DD Motoring: How Santa brought Brian McDaid his first set of wheels

first_imgThis week our motoring columnist Brian McDaid takes us back five decades when he asked Santa for his first set of wheels.Dear Santa50 years ago this week it wasn’t a motoring column I was trying to put together, it was a deadline with a difference in the form of a letter to Santa. Advertisement A couple of weeks later Santa awakened me on Christmas Eve in his big red coat when he experienced a bit of Christmas turbulence as he tried to deliver this future motoring correspondent first set of wheels.Not happy to leave it down beside the tree Santa landed the bike right up beside my bed.Santa seemed to trip over his big coat and fell in between the two beds and on top of my bike. We were giggling under the blankets but dare not take a look out in case Santa wouldn’t leave us anything.Mammy wasn’t a bit impressed. Advertisement “For God’s Sake, would you get up out of there……. Santa.”First Test Drive.On Christmas morning heavy snow prevented a spin out on the new bike. So I had to settle for round and round the kitchen table.On that first test drive, I noticed things weren’t right. Going around the table clockwise was no problem but any effort to circumnavigate in an anticlockwise fashion and I would fall off the bike.On a closer inspection, my father noticed my new bike was missing a stabiliser. Missing a stabiliser my mother chipped in, it was just like Santa was last night. She said he could have done with two stabilisers or three. I later found the broken stabiliser at the scene of Santa’s Christmas Eve’s collision up at at the side of my bed.A view of what MY first set of wheel might have look like back in 1968.The snow eventually clear that year the boy on the blue bike slightly tilted over to his left as he learned to ride his new bike was me.For the last 50 years, I think about that Christmas of 1968 and try and keep the memories in my mind.Style Council. 1968.Neilus McDaid on his red tricycle as he wheels in for the photo shoot at the front door of number 27. He is pictured with Brian in the black coat Cathal in the leopard print reversible jacket all the way from Australia. They are pictured with their cousin Josephine McDaid. Picture By Mary Ellen McDaid.Unfortunately, my brothers were either too young to remember this or my have just blanked it out of their mind by way of dealing with it. Recently my memories were starting to fade from then but that all change this week when a letter arrived on the run into Christmas.A treasured letter with the name of the sender. Mary E. McDaid in beautiful handwriting returns to Glencar 50 years after it was sent in 1969.While all I was worried about that year was that Santa would get my letter for my bike My mother Mary Ellen was writing to her sister on the other side of the world in Australia.Her sister Margaret Devine kept the last letter from her sister Mary Ellen closed to here heart for nearly 50 years and this year she returned it to sender’s address back home from Australia to Glencar.Her letter to her sister includes a lot about her life and her young children growing up, the joys of receiving, a celebration of events and investing in the future of her dressmaking business.In Wolfe Tone Place our kitchen comes sitting room doubled up as a designers catwalk and dressmakers workshop with the constant hum of a singer sewing machine. Smoke and skirts made to order.The front door knocker never cooled with customers arriving with rolls of material under their arm which my mother turned into the fashion piece of the day.That all came to an end in 1969 the year she penned this letter to her sister and spent much of that autumn in hospital in both Dublin and finally in Letterkenny before passing away on the 2nd of January 1970.Here is an extract from her letter from nearly 50 years ago.27 Wolfe Tone PlaceLetterkenny13th Jan ’69.Well, Margaret, the parcel arrived safe and sound and such excitement as the contents caused. The jumpers fitted beautifully and Nelius hit on the duffle Jacket. I can tell you it was well tried on by Brian before he finally handed it over to Nelius.The shirts and tee shirts are ideal too. It was like a fashion show here for a while and Brian told his teacher all about the things that arrived.I have a jumper “on the needles” since last May and it still on the needles. You never sent me the measurements for your two girls, try and remember the next time you write which I hope will be very soon.We had a real Christmas card Christmas this year. It started snowing on Christmas Eve Morning and lasted the whole day and looked lovely, but really put a damper on the shopping.I went down home to the foot of the town in the morning with three of the children and nearly got stranded there for Christmas.Brian was five on Saturday. It is very dark in the morning for school here as the clocks didn’t go back this year and the children need armbands or luminous cases or bags going out.Did I tell you I was in the hospital in October with threatening pleurisy, but they only kept me in nine days and sent me home again without any treatment?I do believe it was muscular rheumatism I had, they do say the symptoms are much the same, anyway I am well again thank god.It was like emergency ward 10 here that week after I left all the children and Fred with tonsillitis and the doctor attending them all.Bida took Cathal & Sadie took Peadar and Fred kept the two bigger boys, you couldn’t get a young girl here now at all for a housekeeper with the free education- now they’re all at school.I got myself a new singer sewing machine, one of the golden panoramics with a cabinet for it and its just like a nice little sideboard when its closed up.Return to Sender, A later from 50 years ago sent back from Australia . Photo Brian McDaidAs you can guess I’m still at the sewing and it doesn’t take much time now or material to cover the young girls. If anything they are shorter this year than ever.Of course, on some they look very nice, buts it’s not always the young who have them so short.It just feels like yesterday this week reading my mothers letter as she described things just as I remembered them all they years ago.When my mum passed away the rattle of the singer sewing Machine went silent and my father couldn’t bear the look of it closed up sitting up by the front window.So the representative from Singer came and took it away. For thirty years we never thought much about it until a friend of mine, Monica Murphy told me she bought it off that same rep who was staying in her B&B.The old Singer Panoramic Gold sewing machine and the letter to Australia from 50 years ago back in Glencar again this week. Photo Brian McDaidMonica gave me my mother’s sewing machine when she closed her business on the Port Rd. It came complete with scribbling on the operating manual that I was blamed for a small boy with a crayon years before.This week her panoramic gold sewing machine complete with its sideboard was united with the letter to Australia they both bring beautiful memories back to Glencar.That broken stabiliser on my first set of wheels was a good lesson in life for me to understand that things are not always perfect. but you’ll get thereHappy Motoring FolksThanks to My Auntie Margaret and Santa… of course.DD Motoring: How Santa brought Brian McDaid his first set of wheels was last modified: November 22nd, 2018 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian McDaidCHristmasmotorslast_img