The Penny Farthing takes to the streets of Derry

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The memories came flooding back for ex Derry City footballer Dan Campbell this week when he unearthed an old Journal photograph capturing the day he took a penny farthing on to the streets of Derry.

“I was going through a bundle of old photographs the other night when I came across this one and it took me right back to a bygone era,” Dan told the ‘Journal’ yesterday,“ to be honest I forgot it was there.”

The photo shows Dan and the penny farthing he rode around the town as part of the Long Tower Carnival of 1953.

“ I didn’t own the bike, it belonged to Dan McCauley who owned a shop in Sackville Street.

Soon Dan was putting in the hard yards learning to master the bone shaking bike ahead of the big parade.

“The caretaker let me practice in the Showgrounds and after a couple of months I got the hang of it. If I fell once I must have fallen a hundred times. I remember one time before the carnival I took the bike out along Lecky Road and the whole place came to a standstill,” joked Dan, “ All the wee ones were shouting for their mothers and fathers to come out and have a look.”

But the carnival was undoubtedly the main event.

The whole parish turned out, you couldn’t move for people. Fr Conway didn’t know it was me on the bike. Only afterwards when I got off the bike did he realise. There’s nothing like this nowadays, it’s sadly a bygone era now and sadly missed,” Dan said.