5 Belfast Simon Community 1978 - the house shopping one Ideal Stores morning
By Ray Schaufeld
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We can catch up with the people in our own sweet time.
adrain the upright English man, Kate and Steve Leary the cowboys from america, Maiye Ita the local lass.
Maire Ita the local lass is the one I have yet to meet. She is ninetten. Maire Ita's brother Dermot used to run the place before fat Fred Williams took over.
Maire Ita is hardworking, she was serving an apprenticeship in a hair salon when she was 16 and then went on to work in a children's home. She says she would like to work with teenagers when still in her teens.
She has chestnut wavy hair down to her seat. She has a warm gentle sense of humour with a mild tempered sharp edge from her hair salon scissors.
She has a family in Andersonstown. She is one of eight siblings.
I like to work with her any day we have.
I never see her here at night. She is able to go home after the last of the residents has gone to sleep. She uses the office phone to call one of her bigger and older brothers and sisters to pick her up. She is able to get someone to run her back first thing in the morning so she can work in the kitchen cooking the breakfast.
It is evening now. Right no and it was only a couple of weeks ago an old man said the word 'evening' to me so I knew.
'Evening' is when the day evens out.
On a good day all the odds and contraries come out an even green and rosy taste.
I shall same my morning memories of my morning search for food donations till next morning.
It is now the eleventh of November 2022
I am looking back a long way this evening.
i'thursday child has far to go'
It is Friday afternoon.
saga to be c ontinued n next session
Saturday arrived our communal house existed on our dole money and from food donations from some of the shops along the Antrim Road.
Our place was at 420 Antrim road. It was about a mile out from Belfast City Centre . Going out of town in the other direction you passed the Fort William Barracks. The Waterworks Park was out in this direction if I remember right or it could have been deeper into town. It was a and I am sure still is a long rectangular park than runs adjacent to the Antrim Road.
Antrim road in the days before my time was housing for people who had money. The houses are spacious three of fourstorey houses with big gardens and plenty of room for the sevants. Not quite Downton Abbey but getting there.
The house were lived in by sucessfull business families.
In 1978 the Antrim Road had become a bit run down because the houses were so huge and because after World War One and World was two there was a 'servant problem'
The reason for this is that Belfast was a thriving city built around heavy industry. Men went into the yards and built big ships. Women worked in the textile mills and the cigarette factories supplying human needs of a domestic nature.
Belfast linen was respected the whole world over.
That was in the Old Days but the building and the mills were still in business. It was now a war-torn industrial city.
to be continued
and here i am right here right now. I'm still walking remembering the long road with all the shops.
I remember the laundrette with the apronned washerwoman singing 'o jock mackay jock mackay who do ya think I am am going to marry'
I remember the shop behind us where I was afraid to ask for a United biscuit in case I said 'i want a united Ireland'.
The shop sold choclate biscuits with blue and white striped covers.
I never missed any.
I rember the pub where Old John 'rest-your-dick' restrick babbled his kiplingy stuff about
'women are men and I'll have some of that again'
I remember we ssteven the little runaway. Fair hair blue eyes and very fast to dodge in and out of cafes without paying.
Steven was fourteen and had no money.
He got food and drink and the warm insides of the cafe
we all came in out of the rain.
And on the long road leading up to the Ideal Stores, Belfast's name for the Co-op I thought the shop was made up and all in my head.
Well sort of and sort of not.
And then I got the supplies from the Ideal Stores
the eggs and the tattie scones, the Paris buns, the soda farls the sausages and the bacon.
I walked back to my work with our supplies for a good Sunday breakfast
I was far happier on the way back to the big house where I worked.
The Belfast Simon Community 420 antrim Road.
The milk market board across the road always gave us their donation separately. They gave us a giant block of good chedar cheese.
REAL MEMORIES OF1978
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