Our third and final promo was with Aer Lingus – the above shows Aer Lingus B 707 at Manchester Airport.
We picked New York again, but this time we didn’t fly direct, but via Dublin and Shannon.
The memorable thing about this flight for me was at Dublin Airport while we were in transit. I visited the Gents and when I finished, I opened the door that I thought was to the concourse, but it was not and as I stepped through I found myself in the street! The door closed behind me – panic how do I get back inside the transit area??
Working at Manchester Airport during the ‘troubles’ we were warned to report anything unusual, because the airport was a possible terrorist target, so having stepped from the comfort of the transit lounge in to a Dublin street I was not sure how I was to convince anyone that I’d only visited the Gents.
I looked at the door and turned the handle which opened the door and I walked through the Gents to the other door, it was easy . . .
The flight was uneventful, except for my short visit to Dublin, but the ‘troubles’ in Belfast were still going on in the early 1970’s
Picture from the internet.
Our transit stop in Shannon was uneventful, but it was an interesting stop considering that the Shannon Estuary had been the main port for transatlantic seaplanes in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. They landed in the estuary and the terminal was located at Foynes on the south side of the estuary. Land based planes lacked the range to fly the Atlantic at the time.
To warm the passengers off the flying boats a hot drink was invented . .
In 1947 Shannon airport was the first airport in the world to offer duty free shopping.
The above map shows the location of Shannon – circled
To return to security, during our earlier BOAC trip to New York we were at the airport checking in for our return flight when we spotted a brown paper parcel in the corner of the of the check-in area near the BOAC counter.
Our first thought was that BOAC was a target and perhaps the parcel was a time bomb.
We reported this to BOAC security and a security guard came over to us and asked us to point out the parcel – which we did. He then slowly walked over to the parcel and as the man got closer he recognised what it was, it was an empty wine bottle in a largish bag. He thought our reaction was funny because the airport was a common place for a ‘wino’ to leave empty bottles. He picked it up and brought it back to us . . from our angle at the check in desk we could not see the shape of the bottle.
We pointed out the BOAC regulations about reporting strange parcels or anything unusual. We then told him of the ‘troubles’ and that BOAC could be a target.
Living in the US he did not seem to have any concept of what had been going on in Belfast.
On a happier note our visit to New York was full of site seeing and experiencing Macy’s on 5th Avenue-of course!
On our first trip (which was early winter) we visited Macy’s.
One of our friends entered the shop wearing a pair of sandals – outside there was snow about.
We wandered around as pure tourists, not buying anything just looking, when we were approached by security and asked to leave, because they did not encourage a ‘hippy’ to frequent their store – our sandal wearing friend was not welcome, so we all left.
In the evening we visited ‘Your Father’s Mustache’ on 7th Ave & 10th St. They did not care what we wore on our feet.
The location was in Greenwich Village.
We visited Your Father’s Mustache (the music in the clip is banjo music but when we visited it was mainly jazz)a few times during our two trips, but on our second visit to New York we sat at a table and ordered a jug of beer – it came quite quickly, but it was green!
I asked the waiter for a normal coloured beer and was told that as it was St Patrick’s Day and that we would only be allowed to drink green beer – and me a English protestant, but beer is beer !
One might think that the green beer is a modern-day marketing trick, but they have been making green beer in New York for over a hundred years.
Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin was an Irish American, his family had emigrated to the USA when he was five years old.
To celebrate St Patrick’s Day in 1914 he created the green beer – his recipe was one drop of wash blue in a quantity of beer.
Today he’d be in prison, because ‘wash blue’ is an iron powder used to whiten clothes – it is also a poison.
Nowadays they use a few drops of food colouring. . . .
How can green beer compete with a nice drop of Guinness?
Not wishing to upset the green apple cart, but St Patrick was Welsh, and had been sent to Ireland to convert the population to Christianity.
So instead of the green Shamrock beer they should have had the daffodil yellow beer . . .
We enjoyed our time in New York, but on the negative side we were concerned at the amount of security required by our hotel – I cannot remember the name of the hotel, but I do remember that we were on the ground floor and the windows were barred.
Something like this
and the locks on the door to secure the room –
again, something like this, but I think our room had larger locks and more of them, and all I wanted to do was make sure we were not involved in a fire!
By the time I’d worked the locks out we’d have been dead.
Obviously, society dictated that this amount of security was required, which was a disappointment to me and changed my long-held image of America.
It would be about twenty-three years before I would return to New York, but this visit in the 1990’s would be from Sydney in Australia, via London, not Manchester, UK.