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The Colour Yellow

by BBC Radio Foyle

Contributed by 
BBC Radio Foyle
People in story: 
Bernard Mc cormack and his gang
Location of story: 
Prehen, Derry, Northern ireland
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 November 2004

The Colour Yellow
By Bernard Mc Cormack

You see, for us children the Prehen Dump was the perfect place for our treasure trove. It was to here that all the contents of the V — Boats were brought before the ships were towed out to sea and scuttled. The Flotsom and Jetsom of the city ended up here, not to mention great mountains of ash from a thousand grates.

As with all such places there were plenty of signs of what lay within if you cared to look. For us children it was a glimpse of a certain yellow colour, not any old yellow but rather strident sulphur yellow which peeped out from beneath the piles of ashes. This was the signal clear and urgent that what we were looking for was staring out at us... the German life jacket!

It so happened that all life jackets or Mae Wests used by the Germans were coloured this fierce yellow so that anyone in the water could be easily spotted from a distance.

As luck would have it, I found a perfect specimen that hadn’t been slashed by the German crew. Not only was it intacted, but it also had a pair of water tight glasses in the pocket and a small compact cylinder of compressed air for re-inflating the jacket if necessary.

My delight at the find was beyond words. I made sure that our next trip to the Faughan for a swim I would try it out. This I did and for the first time I could splash about and move my arms without my feet touching the bottom.

And you can be sure that in no time at all I would soon teach myself to swim.

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