LOCAL WOMAN. MAVIS ROSS PUTS HER RECOLLECTIONS OF YESTERYEAR INTO VERSE
Do you remember when Lisburn was young?
Come on a trip down memory lane
And I'll share some thoughts with you,
A walk through, Lisburn town we'll take
See people that we once knew.
Do you remember the County Down
Before the M1 came?
And the Saintfield Road was a country walk
Out by Plantation Lane.
Remember Ginny Curry's shop
On the corner of Mercer Street?
Your bacon she'd slice for you in a thrice
While you took the weight off your feet.
Do you remember the Barbour Park
When it had a paddling pool?
Prizers, umbrella and rocking horse,
With children each day it was full.
Jack and Nobby McNair coming round
With the horse and cart each week?
They sold you fruit and vegetables,
Apples, carrots, big oranges sweet.
Do you remember the Hanna's wee shop
In front of Sloan Street church?
Where Maggie and Martha served each day,
Pins, elastic and buttons for shirts.
Remember the Reverend Keery?
A well known figure by sight,
He preached in the Congregational Church,
And rode everywhere on his bike.
Do you remember the Largymore School
And the sound of the old school bell?
When the principal there was Ernest Shaw,
And Miss Armstrong taught us so well.
Do you remember the old band hut
With the big green curtain between?
Mrs. Stevenson's prize for the first in the class,
And Mr. Morrison's cane?
Remember too, every Monday morn,
When the washing lines were full?
And the housewives stopped to chat and laugh
With the children off to school.
Do you remember the Twelfth of July
When the arches went up round town?
And the music played so loud and clear
Could be heard for miles around.
Do you remember the Tip Top loaves
In Norman's shop round the corner?
And the sugared brandy balls he sold
At only sixpence a quarter.
Remember too, Bobby Morrow's shop
With sweets in the window galore?
Carmels and mint imperials
Fry's Cream bars and many more
Housewife's Choice on the radio .
And the children's Uncle Mac?
And no one missed the McCooey's
Mina Dornan had the knack.
Remember the burning of Lundy?
An event that took place every year.
The carnivals too when the Chairoplanes flew
Brought crowds in from both far and near.
Remember when Sloan Street had few cars?
The occasional one or two,
And nearly everyone you met
Was somebody that you knew?
Maginnis and Brown's shops in Bridge Street
The Windsor would sell you a pie.
Mairs the Chemist, the Old Trocadero
Where your ice cream slider you'd buy.
Up the back lane past the Gas Works,
The terrace houses small,
And round in Linenhall Street
Was the IOGT Hall.
Remember Coronation Day?
We marched to Wallace Park,
And there the celebrations
Went on till nearly dark.
Doctors Rodgers, Smith and McCandless,
When ill, out to see you they came.
If they hadn't a pill that would cure you,
A wee chat would do just the same.
Remember in 1953
The Queen came to visit our town?
The crowds stood for hours in Market Square,
When they saw her the cheers did abound.
Do you remember Ginessie's,
The Fish Bowl and Fusco's too?
And what about Piper Hill so dark,
Where you went to mend your shoe?
Remember J. C. Patterson's shop
On Saturday afternoons?
When people gathered around the
TVs To look at black and white screens.
Do you remember each Saturday night
And the programmes on the telly?
Juke Box Jury and Jack Warner too,
And Russ Conway's smile so jolly.
Do you remember Alex Smart's
With the smell of bread in the air?
The Assembly Rooms
And Margaret Elizabeth's Hairdressers up the stairs.
Do you remember the tunes that were hits?
Frankie Vaughan, Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde.
We heard them all on Luxembourg -
Horace Bachelor's famous pools guide.
Remember the Home and
The Maypole and Margaret Brown?
Youngs, Charlie Halls and Rutherfords too,
Stewart's Cash Stores where you walked all around.
Berwood's, McKnights and Kitty Malloy's
Who stayed open all hours of the week?
And Petticrew's dolls were a sight to behold
When at Christmas a present you'd seek
Do you remember the Picture House
That stood in Market Square?
And people queued outside it,
Just to watch the funnies there.
Do you remember Jim Madden's shop,
Where you tasted the country butter?
And Jordan's too, with the lions outside
Though not a sound did they utter.
Remember the old Herald newspaper,
With pages so wide and long?
Then a new arrival appeared on the scene,
And the Ulster Star was born.
Do you remember Crazy Prices
Starting off quite small?
The boxes piled up round the walls
Down Goorwitch's old hall.
Off Antrim Street lived Davy Jones,
He drove his own wee car,
Up and down through Lisburn town
His fame was spread afar.
Remember Titterington Brothers TVs,
Ginny Black's old fashioned shop?
A pattern and style you'd find for your size,
If you just took the time there to stop.
Duncan's on the corner,
With the clothes hung up all high?
Cummins the Butcher beside Haslem's Lane,
Lizzie Anderson's Shoes close by.
Remember the market and Hector?
Who 'auctioned' his goods by the score,
'I'm not even askin' ten shillings,
Give me seven and six and its yours'.
The Salvation Army on Dublin Road
Was led by Captain Sands.
The songsters sang and the brass band played,
While the people clapped their hands.
Remember when the CWU
Was full to overflowing?
Each weekend night with singing bright,
So many folks were going.
Remember Mrs. Seth Sykes?
She played the piano and sang,
'Thank you Lord for saving my soul'
Her Scottish accent rang.
Coulson's, the Island and Stewart's Mill as well,
They kept many people employed,
With the clatter of looms in the factories,
Half nearly went deaf with the noise!
The Bible Shop opened in Railway Street,
The first of its kind for the town,
With Bibles and books and pictures as well,
You didn't come out with a frown.
There was Boyd's grocery shop on the corner
That sold all your kitchen would need,
Coffee and pink streaky bacon,
And goods packed in bags round your feet.
Do you remember the big Co-op shop,
Round in Castle Street?
And Charlie who sold you your groceries?
When your number you had to repeat.
Fort Hill Girls' School opened up,
With emerald green berets bright.
Miss Gray the first headmistress
Made sure we did things right.
Remember the clinic down Seymour Street?
Where they pulled out your teeth with a yank,
No twilight sleep then, just needles,
And the chloroform fumes really stank.
Do you remember the Technical School,
When the pupils wore grey and black?
Mr. Devlin, Mrs. Lyttle and Miss Boomer too,
Were there to keep us in check.
Remember Montgomery's in Castle Street?
Their famous ice cream we did buy,
Butterscotch ices, milk shakes, jelly too
And knickerbocker glories so high!
Do you remember the Open Air
Each Saturday night at nine?
When people stopped to listen
To chat and pass the time.
Everything seemed slower then
And children liked to play
Hide and seek and hop-scotch too,
Out in the street all day.
Do you remember when Lisburn was young,
And we were all young too?
It's been nice to look back at those days gone by,
And share these memories with you.
`Then a new arrival appeared on the scene, and the Ulster Star was born.'