On discovering an old 1909 poem by a Portrush man, a few months ago, I needed a sandhills photograph (to suit the theme of the poem). 

I knew that there was one somewhere, taken in the 1960s, with Alfie Brown and his daughter. This week, after a very kind lady wrote to me, about a related issue, I was motivated to go on another hunt for said picture. Bingo, found it!

The summer of 1966 and yours truly was taking his first tentative steps. My parents, along with Alfie Brown (from Eden) and his daughter Addie, are enjoying a day at the seaside. This is the north coast, either Portrush or Portstewart.

A short note for overseas readers, thinking of visiting, do check out the North coast.  Amazing scenery.  I fell in love with it a long time ago.  We just need the weather.   

Music, the Big Hits of the Summer of 1966

Across that summer of 1966, namely June, July and August, the following wonderful songs dominated the singles chart.

‘Strangers in the Night’ by Frank Sinatra
‘Monday, Monday’ by The Mamas & the Papas
‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ by Percy Sledge
‘Paperback Writer’ by The Beatles
‘Sunny Afternoon’ by The Kinks
‘River Deep, Mountain High’ by Ike & Tina Turner
‘Love Letters’ by Elvis Presley
‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys
‘Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby’ by The Beatles
‘Summer in the City’ by The Lovin’ Spoonful

The 60s (and 80s), what an era for great music. So many timeless classics that summer. How can a 23 year old, Brian Wilson write such a classic song, at such a tender age.  The same holds true for Paul McCartney.

1966 Alfie Brown beach Ireland

With lagging steps I’ve roam’d the sandhills through,
By paths resplendent, and surpassing rare
To the observant eye – especially where
The roses in profusion meet our view;
Those tranquil nooks oft-times my footsteps drew
At eventide – I breathed the balmy air;
Ay!  certs, many summers found me there
Reposing where the yellow stone-crop grew.
Full many mazy windings well I knew,
With leisure to survey them in past years!
Deep-fleec’d with moss, there peep’d the primrose through,
Its crinkled leaves, suffused with morning tears;
Soft virgin scenes!  I’ve ceased my wandering,
Yet, still a solace and rapt joy ye bring!

David Lindsay
Mount Royal, Portrush
August 1909

Ballymoney Free Press & Northern Counties Advertiser
12th August 1909

1966 Alfie Brown north coast beach Ireland

PS – On a related note. Does anyone have a photograph of Annie Brown of Eden?  Any memories of Annie?  Please get in touch if you have.  Many thanks.