For Cod, and Ulster – Northern Ireland’s Enduring Love of Chips Shops

This isn’t really about the Jamison family history, but it’s about a serious subject nonetheless; the relationship between NI and its chip shops. On mainland Britain, the chip shop now faces some serious competition from the plethora of Asian takeaways, kebab shops, Peri Peri joints and fried chicken shacks, but in Northern Ireland, apart from the eternal Chinese takeaway, chip shops rule supreme, at least outside the larger metropolitan areas.

During our recent trip along the Antrim coast, we looked forward to the great punny names many of them boast, as well as the excellent quality of the fare.

Here’s some of the best names we encountered this July, and where to find them; needless to say, we didn’t have a bad chip!

Chip Ahoy – Portavogie

Flash in the Pan – Bushmills

The Hip Chip -Bushmills

The Codsway – Bushmills (really, there must be an insatiable demand for fish and chips in this modest Antrim town!)

The Frying Squad– Bangor

For Cod and Ulster – Belfast

A note on the lingo – often, a portion of chips is referred to in NI as a “chip” so you may face the bewildering but delightful options that we did of “did you want a chip, a family chip, or a wee large chip?”

The Codsway Chip Shop, Bushmills
The Codsway Chip Shop, Bushmills, Northern Ireland
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Shore Road Belfast – 1966 Video

In my last post I shared some pictures of the Jamison garage and houses at 265-269 Shore Road, Belfast, that stood until their demolition in the 1980s; on the site now stands a printing shop.

The pictures were screen grabs from a  video of Belfast in 1966, which Jimmy, a member of the Belfast forum, has posted on Youtube:

Of particular interest to me and my fellow Jamisons are the first 35 seconds or so, which consist of footage of a trolleybus going up and down the stretch of Shore Road at Fortwilliam, which is where the family houses and garage stood.

You can see the houses and garage at 265-269 Shore Road at the 8 second, 18 and 21-25 seconds mark of the video.

With thanks again to Jimmy for his kind permission to repost this great video.

If you are interested in Belfast past or present,  or in general social history from the 1950s-70s, please subscribe to Jimmy’s Youtube channel, Belfast Jack

Jamison Garage on Shore Road Belfast- Updated Picture(s)

I talked about the most recent picture I had of the family garage on the Shore Road, Belfast in a previous post ; the picture from the 1950’s was sourced from the Belfast Forum, an invaluable source of history, pictures and local knowledge for all things Belfast; there’s a particularly great (and very long!) thread about Belfast’s Shore Road: you need to create an account to comment or post, but it’s well worth it if you have any interest in past or present Belfast.

I stay in touch with some of the posters on the forum, one of whom posted the picture below of the garage, sandwiched between 265 and 269 Shore Road; the picture was taken from a video still filmed sometime in the mid to late 1960s.

265shoreroad1960s
265-269 Shore Rd approx 1966

You can see no.269 Shore Road most clearly; this was the left hand of the two houses that sat on their own on the corner of Oakmount Drive.

The opening between the two houses was the entrance to the car repair garage, at the rear of the buildings. I lived in no. 265 (just out of shot on the right-hand side of the picture) until around 1975. We have no family pictures of the houses or the garage, so I’m very grateful for any images that turn up online, and for those people kind enough to alert me to them.

The picture is also interesting as it shows a passing trolleybus, the number 10 which travelled along Shore Road to Whitewell Road, near the zoo. The trolleybus network closed down in Belfast in 1968 so we know the picture predates this. The trolleybuses had disappeared by the time we lived at 265, but otherwise very little had changed from the picture taken in the mid’60s.

Google map of the area now:

With thanks to Tommy and Jimmy for these and some other fanstastic pictures from the Shore Road area. If anyone has more pictures of the garage or houses at 265-269 Shore Road, please do get in touch, I would be delighted to see them!

UPDATE

Jimmy posted the video of the Shore Road to Youtube that the above picture was grabbed from; I’m writing another post for that, but I managed to get a still showing the right-hand house that we lived in, no. 265:

265shoreroad1960s2

 

And here they are together:

 

 

 

Welcome to long-lost relatives; Richard, David and Aunt Phyllis

Mum1

My father, (Frederick) Ian Jamison, had seven full siblings and two half-sisters from his mother’s first marriage, not an unusual family size for that generation of Irish families. Over the years and the distances between the surviving siblings, their children, and grandchildren, some of us have lost touch.  It’s always wonderful when we reconnect, and even better when it’s through this blog!

A couple of months ago I heard from Richard, one of my first cousins, whose mother, Phyllis, is my father’s last surviving sister (that we know of – unless you can help with the last piece of the puzzle!)

I’d tried to trace Phyllis and her family before – having kept up a correspondence with my Uncle Harold between Northern Ireland and England, after ill health and a move of house, they lost touch. My uncle was very keen to reconnect with his sister, and I hoped that this blog would help as we’ve already successfully connected with family ranging from first cousins to descendants of my great uncle William Jamison, son of William McDowell Jamison.

I was overjoyed therefore to receive an email from one of Phyllis’s sons, who had been conducting some family research of his own and found this site. My aunt Phyllis still lives in Northern Ireland, and one of my cousins lives not too far from me!

It was great to swap stories with Richard and put him in touch with my Uncle Harold, and I’m happy and proud to claim another part of the family – thank you for all your help, Richard!

I put off writing this blog as we had a trip planned to Northern Ireland in July (we’ve just returned) – I managed to visit my aunt last week and it was a very touching time for me, with lots of memories. Richard provided the wonderful picture of his mum above, and she still has a fine head of hair and the distinctive Jamison features.

