Memories of the Black Mountain…

Below Don tells us the background to the song:

I wrote this song for my brother who lives in England.  We meet up several times a year and it’s not long before the conversation inevitably focuses on the great times we spent as teenagers exploring the Black Mountain in those hazy summer days.

The mountain rests in the heart of the Belfast Hills and provides the back drop to Belfast’s skyline.

Living at the foot of the Black Mountain, I always considered the mountain as a an extension of my back garden.  The school summer holidays afforded family and friends the opportunity to explore and play on the mountain everyday (weather permitting) for eight glorious weeks.

We would rise early in the morning in anticipation of an exciting day ahead; there was never a dull moment on the mountain.  Sandwiches prepared we were off,  starting at the mountain gully we would climb up the steep incline getting drenched as the water cascaded down the narrow ravine from the river above.

Reaching the top we would be soaked through and dog-tired from the daring climb. After a well-earned rest we would trek over to the famous ‘Hatchet Field’ catching the rays and admiring the wonderful views. To the left you could see the hills of Scotland and to the right the majestic Mourne Mountains rising up in the horizon.

Photo by the Antrim Rambler

Sandwiches ate and thirst quenched we would head off to Tornaroy, following the river, taking the occasional dip in its cool flowing waters.  I remember the time we all jumped into the river to cool down on an unbearable hot afternoon, only to find the decomposed body of a dead sheep floating in the water.  The stench was overbearing and we all screamed in horror as we quickly climbed out of the river, sick as pigs.

Following the Colin River we find ourselves walking through the beautiful Colin Glen with its famous waterfall.  We would dare each other to stand under the cold water flowing down the waterfall. Drying off in the hot sun we would dander down the Glen Road and home sweet home, with a hot meal waiting for us.

From 9am to 9pm exploring the Black Mountain –those were the days, there was no broadband, satellite television, games consoles or social network sites. Kids had to use their imagination. We would play all day and into the late evening on the Black Mountain. Wholesome fun and fond memories.


Do you have memories of the the mountains around Belfast? If so please leave us a comment below.