which flowed under the railway bridge into Belfast Lough and re-discover the known world. A length of timber, from the tip and a skull and crossbones flag, we set sail. Luckily we came to grief on the mud from an outgoing tide, non of us could swim, and were forced to wade ashore. I lost my brand new sandals and had my
backside whopped when we got home.   

JohnKelly

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2021, 12:14:27 AM »
Thanks John Kelly.Balfor and Spudz you both amaze me with the memories you have.  I have vivid memories of my Mum telling me about the blitz and the damage to the house.  I do believe the Strange's were one of the few on the block to get a telephone, that's how we called my grandparents.  Your posts are a delight

I also remember my Mum telling me about the Belfast blitz, however she didn't live in Belfast but in the high hills around rural Newtownards and she told me of watching the whole sky above Belfast glowing red due to the burning buildings.

She would also tell me stories of the American Forces, how a better class of uniform they wore in comparison the British Forces and how wasteful they were re the dumping of surplus fruit and vegetables near where she lived.

My Mum eventually went to England during the war and worked as a crane operator in a munitions factory, she was very proud of that and often spoke of it with pride.

JohnKelly

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2021, 12:41:01 AM »
 :hi: - Balfor, regarding your sailing experiences as a pirate via the open sewer which flowed under the railway bridge into Belfast Lough to re-discover the known world, I had a similar experience as an eight year old in the early 1950's; I often think back on my childhood around farm yards and wonder how I survived hanging off tractors and machinery etc.

Anyhow, at that time Farrans Civil Engineering was digging a pipeline through the fields and during the process the large trenches filled with water and like you my mates and I decided to construct a boat and set sail.

The boat was made from a wooden wardrobe and none of us could swim, once it was launched it started to sink and we all jumped out into the water with no idea how deep it was, given the circumstances we all could have drowned but thankfully the muddy water only went up to our waist.

We were all soaking wet and stayed out in the hay shed until we dried off and our parents were done the wiser.

Later on when we moved closer to Belfast, I learnt to swim at the Templemore Avenue Baths which I think from memory was off the Newtownards Road.

Roadracer

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Re: The Crumlin Rd
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2021, 09:56:52 AM »
Hi Balfor
I went to Australia in 1986 and returned to NI a couple of years ago, funny thing is I am living on the Whitewell and I have property in Buff Point Central Coast NSW.
Name's I know from near Whitewell Drive are Poots and Gilpin but that may be after your time. My grandfather lived Dandy Street during the blitz.