Ellen Elder - June '08
Did the Moore Family run a guest house at one time?
I am trying to trace the Flemings, one of whose daughters
married a Mr Moore, I think. I have an Australian cousin
staying with me at the moment who may be related.
Fiona - Feb '08
I worked for two consecutive summers in Portrush ..Summer 75 at the
Kantara Guesthouse ,which was owned by a Canadian couple at the time ..and Summer
76 at Fawcetts Hotel , which must have been connected in some way to the Northern
Counties as we were sometimes drafted in to work as bar waitresses there..
especcially when Clubsound were on !
To this day I have warm memories of the place ..The boys from Barrys in their
green jackets who everyone wanted to date / midnight walks at White Rocks /
the long walk (in 6 inch platforrms) out to Kellys / music blaring from the
souvenir shops ..
I remember too the awful night of the bombs in August 76 ..I remember being
really scared .. it seemed as if the whole of Portrush was on fire ... I don't
think the place was ever the same after that ...
Suzi Douglas - Nov '06
To answer Pamela Rea question about Edwin Heath, Edwin
Died in January 1999 he gave us all years of enjoyment
especially me because he was my grandfather.
Thank you for your comments.
Bob Fawcett - Oct '06
As a young boy living in Antrim town I often went on
the Sunday School excursions. As well as our own Church
excursion my friends and I used to go to the Gospel
Hall for a few Sundays and got a second free trip. I
remember the little paper bags we were given with our
lunch, usually a couple of sandwiches which we ate in
a Church hall at the corner of Causeway Street. One
year when I was in the Boy's Brigade we had been at
camp in Carnlough a friend from Ballymena and I borrowed
three tents and set up camp just outside Portrush. We
then invited friends down the price being a supply of
food !!!! Thus we had a very cheap 3 week holiday.
What about the White House you say. Well my friend and
I met two young ladies who worked there and we had very
pleasant company during our stay. All this was 60 years
During the war Stranmillis College was moved to Fawcett's
hotel in Portrush which was owned by my Uncle Sam. I
spent another six week summer holiday with my father
replacing keys and locks missing when the students left.
However the tourist trade never recovered and the bar
was the only working part of The Royal Portrush.
Pamela Ray - Oct '06
When I lived in Spain in the mid 80's I saw Edwin Heath
and he was great, he hypnotised my ex husband to stop
smoking and auto suggested he would get drunk on a glass
of water, everyone watched in anticipation during the
interval and he was drunk as a skunk when he had to
go back up on stage. It was a great night. I saw him
privately for a consultaion and he gave me a tape to
lose weight from the hypnosis session and I lost pounds.
Does anyone know whether he is still alive and where
John Bishop - Sep '06
Very interesting to read about "The White House".
Coleraine was my home town and I have great memories
of Portrush of which The White House was a "landmark"
and a must visit place. I remember it used to be very
special to have "Tea and cakes " at the Troc
next door before shopping at White House. I have been
living in British Columbia for many years now , but
my last visit there was 2004, when we called at White
House - it still looks good .
David Lee - March '06
Yes I too remember the Edwin Heath show, I must have
been about 12. I particularly remember near the end
of the show when all the people who had been on stage
were "out of their trance" and back in their
seats. Edwin would say certain words and these people
would get up out of their seats, some would make noises
like chickens or donkeys and the absolutely best of
all, one or two would run down the theatre out into
the street shouting things like "Come to the greatest
show on earth" I thought this was the funniest
Two weeks in Portrush was our usual summer holiday,
staying with Mrs Knox in the Windsor Hotel on the main
street opposite Mason's Jewellers.
Most days started immediately after breakfast, up to
the room to collect swimming costume and towel, (the
"in" thing to do was have the costume rolled
up in the towel) straight to Forte's ice cream shop
which was close by. "Poke" in hand round to
Barry's. Then about mid morning a swim either in the
harbour or at the Arcadia.
I was wondering if anyone can help me with the history
of the Arcadia. I would like to know when the Original
building (the one with the open flat roof) was built
and when it was modified with the slate roof. Any other
information would be great.
Lorna Finch - March '06
This is a response to Will Millar. I have enjoyed the
Irish Rovers recordings whenever I can find one and
I know from the back of one of the lp's, the fond memories
that you have of Portrush. I too remember the Town Hall
theater and even the great Jimmy Shand played there.
Andy Stewart was there singing his hit "A Scottish
Soldier" and the variety shows were wonderful.
I lived there and in fact, my mother ran a boarding
house on Causeway Street throughout the fifties and
sixties. It is only now that I realize that my childhood
in Portrush, with all the excitement of the summer,
has truly been an experience. Does anyone remember the
"Great Edwin Heath" the hypnotist? Does anyone
remember the CSSM down at the East Strand?
Will Millar - Dec '05
I started my stage career in Portrush Town Hall when
my sister and me as "The Millar Kids" won
a summer talent contest. (We used to live in a caravan
at Craigtown). We went on to travel with "Variety
Rainbow" Some of the stars in the show were the
great Belfast comic Connie Stewart and there was Larry
Parks and Helen Carter. I went on to form the Irish
Rovers when I emigrated to Canada and made a great career
out of it for the past 30 years. But I will never forget
those early days on that small stage in the Portrush
Town Hall. Do any of you remember those great Variety
concerts? Are there any pictures out there of the early
50's and Antrim performers?
