Posts

Welcome

Image
Welcome to Old Ireland.
My initial idea for this site was to cover only classic vehicles, but since classicireland.ie 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 https://www.real-classic.co.uk/, 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 http://mnmotorcycle.com/.MMM’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 http://geezerwithagrudge.blogspot.com/), should make everyone on two wheels pause for thought.If you have time on the …

Brexit Revisited

Image
I still hold to my comments published in my first Brexit post (see: https://oldandireland.blogspot.com/2018/11/brexit-dirty-word-in-any-european.html).But still the debacle rolls on.Frankly, nearly 3 years on from the referendum, the whole shambles is becoming downright embarrassing.I have used the picture below on my first post, but it is worth repeating.



So a few more points.

Good old Teresa is still sticking fast to her no second vote stance, despite the current shambles.I know that a small majority voted leave, but really, how much worse is it to be governed by Brussels than by the current occupants of Westminster, especially after they have proved themselves so incapable of running anything over the last few years?Here in good old ‘Norn Iron’, we have the additional joy of having politicians that have been absent from Stormont for years but who are still getting paid!It’s nice to know that all the important issues they are supposed to deal with are such a priority for them. A quick…

Padock Days - Part 4 - Tales of Ice and Motorcycles.

Image
I've been waiting for a decent bit of cold weather to set the mood for this story.  At the end of the story, the bike I was then using gets a mention.  It was a 650cc BMW Funduro (a stupid name, I know).  Don't take its glowing recommendation too seriously because I changed my mind on it fairly quickly as you will see in the next bike related post.  It was downright dangerous!
I have always enjoyed working on motorcycles, so usually buy something fairly cheap, and then fixing it up to my requirements.  Since anything on two wheels is inherently unstable, I don't believe that owning a bike that you cannot afford to fall off is a practical proposition.  This story was originally published at:  http://www.realclassic.co.uk/opinionfiles/sparking-honda-ht-leads.html.  You will find the first 3 of my Paddock stories further down this page.
Enjoy.
______
There weren’t many in the Paddock who had even a remote interest in British bikes.Come to think of it, in my early days there, even…

Local History of the worst possible kind! The story of Carnage Hill.

This post is shamelessly copied from a local history book, now out of print, that is also available in pdf format on line: http://www.bayburn.com/29128%20Helen's%20Bay%20&%20Crawfordsburn%20History.pdf. It is one section only of a much larger and more broadly based book.  All credit is then due to the book's author, and to the team at bayburn.com.

Those who have travelled the main road between Bangor and Belfast will know the corner known as ‘the Devil’s Elbow’, which is located just before the junction leading to Seahill/ Rockport.On the left side of the road when travelling from Bangor there is a small road leading up into the Holywood hills.It is now called Carney Hill, but according to this article that name derives from Carnage Hill.To see where it got this name read on.

Many thanks are due to Sam, my friend and avid local history buff.It was he who originally showed me a paper copy of this book.Unfortunately it is not a proud episode in our history.





The Ballydavey Massa…

Socialist Politics and the Island.....How they fuel the great divide.

Image
The modern labourer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him.

This statue, called 'The Speaker' stands on the steps of the Customs House in Belfast.  This was Belfast's equivalent of speakers corner, and was the site of many speaches by Larkin during the 1907 Dockers strike.  It is my understanding that this statue was originally supposed to celebrate the centenary of the dock strike, and was to have …

For the love of a dog and vampires!

Image
This memoir of a much loved pet was sent by a friend, Mark McClean.  The hugely strong links formed with family pets never ceases to amaze me, as does the trust that these beautiful animals place in the strange two legged companions that they choose to live with.Dogs can melt the hearts of even the strongest of us.Rest in peace Gracie.


_______________

It all started in 1987. The setting was a small fictional town in northern California called ‘Santa Carla’. The protagonist was a young teenage boy called Sam and his husky-type dog: Nanook. The inciting incident of the film plot unfolds to reveal Sam, along with Nanook and his family have just moved into a small sleepy seaside town stalked by vampires! Have you guessed the film? The Lost Boys. It was a cult-classic of the late ‘80s starring the late Corey Haim, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland.



In the middle of all the punchy one-liners, guts and gore special effects a typical 80s horror film had and a catchy soundtrack to boot, I happ…

Irish Jokes - Now these are old!!

Below are as many Irish jokes as I could rustle up.  Feel free to add more in the comments to this.  Enjoy.

My mate Paddy just told me that he robbed a shop last night.

"What did you get?" I asked.

"26 pictures," he smiled, showing me. "The cheapest one is worth over £180,000."

I said, "Paddy, these are from an estate agents."
A spokesman at Ringsend sewage plant in Ireland has announced plans to extend its capacity. "By how much?”, asked the reporter. He replied, "Two turds."
Paddy texts his wife...

“Mary, I’m just having one more pint with the lads.

If I’m not back in 20 minutes, read this message again.” One afternoon Paddy and Mick were having a pint at a pub across from a brothel. For the craic, they sat in the front so they could watch the comings and goings across the street. The two lads were shocked when a Presbyterian minister walked into the brothel.

"Begod," says Paddy, "that's a shame to see a man of th…

Paddock Days - Part 3 - Race day

Image
This series of articles was originally published at: http://www.realclassic.co.uk/
Part 1 can be found here:  https://oldandireland.blogspot.com/2018/11/paddock-days-part-1-getting-mobile-on.html
Part 2 can be found here:  https://oldandireland.blogspot.com/2018/11/paddock-days-part-2-practical-jokes-and.html




In my early days knocking around the Paddock there were still a few of the more occasional residents that I knew only vaguely.Their bikes however were well known and a constant source of interest.And it wasn’t just me, with meticulous nightly inspections being carried out by wandering groups or interested individuals either with or without the owners’ presence.Walking the line of parked bikes was always something of a ritual.

Amongst a row of fairly standard and well known bikes the exceptions stood out.A yet to be repaired scuff from meeting the tarmac, often told of recent events long before the owner had a chance to put a spin on his folly, while something unknown pointed to new f…