Wednesday, 19 October 2016


You can see where they've blasted away the limestone rock to make way for the road - the road that leads to the car park at Ballintoy Harbour:

I'm not sure when this particular road was made, but the famous Antrim Coast Road, which wends its way from Larne to Portrush and which you drive along to get to Ballintoy, was constructed in the early part of the 19th Century.  In a similar way to this one we see here, by blasting through rock.  The surveyor for the Commission of Public Works in Ireland at the time was a Mr William Bald, a Scotsman.  Beckford's Patent Safety Fuse was a godsend, apparently, and helped reduce the number of accidents, which I'm sure were still numerous.  All in all a very impressive undertaking, considering the horse, cart and manual labour were responsible for moving the millions of tonnes of rock which must have needed shifting.  The cost in today's money was something like £370 million - I wonder if it would get built today, in these times of austerity?

I remember when I was very young, sometime in the late 60s or maybe early 70s, mum and dad had driven to Ballintoy for a 'day out'.  Probably it was a Sunday - that's what we did after church.  And, as happened frequently in those days, the car broke down.  No rescue service in them days, no siree.  Dad had to go find a house with a phone and call our farmer neighbour who came out with a tractor and towed us home...not before we told him how to get to Ballintoy.  Never heard of it, never been there was his story. It's wasn't that far away from us, about 20 miles.  But it was on the coast and a farmer in them days had no business going to such places.

No comments:

Post a Comment