Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The things you find on facebook

So...I spent most of yesterday in the Derry Public Library, again, digging through old copies of The Derry Journal, trying to find out a few things -- like what the weather was on certain days and the price ranges of goods and what was actually being said in the paper about various events, including opinion pieces -- and reminded myself of the major limitations to microfiche.

To start with, they're usually bad scans of papers that are hard to read. But...after a bit of trial and error, I figured out how to make prints from them in ways that I could at least read what was being written. And the pricing of things like cars and blouses and shoes and meat were mainly pre-decimalization, so I have to go back to my notes to remember what 40' 6d is (I think that's 40 schillings and sixpence...but don't hold me to it.) However, I do know what movies were showing -- "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Dirty Dozen" on Brendan's 12th birthday -- and that an Irish girl named Dana, who lived in Derry, won the Eurovision Competition in 1970.

But no luck on the weather conditions or any information about where the bus depot -- bus centre was in the later 60s. Until I was at the station. I asked the people working there and got a big shrug. One said, "It's always been here, hasn't it?" Which was contradicted by his co-worker with, "No, this area but this centre wasn't built till recent." Which sort of fit into my memory from the first time I came here, in 2002; I took a bus up from Galway and recall the station seemed new, at the time.

However, I noticed Ulsterbus had a sign suggesting you go to their facbeook page to leave a comment -- and when I did that and followed a link to Foyle Street Bus Station and looked through the photos, there were some that were from the late 60s showing the place was right where it's always been, but entrance was straight onto Foyle Road and not the boulevard behind it -- the dual carriageway, as they call it.
My new photo isn't a very good one (I'd pretty much rejected it), but it does show that the buildings right behind the bus, this side of Guildhall in the old photo, are gone and the area made into a park. Dunno if that was from bombings or just redevelopment, but it's an interesting change.

Now I know one section I wrote -- when Brendan and his buddy, Colm, go to get some money off Colm's father and he sees Joanna, again, is all right. He's gotten dirty helping Colm's father fix his taxi, and for the first time starts thinking maybe it's a good idea to keep clean and neat, in case he sees her, again. Wants to make a good impression.

Which he does, later...which leads to major life changes...

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