Larne - Valerie Beattie takes a walk down memory
Article submitted by Alison
Looking back I can still remember the excitement I
felt as my mum and I waited for the Larne bus. It was
Wednesday morning and I was on my school holidays. We
lived at Bellahill just a mile outside Ballycarry. The
bus stop was just in front of our house and many people
gathered and chatted while they waited for the bus to
arrive. I remember the bus conductor was always very
kind helping anyone with prams or walking difficulties.
People seemed to have more time then.
The day out was always such a treat for me and and
I was always sure to get a little treat of some kind.
The market was wonderful. Lots of different stalls very
colourful people shouting, selling their wares. Everything
could be bought at Larne market. Quite often we came
home with bags full of fruit and vegetables, bed linen
and other bits and bobs.
Quite often as a special treat we would go up the Main
Street to Rosses Café. I can still remember the
smell of the home baked scones and fresh coffee. Even
yet when I smell freshly ground coffee I am transported
back to those lovely treats at Rosses.
After coffee our next stop was at the other end of
the street. My mum's favourite shop was Tweedie Acheson.
Lots of beautiful things could be bought there, lovely
coats, dresses, hats, stockings and very fine jewellery.
The most interesting bit about the shop for me was when
it came time to pay for your purchases the lady behind
the counter put your money into a small tin box which
hung on a wire near the ceiling. She then pulled the
handle and it made a ping sound and disappeared to return
a few minutes later with your change. At five years
of age this just seemed like magic to me.
Very often before my mother left for home she would
call in at the Auction Market. I remember one day the
weather was bad so she decided to spend time in the
auction until it cleared. However the visit ended with
her buying a three piece suite. When she got home and
told my father what she had done he laughed and said
'Bett goes to the market to get some fruit and comes
home with a three piece suite'. Thank goodness he was
a very understanding man with a good sense of humour.
The suite turned out to be a very good buy and we had
it for many years.
Mum must have passed on her love of auctions to me
as it is still one of my favourite pastimes. Looking
back on those wonderful visits to Larne I wonder where
the years have gone.
My mother and I often chat about our day trips and
how warm and kindly we were treated in the shops. People
had time for a chat and a laugh. We lost a lot when
we lost the small shops. Let's hope we can hold onto
what is left of them.
Larne is still a great town with good hearted people.
It has been great for me to take a walk down memory
lane and share some old memories with my mother.
Special thanks goes to the Larne
Millennium Initiative for its help in sourcing
Your responses to this article:
Glen Brown - Jan '06
Back in 60s my Larne friends and I met regularly upstairs
in The Floral especially on Wednesday nights. To dine and
await Shaun McCauley (RIP) or Billy Weekes selling us the
early copy of 'The Larne Times'. Does that service still happen
today in any of Larnes bars and numerous eating places? Regarding
your request July 05, (sorry, better late than never). Please
email me at; email@example.com. I'll reply with some personal
memories of 'The Floral Cafe' in the 60s.
Ellen Magill - July '05
I would love to hear more about Crawford Magill's "the
floral'. I was interested to read your memories.
Glen Brown - May 05
A good memory of Larne by Alison. Made me think of the many
eating places in the town even back in the Swinging 60s Including
Rosses Cafe, The Bamboo (Des & Jean Agnew), The Floral
(Crawford Magill), The Bonnie Bouche' (Tommy Wilson, where
a Radio Caroline Fan Club ran upstairs for a couple of years
almost secretly), the Rendezvous, The Silver Lounge (still
a good place to dine), The Barnhill, The Step Inn and Tommy
Liddles Station Road Cafe' (I like the titles on the menu
I concur with Alison's sentiments on the people of Larne
Borough being on the whole good hearted.