Welcome to Old Ireland.
My initial idea for this site was to cover only classic vehicles, but since was already taken and the best alternative I could find was this one, my thoughts for the site began to broaden.A lot of the inspiration for this comes from the few magazines for which I have written articles.Let’s get these mentioned early, because you should not be surprised to see a little of their influence here.Real Classic is subscription only in print, but also has an excellent site at, where Frank, Rowena and a host of writers entertain and inspire.Then there is Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, formerly in print monthly, but now only on line at’s archives could keep you reading happily for months, and the like it or not truths told by Thomas Day (Geezer with a grudge: see his own site at, should make everyone on two wheels pause for thought.If you have time on the …

A Dirty Little Secret?

This thought ties back in part to an article I wrote earlier:

At present, we are being sold the myth that if we all swap to some sort of electric car, then personal transportation will continue into the future, just in a quieter and less polluting form.Don’t believe this!Cars have at least one dirty little secret that the environmentalists have not yet talked about, and it alone may signal the end of mass car ownership.
There are currently 38.7 million cars in the UK and 2.68 million in the Republic of Ireland.According to google, UK motorists cover an average 7900 miles annually while their Irish counterparts drive further with a 10,500 mile annual average.Now consider the tyres on all of these vehicles.If tyres are replaced at around the 30, 000 mile mark my quick calculation estimates that we are using about 11.1 million car tyres in the UK and Ireland every year.OK, these old tyres are recycled, but w…

Imagine 1911 - Ireland was still wholly part of the British Empire, and before Titanic had left Belfast!

I bought this magazine years ago, simply out of interest.  The way we were over a century ago makes interesting reading, not least when you look at the advertisements. It was a couple of quid well spent.  I thought it was about time I shared it with the world.  There will be photos of peoples ancestors in it that may well never have been seen.  The old adverts show that things like having a clutch on your motorcycle was a new and wonderful invention (page 5 and others)!  The travel stories are real gems too, like the twelve Ben's story on page 35. 

Just to show how small a place the world has become, have a look on page 21, where the Royal Hotel, Valencia, (This is a typo.  It should be Valentia), advertises that it is 'only' sixteen and a half hours from London.  Incidentally, according to Google, the hotel is still there, and the pictures of it even still look like the ones in this magazine (

No pages are missing from these scans, but a se…

D. U. K. – The Dis-United Kingdom.

So Boris has a plan for Brexit that the EU can accept (about time).The only minor problem is that pretty much no one else thinks it has any merit.Ex-allies like our very own DUP, the softest and most cuddly political party since Stalin, have reverted to type.Like the deranged, retarded children that they are they have relapsed, and are back to using their usual vocabulary of two whole words, no and never!It is a pity that they are not honest enough to use either of those words when offered their monthly pay cheques from the Stormont Assembly that they have refused to attend for over 1000 days now.
Meanwhile the Conservatives, who let’s remember started this whole mess to try to bring together factions in their own party, are acting with such reckless economic abandon that they make Corbin’s calls for nationalisation look sensible.Surely, they can never again make claim to be ‘the party of business’?Labour too are still shedding members over anti-Semitism, so the whole two party system …

Why would you?

It doesn’t take much to bring traffic to a standstill these days.My commute, as mentioned before, is about twelve and a half miles each way.On days other than school holidays when the traffic is at its worst, I would generally be filtering between stationary traffic for about four of those miles.Bad rain or an accident makes the traffic back up even more.
Take this morning for example, I got about a mile from home before encountering stationary traffic.The queue of virtually stationary cars continued for about 8 miles to the far side of Holywood, where a VW golf must have met another car trying to cross the dual carriageway.By the look of the wreckage, the impact would have been enough to spoil anyone’s day.
On the few occasions when I have had to bring a car to work, I have taken a push bike with me, parked a few miles out of the town centre, and then cycled the last few miles. It is either that or queue for horrendously overpriced parking closer to town that may not even be available …

More jokes to cheer up a gloomy Monday.

