Friday, 3 December 2010

Wintry Pub Evening

An old school pal - who also happens to be an archaeologist - was over on leave from Edinburgh yesterday, so three of us took the train last night to that familiar drinking-den in Holywood, County Down, the Dirty Duck Ale House.

Despite the bitterly cold weather outside, there was a cheery blazing fire lit in the bar. We donned the feed-bags instanter and I had a rather good breast of chicken, stuffed, with crispy skin, mash, gravy and shredded cabbage; while Big Pete ate his usual scampi; and Peter had some spicy dish which I cannot recall at present.

It proved to be a good evening. A band arrived after ten though, as usual, we had to take our leave before ten forty-five when the last train trundled up to Holywood's halt.

Why does NI Railways elevate the status of a mere halt - without so much as a building - by calling it a station? I must say that the carriages are well heated, though.


Sandy said...

Clue as to who Pete is?

Timothy Belmont said...

R P Sloan, Esquire!

Timothy Belmont said...

...and P McKeague

PeterC said...

Once upon a time Holywood was an important station. It had 3 platforms - an extra bay platform on the up (towards Belfast) side, a siding between the present up and down platforms and a goods yard. It also had substantial buildings on both main platforms, a booking hall, a subway, a station master's house and a shop. Unfortunately, many years ago there was a serious fire, which started when the shop left its electric fire on overnight. The whole lot burned down. At the time I lived in Redburn Square (opposite the station) and it was quite a spectular event! The buildings were never replaced, and over the years the station reverted to its current halt status. But the name was never changed, probably for historical reasons.

Timothy Belmont said...

That is fascinating. Shame about the disastrous fire, though.

The prospect must have been quite different before the by-pass appeared, too.