My Uncle Harold’s daughter Denise also visited our aunt with her family, and I’m hoping that my Uncle can make a visit too.

From a family history perspective it was great to get some more pictures – as well as some great pictures of his mum, Richard also provided some wonderful pictures of my Aunt Hilda Todd, who may still live in Canada – she is the last sibling of my father who we haven’t yet made contact with, and I hope that one day that Hilda or maybe her son Francis Google the Jamison family history and find this site.

Welcome, Phyllis, Richard and Sam, and David, and thank you for solving another piece of the Jamison puzzle.

Margaret

Updating the family tree – Farewell Aunt Nita

It is with great sadness that I pass on news of the loss of my Aunt Nita May Jamison, wife of my uncle Kenneth (Ken) Jamison. Nita was born on the 03/05/1946  and passed away on the 28/01/2017.

Our thoughts are with Debbie, Darren and their families at this very sad time.

Margaret

 

Family Research Visit to Belfast June 2016

I’ve written this up quite a while after we actually visited, as family things got in the way, but it was a very useful visit and might be of help if you’re considering researching your own Belfast family history.

We took the car and went by ferry, straight into Belfast harbour. We splashed out, staying two nights at the famous Europa Hotel in town, recommended!

Apart from catching up and taking trips out to Portrush and other spots along the coast, I had some specific research in mind that took me to the Belfast Central Library Newspaper archive.

This research was for two reasons; firstly to fill in some gaps around family events in Belfast during the Troubles, and also as primary research for the novel I’m (still) writing, And The Buntings Flew. The novel is based in 1970s Belfast and those of you who have read my blog posts will know that it’s at least partly autobiographical.

My research at the newspaper archive bore some fruit, and was a blast from the past, as the records are nearly all stored on microfiche, which I haven’t used since the early 1990s.  There’s a modest fee to print out pages (10p a sheet I think) and it was incredibly useful, and the staff very helpful.

This success was tinged with sadness and uncertainty; the Troubles left very few families untouched, and I now have to contemplate and investigate the new information I uncovered.

Despite any unease I felt while reading through the microfiches from 1975 and 76, they did offer, for a writer, a wonderful window on the past. I was particularly interested in the world news, and closer to home, the adverts; in 1975 the Northern Ireland government had members warning that if the UK voted to join the EEC (Common Market, and we did), that it would grow from a trade agreement to a federation of European states with a  loss of UK sovereignty, which was a very topical read!

I’ll be posting some more about some of the information I found in the archive library, but for now, I just wanted to post some pictures from our trip of the wonderful places to visit in Belfast and the rest of County Antrim.

I’m also pleased to relate that I brought back lots of Thompsons Tea and vegetable roll, both Northern Irish treasures that I wrote about in my article lauding the Foods of Ulster!

 

Filling in some gaps – new information on the descendants of William McDowell Jamison

I had some very exciting news yesterday courtesy of Nevin over at NALIL; Nevin put me and my cousin Barbara in touch with Jennifer, who is a great, great grand-daughter of William McDowell Jamison, the earliest Jamison I’ve managed to trace in our family tree.

Jennifer and Nevin have provided loads of information for my descendent chart, and I hope we gave some to Jennifer in return about our line! (Jennifer’s great-grandfather William and my grandfather Charles (Fred) were brothers, although there was quite an age gap between them, hence I suppose an extra generation slipping in!)

I have updated the Descendant chart; additions were under the family of William Jamison Jnr (son of Old William and Annie) his wife Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Cousins

Children of William Jnr and Betty Cousins:

  • Christina (Jennifer’s grandmother, also known as Nan, registered at birth as Cousins but known
    as Jamison at school)
  • Laura Willemina Jamison
  • Josephina Annetta Jamison (Netty)
  • Harold Hewar (Huer?) Jamison
  • Charles Henry McDole (McDowell?) Jamison (Harry)
  • Oswald Alexander Jamison (Alec)
  • Frederick William Henry Jamison (Billy)
  • Mary Elizabeth Eleanor Jamison (Alma) who died at nine months old due to a heart problem.
  • And one more possibly who died as a baby

Christina (Nan) Cousin’s children (unsure of father’s names)

  • Yvonne Cousins
  • Allistair Cousins
  • Norman? Cousins  – died young of a head injury related condition*
  • Laura Cousins – mother of Jennifer

I have more information such as spouse names to add to the chart; this is a wonderful revelation as we only really had information relating to the family of my grandfather Charles Frederick Jamison – Fred was one of four siblings, but one died as a teenager (Oswald Huer), one as a young woman (Harriet Anne), so its great to have such detailed information for William Jnr’s family.I also learnt that William Jnr’s back complaints were as a result of a World War 1 injury sustained when a horse kicked him during his time in the Royal Irish Rifles.

Many thanks to Jennifer and Nevin, and to Barbs for staying up while we pieced it all together!

Margaret

Updated Details for Eliza Jamison; Dates and Last Place of Abode

I’ve received a copy of Eliza’s death certificate today, and not only does it confirm her age at the time of her death (54), and the date (4/12/1962), there is also a bonus of her last registered address: Hillview Avenue, Newtonabbey, Belfast BT36. Below is a googlemap of the street (I think it’s the house with cream walls and dark brown windows and door).

It’s great to have these details, which I will now check with Uncle Harold, and possibly Uncle Donald,who hopefully can verify them.

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