Carol Marshall - July '05
As I was growing up in the 60's and 70's in Belfast
and Co.Down, my family used to visit Portrush and the
surrounding area on a regular basis. We'd stay in a
caravan which we loved. My sister, Lynn, brother John
and myself loved Portrush and Barry's amusements. We
loved the cyclone, the big dipper and the helter skelter.
Our parents, John and Barbara were not so well to do
but there was always pennies for the one armed bandits,
sweetie dummies, Portrush rock and candyfloss. We had
the best holidays there. Staying in a caravan with no
electricity and gas lighting was cosy and we would play
snap and board games as a family. Even the trek to the
shower block was an adventure. A nocturnal visit to
the toilets used to have us all in stitches. Dashing
across the grass in our nighties. Oh happy days.
James K Neill - March '05
I was born and raised in Kells Co Antrim, and Portrush
was our favourite spot on a Saturday or Sunday outing.
Of course when we became older and I had a car of my
own, Portrush was again a favourite place to take the
girlfriend on a night out (now the wife).
We always shopped in the White House, in fact after
a day at the Beach or Strand as it was called, after
Fish and Chips we always went for a walk around the
Town, picking up trinkets, Dulse, Yellow Man Candy canes
etc. No evening was complete without a Browse thru the
I have very happy memories both of Portrush , and the
First trip I can remember to Portrush was the Sunday
School Excursion on the Train from Ballymena. As soon
as we got off the Train it was into Barry's Amusements,
get on the Bumper Cars, and the Ghost Train, and usually
didn't come out until our pocket money was gone. Now
living in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada these past
27 years. My daughter and Son in Law are in N Ireland
on Vacation, and today were in Portrush.
Ruth Wood (nee Thompson) - October
All this information brought back lovely childhood memories.
My Dad, Knox Thompson, became Manager of the White house
in Summer 1968 and it was very exciting for me, aged
6, to spend a fair amount of my childhood in the shop.
Let's see... Margaret in the Toy department, The Alcove
Cafe (with sage green seats) and its occasional fashion
shows (plus yummy scones and milkshakes!). Tommy Mercer
giving me a lift to school in the little White House
van. Fashion shows at the Arcadia or Town Hall (my only
ever time being a model!!). Lexie Fraser doing security
in the 70's, on the door and doubling up as Santa. My
brother Mark being Santa's space man in the lift, which
was lined with tin foil (well, it was the era of Apollo!).
And what about the great cash system of pipes and little
metal canisters that whizzed around the shop with dockets
and receipts. In my early teens, I was very impressed
when Dad introduced the Spot On boutique, filled with
flares and fake fur 'Budgie' jackets! The offices behind
scenes had the most amazing, antique desks and chairs.
It was like an extended family there. The Moore Family
are now the Keepers of this special part of Portrush
history- cherish it, boys! (and Glenda!)
John Kearney Brolly - August '04
This was a fascinating and very entertaining report,
Rory Hamilton was a particularly brilliant speaker and
his insights were remarkable. Can we have more shows
like this, and I dare say the BBC should be offering
the talented Mr. Hamilton his own show! Well done on
a great insight into Northern Irish history.
Douglas Heatley- 17 July 2004
I just want to say how much I enjoyed reading about
The White House and Portrush. I now live in Perth West
Australia for the last sixteen years, after living in
Blackpool for about 38 years. I have visited quite regularly
and of course called at Portrush and the White House,
I love the place, Barry's, the beaches and of course
the Harbour as a young guy my Grannie, Uncles and Aunts
rented a house for a month on Causeway St, I think it
was, and there would be around ten or twelve of us going
swimming in the harbour twice a day, morning and afternoon
rain, hail or shine, very enjoyable times.
Norman McIlwaine, Milton, Ontario,
Canada - 17 July 2004
Very informative. I remember as a child in the 50's
going to Portrush by the steam train for two weeks.
I had the fishing rod in hand and walked from Juniper
Hill to the harbour. Mostly returning with out anything
to show. I was given a few shillings to use in Barrys
when it rained. I have so many happy memories that when
I return I make it a point of going to Portrush.
Fiona - Feb 08
I worked for two consecutive summers in Portrush ..Summer
75 at the Kantara Guesthouse ,which was owned by a Canadian
couple at the time ..and Summer 76 at Fawcetts Hotel
, which must have been connected in some way to the
Northern Counties as we were sometimes drafted in to
work as bar waitresses there.. especcially when Clubsound
were on !
To this day I have warm memories of the place ..The
boys from Barrys in their green jackets who everyone
wanted to date / midnight walks at White Rocks / the
long walk (in 6 inch platforrms) out to Kellys / music
blaring from the souvenir shops ..
I remember too the awful night of the bombs in August
76 ..I remember being really scared .. it seemed as
if the whole of Portrush was on fire ... I don't think
the place was ever the same after that ...