More non-Irish jokes.  Again, I make no claim that these are tasteful.  There are more of them here:;postID=8464580302892352034;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=14;src=postname

I heard on the news that the recent storms had cost this country a billion pounds.

What an utter waste of money, if anything, they did more harm than good!


Thoughts for the day

Crisis, what crisis? Why don't NHS bosses start hiring obsessive compulsives as nurses?

Their attention to hygiene and constant hand washing would see an end to MRSA outbreaks in no time.


Take the health warning about sodium intake with a pinch of salt.


People who write diet books live off the fat of the land.


I just finished reading a new book on the Stockholm Syndrome. It started off badly but by the end I really liked it.


I get distra…

Old Ireland, new technology. The search for reliable solar water heating.

Around nine or ten years ago I got a Thermomax water heating system installed.  In theory these should provide the home it is fitted to with loads of virtually free hot water, and since the only moving part in the whole system is a pump of the same type fitted to an ordinary boiler, they should be reliable.  It was not cheap, but at that time the tubes came with a 20 year warranty, so I thought at least my investment was pretty safe.  Some chance!  Thermomax went bankrupt, and were taken over by Kingspan, who naturally would not stand by the guarantees made by the old version of the company.

After leaving university many, many years ago, I briefly worked at the Thermomax factory when they were still based in my home town of Bangor.  At that time each tube was an independent unit, using a refrigerant gas to pass heat into a manifold that was connected to the hot water tank.  The factory used to test the tubes by attaching them to clips on the outside wall of the factory, without a mani…

Forgive me reader, for I have sinned

Forgive me reader, for I have sinned.Many years ago (well three and a bit to be more precise), I did a very stupid thing.I voted leave in the Brexit referendum.It is not something I am proud of, and as soon as the leave result even looked likely I was already wishing that I could have changed my vote.So some explanation/ penance is due to every other person on the entire planet for forcing all this rubbish on then on an almost daily basis for the last 1,168 days (and counting).If you have read my previous posts about Brexit (, or, you may be surprised that I voted this way.
It’s not completely my fault, (says he trying to cover his tracks).The politicians and every bit of media discussion on the vote seemed to be saying that remain votes would be the overwhelming majority. I don’t mind the EU, frankly who thinks about government on a regular…

Walking away from happiness?

If you have read some of the other posts hereabouts, then you will know that we enjoy  walking.While the fresh air, scenery and exercise are the good parts of this, there are things and people that you will come across on any path that are downright stupid or just plain annoying.A few of my pet hates are below in no particular order.By the end of this, you should be able to picture me in full grumpy old man mode, red faced and fuming.
Dog walkers who don’t pick up after their pets.I’d rather be free to look at the scenery when walking rather than constantly watching where I’m placing my next step like I’m in some sort of minefield.This problem seems to escalate during the dark days of winter.The path is less well used at that time of year, hinting that there must be some owners who only pick up when they think someone else is watching.Thanks assholes! A related problem are the dog owners who pick up, but then immediately drop the bag. I have seen bags dropped like this 20 feet from a b…

Meanwhile at the end of the glen….

It’s good to live in a place that actually gives you pleasure.Somewhere where there is space, scenery and clean air; somewhere good for the soul.As I said in the last (tangential) piece, ours lies on the shore of Belfast Lough, at the end of a short wooded glen near our home.Officially the whole walk is 16 miles in length, from Holywood to Donaghadee (or vice versa).The Walk Ni site has details of this and a load of other good walks province wide: It's hard to beat a good sunset.  This is looking West, towards Belfast further up the lough.

It is pretty much all good, with only a few short sections on road.The vast majority is paved, although a few sections are narrow where the path rounds a rocky headland or two.There are also a few sandy beaches to cross.That said, since it is at sea level, there are no major hills unless walkers get side-tracked along the way.Wildlife abounds.For example, a decent sized seal colony at Rockport…