1954 and I moved up to Ray Hall's class in Inchmarlo. He was a much more charismatic teacher then Miss Strahan, and I enjoyed the year in his class

And my parents bought the ruined cottage at Killard. I see from modern Google satellite photos, that the current owners have bought more land, which gives the cottage a bit more breathing space

The cottage at Killard was opposite the narrows at the entrance to Strangford Lough. They paid £50 for a ruin, with no electricity, no mains water, no phone and an outside toilet

I assume this was an attempt to avoid repetition of the problems at family holidays at Coney Island and Rostrevor in the previous 2 years.

There was a lot of building work, which being the eldest, I was set to work on - dry stone walling was something I had to learn, but did not enjoy. Father had the habit of telling me to do an easy job like "Feed the cat" and follow it up with "..and whilst you are at it, build a hundred yards of dry stone wall". Thinking about it now, I was 9 years old at the time

These photos give an idea of what it looked like after a few years with a porch and inside toilet added to the original building. The modern photo above left shows little has changed in the view.



The garden photos are now at Sans Souci


And Fiona looking more posed in the polyphotos, than in real life


Mrs Lazenby's Guest House, Brittas Bay, Wicklow

A family holiday, our last as thereafter we holidayed at the Killard Cottage. This is where my father accused me of breaking one of the guest house;s croquet mallets, beat me for that, and then beat me again, because I would not admit to it. One of those object lessons in how unfair life can be. It was not me, but Charlie who was the culprit. Actually Brittas Bay is a very nice place, though Mrs Lazenby's guest house was not very agreeable

There was a break at Dublin Zoo on the way home. It would take 5 hours to drive from Brittas Bay to Belfast. A slow road and a 1950s car, plus the international border to cross, made a dynamic team. And family life in the back was not very nice. An eclectic mix of boredom, carsickness and inter-sibling strife.


On to 1955

David Grant - Life