Confronted by my past!
Today, while doing my "Domestic Goddess" impression, I came across this newspaper and the that was the end of the spring cleaning! This paper is not any old newspaper, lurking in a drawer - this is the evening paper for the evening of my birth and reflects the times I was born into and it is truly fascinating!
I was born on the day of the Great Train Robbery - 8th August 1963. This was the robbery of a mail train that was carrying over a million pounds according to this Evening Herald - it actually turned out to be over 2.5 million pounds and it was a meticulously planned operation, receiving huge publicity at the time for obvious reasons. Eleven people served jail sentences as a result of this robbery, the best known being Ronnie Biggs. Only one of the gang members is still alive now.
Very poignantly, the photograph of President John F Kennedy showed him visiting his wife and new son, Patrick, who was born prematurely and developed breathing problems. His condition was described as "encouraging" but sadly, baby Patrick was to die within 24 hours of this report. His father, President Kennedy, who had visited Ireland in June of this year, was to be assassinated in November ,in Dallas.
Turning to the back pages to see what people were watching is fascinating. In an era where most homes have access to over a hundred channels that broadcast twenty four hours a day, the choice in 1963 was rather different... Television started broadcasting at 5 pm, the news bulletins seemed to last no longer than fifteen minutes, and it was all over by 11.30. Television would have been in black and white, the TV had to "warm up" when you turned it on, and of course, you had to make the long walk to the TV if you wanted to change channels (if you were lucky enough to live somewhere that offered more than one channel!)
Those of us who are interested in hiking and walking would have enjoyed the column "On the Open Road" written by the great JB Malone, the creator of the wonderful "Wicklow Way", the long distance walking route from south Dublin, through Wicklow to Clonegal in Co Carlow.
JB Malone wrote for the Evening Herald from 1938 to 1975 and provided many map illustrations (he had been a cartographer with the Irish Army). On 8th August 1963, he was recommending a "ramble" of 14 miles from Ballinaclea Hostel near the Glen of Imaal to Aghavannagh Hostel, choosing a route where "there are more fords, stepping stones and footbridges than any other in Wicklow in an equal length".