Anne Hailes: How The Beatles got abbreviated in Belfast and tin foil – shiny or dull?
When I want to reflect heat I use the foil shiny side up – roasting vegetables and slow cooking. But always remove to finish naturally Michael Deane
THERE are two women in east Belfast who are especially grateful to Trevor Kane, the entrepreneur promoter who died earlier this month.
He was an engaging man with a winning way who persuaded the big names to come to Belfast in the 60s and they came in their droves.
Biggest of all were the Fab Four, The Beatles, who were at the top of the charts and touring the world. Trevor reckoned Belfast should see some of the action so he approached their manager Brian Epstein, said come on over and they did, twice.
They'd played the Ritz in1963 but the highlight came the following year when they appeared in two sell-out concerts in the King's Hall. I know – I was there – and the excitement was fever pitch. It was impossible to hear them over the noise of 16,000 screaming fans both inside and outside the hall but we saw them and that was enough to dine out on for years to come – even to this every day.
But for the two Belfast teenagers it went much further. Patricia told me about her day.
Early that morning she joined fans at Aldergrove to greet their heroes. She and her mate got prime places on a balcony and watched them come off the BEA Viscount, acknowledge the crowd and be whisked off to Belfast for the first of two concerts.
“We were in the front row at both concerts which was amazing. I was in love with George and Pat was crazy about Paul – we were in seventh heaven.”
Not content with that up-close and personal experience with their heartthrobs, Patricia and Pat decided to give them a send-off next morning.
“We'd heard they were catching the early morning ‘standby' flight so we got all the money we could lay our hands on, got a taxi and arrived at the airport about 5.30am. We were the only people there when the warm-up band arrived, Sounds Incorporated, and we had great craic with them before they moved on to the departure lounge.
"Then there was a sort of excitement at the entrance doors and in walked The Beatles. Our hearts were pounding as we went over to them. They stopped and talked to us, Pat kissed Paul on the cheek and I thrust an autograph book at George and he began to sign it when someone ordered them to move on as the plane was about to take off. From the other side of the barrier he shouted, “Sorry, Love – catch”, and he threw the book at me.
"That precious page, 57 years on reads: 'With love from Geor.' No time to finish the autograph... However, half a Beatle is better than no Beatle at all.”
Another teenager in the audience was well known local photographer Chris Hill, who took photos which he sold to school friends, and it was the beginning of his illustrious international career.
:: Scamming alert
ROYAL Mail have warned us to watch out for online fraud. Texts arrive unexpectedly to say that a Royal Mail parcel is waiting for delivery and requesting you to click on a website address and pay a fee.
With so many of us shopping online, fraudsters are concentrating on targeting us, so beware.
In my experience if a parcel cannot be delivered to your address, the postman will leave a card asking you either to collect at a sorting office or to get in touch and arrange a new delivery date. So don't be tempted, don't give any details or bank information – this is what they are after.
On Wednesday morning I got a phone call at 8.23am from Amazon to say my new smartphone had been dispatched and my card would be charged £399!
Phoned the bank. “Did you give any details of your account?” Absolutely not. “Then you're OK.”
I knew it was a scam but you like to be sure you've all your bases covered.
:: Shiny or dull?
SOMETIMES you'll come across a page on the internet which attracts your interest and so it was when I came across 'tips with tin foil' – coming up to Easter and maybe cooking ahead for the family, tin foil is very useful.
But the question is, shiny side up or dull side up? Some would say it doesn't matter and certainly I don't pay much attention to this quandary but in the need for factual accuracy I turned to the man at the top, chef and restaurateur Michael Deane.
“When I want to reflect heat I use the foil shiny side up – roasting vegetables and slow cooking. But always remove to finish naturally. To keep heat in, I turn it to the shiny side – for instance, wrapping a joint or roast chicken etc.”
And what about wrapping food in foil and putting it into the freezer?
“I wouldn't use it to wrap and store is it rips way too easily. If I had to, it would be shiny side in.” Good advice from the top.
Another idea concerns frustrating squirrels who like to climb up to a birdseed container to have a feed: Wrap the stand in foil – it's a great deterrent.
Putting a strip of foil underneath your ironing-board cover makes ironing easier and quicker; I've also used foil as a cleaner both on the iron and for removing stubborn food stains from saucepans and on the surface of an old Aga cooker.
:: Time for red faces
DID you remember to change the clock yesterday early morning? Doesn't really matter if you forgot this year unless you have an appointment today – anyway, you'll soon catch up.
It was always funny at church on the first day of summer time when families would arrive just as the service was coming to an end. It happened every year as sure as eggs are eggs. Easy to be caught out, I know only too well...