Dec 13 2016

‘All Aboard…’

Published by at 7:47 pm under News


‘Those were the days alright. the Da’ with his Primus Stove and our great big kettle in one bag and a load of Sambos in another. The Ma’ herding us along the street like a flock of sheep from the cattle market in Prussia Street. And us, all excited at the thought of getting on the train to Bray. Then I had to stop because my shoe lace was opened. “Here…” says the Ma’ to the sister. ” …help him tie his lace and hurry up”. One of the brothers would grab me by the back of the neck and hold me up so that the sister could tie the lace and still keep moving along. The Ma’ had four of the younger ones in the pushchair as well our dog, he followed us all the way down to the bus stop on Carnlough Road and refused to go home. So the Da’ told the brother to smuggle him onto the bus and bring him with us. When we got to town the dog jumped up onto the pram and wouldn’t get off. Into the train station we’d go a galloping for the nearest train. “Not that one…” says the ticket fella “…that’s going to Belfast”. All aboard the Bray train and soon the doors were all slammed and flags waving. From high up on the train track we were going to see parts of Dublin like we’d never seen them before. There were the roofs of shops and houses and loads of back gardens but none of them looked as wild as our garden and then all of the fields spreading out for miles. And then we’d head out into the countryside with the trains whistle shrieking and the shouting “Get off a the track, we’re on our way to Bray…”. When the train was well out of the station the Da’ would open the carriage window by the use of a big leather strap and he’d hang out of it for most of the journey, smoking away on an oul fag. The smell of the smoke from the engine was pure magic, it had the slight odour of rotten eggs to it but we loved it anyway. We’d all have our noses pressed up against the glass window, looking out at the countryside flashing by and the Da’ would break out into song “Oh I do love to be beside the seaside…” and the dog sitting in the pram howling up at him in harmony. There the oul Ma’ would be, happy as Larry with a baby on her knee and she smiling up at the man she loved, the Da’. He was her man and there was no one else like him in the whole wide world. What a magical place we seemed to live in back then, us kids with not a worry in the world, the Da’ singing and the Ma’ smiling and the oul dog  contented with it’s lot…’

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