Tuesday January 12th, 2016

Back in January 5th I blogged about my 1970 diary entry when I was excited by my new watch being delivered.  The story moves on…….

On 12th January 1970 I was back at boarding school and bemoaning the fact that several of my friends still hadn’t returned, citing colds, missing limbs,  dead aunties and other very dubious excuses to prolong the Christmas holidays.

No one seemed to have picked up on the fact that Smudger had had an aunt die at every Christmas for the previous 6 years.  That family must have been dreading Christmas ! Never mind the 3 wise men….in their family it must’ve seemed like the 3 horsemen of the Apocalypse turned up at that stable.

But back to my watch.  I reported in my diary for January 12th 1970 that I’d pressed one of the side buttons on it….and the minute hand fell off.  I was devastated. I actually remember it and as I remember very little from my 7 year sentence at that school, it was clearly traumatic.

Actually a previous entry in my diary explains why I was so upset.  I’d mentioned that the watch cost £7.

Now in 1970, £7 was a lot of money.  As proof of this, I’ve got a receipt from September of that year when my lovely parents paid for my flight from Belfast to Birmingham as I was going to start at Leicester Polytechnic. The cost of the flight ?  £5.17.0d.


I can’t remember what happened with the watch as it was a bit of a “to do” getting anything fixed when you were a boarder at a school half way up a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

Future diary entries may provide the answer.


If my memory serves me right, and that’s never a done deal with my memory,  McCurdy Hamilton was a clothing store that just happened to have a small travel section.  I think it was a desk with some travel brochures and a telephone.  Think “The Waltons” and you’ll get the idea.

Many retail outlets in N. Ireland doubled up in those days…..and maybe still do.  You’d get a gift shop and a post office sharing premises.  Ok that one’s not that uncommon.  The best was a cousin of mine who ran a pub with an adjoining off licence AND a funeral business.  In fact he was the family funeral director and dealt with the final arrangements for both my parents.

We may have got family rates for the booze at the wake too !

McCurdy Hamilton is still going but now as a fully fledged travel agent.  They moved from Church Street to Main Street and somehow lost a lot of clothing stock in the process !

12 Main St   Google Maps


I watched “The Revenant” last night.  It started at midnight and at 2hrs 36mins, it kept me gripped from the get go. I can see why Leonardo DiCaprio got the Golden Globe for “Best Actor, Drama” and the movie got the gong for “Best Motion Picture, Drama“.

the revenant poster

At least IT wasn’t in the Comedy or Musical category as after watching it, that would have been very silly indeed.

After all, The Martian” was much funnier !


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