Mar 20 2015

Reel to Reel…

Published by at 10:49 pm under News

Train Trip 1986


I remember back in the early 1960’s the Da’ arriving home from work with a great big cardboard box tied with loads of twine onto the back carrier of his bike. He had actually walked home all the way from the shop where he got it way over in South Great George’s Street somewhere (He got it on the ‘Never Never’ of course). We had no idea what it was. So there it sat in our kitchen until the Da’ had put his bike out in the shed, taken off his great big coat and sat down to his dinner. At first we all thought it was a box of little yellow chicks like the ones he had brought home before. And so the guessing game began but to no avail.

So the Da’ finishes his dinner and sits in the only armchair we had by the fire, takes out his fags and lights one up. The suspense was killing us and all the while there also sat the Ma’ with a grin on her face. Slowly but surely the box was eventually opened. Now when all was finally revealed we still had no idea what it was because we had never seen one of these before.

You see, the older sister had gone over to England to train as a nurse and her fella’s family over there had one of these, they were English. Well the Granny was sent for all the way up on Broombridge Road. In came some of the neighbours and of course me Auntie and Uncle and all their kids as well. The gang of us were all lined up to get our turn speaking into the microphone. ‘Hello Vera, I hope you are well. Da’ what else will I say’? ‘Anything you like…’ ‘Ok so, anything I like…’ and that was the end of my contribution.

Well a few days later the Da’ had the tape all boxed up and ready to go all the way over to England. That night he went around to the phone box on Ratoath Road and phoned the sister to tell her to watch out for the Postman. Then about a fortnight later the tape came back. She was able to turn the tape upside down and record on the other side. And there were all these posh English accents talking to us in our kitchen. ‘Hello Mum and Dad, this is Vera speaking…’ Now that did sound strange because the sister never spoke like that when she lived with us.

I can honestly tell you that us kids all sat around on our kitchen floor gobsmacked at this great invention. And the Da’ kept playing it over and over again. The Ma’ would say ‘Let me hear Vera again…’ and on it went. Isn’t it strange all the same how some things never leave your memory…




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