Helen’s Bay, Co. Down. August 1936.

This is a photo of my mother as a bridesmaid at a family wedding in Helen’s Bay…

My mother had written the location and date as above in the album it was in. I thought I’d try  to find a more exact location. Being a wedding, Church St seemed a good place to start looking and with Google Street View I rapidly found this house opposite the Presbyterian Church. It’s lost a chimney sometime in the last 76 years but I believe it’s the one in the background above.

Freddie Purvis

Live at Norton’s Red Lion…

A Birthday Beer


Athens Daily Post – April 6th 1974


A souvenir from a school trip. The hotel room I was sharing was the only one, amongst our party’s rooms, to have a television set. So at 10.30pm about twenty people were in a room for two to watch ABBA win the Eurovision Song Contest, live from Brighton.



Live in the Red Lion, Norton.


Following the cricket…

… on good old fashioned Ceefax, the North East of England being one of the few regions still receiving this service.


Donegall Square, Belfast ca 1953

In this anaglyph my mother and brother are seated in the grounds of Belfast City Hall…

The grounds are layed out differently now and the building directly behind them has either been demolished or greatly altered, but the Scottish Provident Building on Donegall Square West (on the left here) amd what’s now the Co-operative Bank on Donegall Square North (right) are recognisable in this 2008 Google Street View…

Instructions to Students 1938 and 1940

In addition to the School Certificate papers I blogged earlier I have the Senior School Certificate papers my mother took in 1940. I will scan and blog them in the future, but for now I thought I’d draw your attention to the three extra Instructions that had been added in 1940.

First the 1938 version…

Now, in the 1940 version, see the additional instructions IX, X and XI…

My Christening – Now in 3D

I’ve found the other half of this stereo pair. Here’s the anaglyph…

1938 School Certificate Examinations

In 1938 my mother was a sixteen year old pupil of Methodist College, Belfast and these are the examination papers she took to obtain her School Certificate (Junior). Roughly equivalent to O Levels or today’s GCSEs the main difference was that all subjects had to be passed to get the certificate. One could simply pass a subject, get a credit or at best a distinction, but if a discipline was failed that was that.

Monday 20th June, 1938 was my mother’s sixteenth birthday. She had a three hour Latin exam in the morning followed by another three hours of History in the afternoon.

What is this toy called?

My aunt brought this back from Canada or the US in the late 60s and I’ve never seen another one. A plastic variation on the spinning top it has no markings, but I vaguely recall the packaging referred to space stations or something equally topical.

The Casual Intruders

Live at the Red Lion Norton, now!


Fu Manchu



My mother’s neighbour’s cat came to visit…


Hammersmith Palais 1919-2012

Having been unused and neglected since 2007 Hammersmith Palais was finally demolished yesterday. A Reggae All-nighter there was the subject of this Clash song (here performed in the film Rude Boy)…

The demolition also saw the loss of this ghost sign, pictured from the underground station by Caroline Derry  …

With thanks to Sam Roberts’ Ghost Signs Blog.

Postscript – If someone had operated a pirate radio station from the minibus Ann drove on the Hammersmith flyover in 2005, I could have covered most of my categories in one blog post!

Sewerby Hall and Gardens

The purpose of all those train journeys last Sunday was to meet up with Ann at Sewerby Hall. Naturally we both had cameras with us, Ann has already posted some of her pictures at Cake Cake Cake and she has picked some of her favourites from my flickr set to go here.

Gallon Walk

On Saturday we did our traditional pub walk in the North Yorkshire Moors, here’s a flickr slideshow of the pictures I took…

and for those without Flash here’s the flickr set.


I won this in a quiz on Sunday, it was my dessert tonight…


Fading Ads Of New York City

I thank my friends for buying me, as a birthday present, Frank Jump’s book about New York’s ghost signs…



Live in the Red Lion, Norton. Now.