Jim Henry - A lifetime's odyssey
A collection of old cine footage from Jim’s life which we have had digitised and preserved.
Doohoma and the West of Ireland
- Henry’s pub looks out over Blacksod Bay. Straight ahead is Blackrock, on the right,the Mullet peninsula, on the left, Achill’s Saddle Head.
- Binnie Brady, Jim’s sister was the last Henry to own the bar till she sold it to the present owners. (now called the Sea Rod Inn)
- Inish Gleoire was once owned by Darby Keane, an ancestor of Jim Henry’s. He kept sheep on the island. It’s used only by fishermen now.
- Jim brought his family to Doohoma as often as he could. At first they’d have stayed with his mother but as the family grew, he’d take a house in the vicinity. The journey from Belfast was long and arduous, especially in the early days. They often stopped in Enniskillen or Glencar for a picnic weather permitting.
Doohoma and the West of Ireland 11.27 min
Africa 3.06 min
- Flying into Addis Abeba in the early 60s.
- The Lion of Judah, symbol of Haile Salassie, (then still emperor) but also symbol of Ethiopia.
- May and Jim visiting friends in Kenya.
- Nairobi, 1963, celebrating independence from Britain, flags and shields everywhere.
- Driving through the National Park.
- May resisting bargains.
- Arriving in the desert.
- Camel train.
- Installation of the Sheik of Beihan.
The Sheik of Beihan asked Jim to diagnose and treat his wife. With typical modesty Jim said anyone could have done the same but the Sheik was very grateful and invited him to his installation and afterwards gave him two ancient alabaster heads.
- The flags are very much of the time: the Protectorate of South Yemen. The parade includes farm machinery and schoolchildren to show how Beihan was marching with the times.
- RAF Khormaksar:
- Planes landing, Jim in his Fiat at the medical centre
Steamer Point. The shopping area.
Jim enjoyed his little Fiat though his taller friends had to keep the roof open.
- Boats at the port.
- Helicopter casevac. Jim left on boat to come ashore.
On several occasions Jim had to be lowered from a helicopter to attend patients, once was in the Radfan Valley, another was here, at sea.
- Back at the medical centre.
- At the Races with planes taking off in background.
- Camel race
Though very far from home, RAF personnel carried on some practices as if back in the UK, adapting to the local circumstances. A plane taking off close by doesn’t seem to affect either horses or camels.
- Sea and port.
There is a very obvious contrast between the locals and their circumstances and the luxury of the cruise ships dropping in to the Port of Aden.
The doctors had to work hard here but there was leisure time on the beach.
- Jim had a liking for floral shirts.
- Airshow with troops carrier.
- May visiting friends.
- At the seaside.
- Conquest Bay, Krater.
- Steamer Point, more shopping.
- Cameldrawn cart and May driving in the sand.
May learnt to drive in Aden but was never tempted to drive at home – it wasn’t the same as the desert.
- Little Aden and Al Lithiad.
- Flying to Kamaran, an island off Yemen coast.
Aden. RAF Khormaksar (25 min)
Singapore 1.55 min
- Exhibition of painting. Mid 60s.
- Fascination with shop signs, European, Malay and Chinese.
- The port.
- Busy market with rickshaws.
- Famous temple of Srimariamman.
- Arriving at Locking, being greeted by CO’s wife Mrs Howlett.
Locking was an RAF base near Weston Super Mare, an ideal location for sight seeing round the Cotswolds etc.
- Prize giving.
- Chew Magna, Bath, New Inn Gloucester, Axbridge, King John’s Hunting Lodge Wells.
Jim enjoyed the strange English names, while May enjoyed the history. Visitors were often brought to a 15th C building in Axbridge which had nothing to do with King John but was a wool merchant’s house.
England 3.24 min
Monte Carlo Autumn 1965
- May at the harbour in Monte Carlo
- Going to Cyprus overland and then taking the ferry, afforded Jim and May some time to explore parts of France and Italy
- Italian service station
While driving in Italy, Jim had a near accident where a car careered across the road and left him nowhere to go but fortunately there was a service station just at that point and he swerved into it. Several bystanders in the garage applauded his quick thinking.
- Rome, Piazza del Repubblica, Vittorio Emmanuele monument, St Peter’s.
- Colosseum and leaving Rome.
Italy (2:06 mins)
Cyprus 13.52 min
- House at Kensington.
- Roman theatre Curium,
mosaics, Aphrodite’s rock, mosaics,
- Kyrenia, Jim’s four children, Joyce Ann, Edmund, Phelim, James and Basil.
The first winter that Jim was in Cyprus, he brought the family out, including his mother-in-law who flew for the first time in her life (she admired the clouds and wondered could you go outside the plane and walk) there were no quarters available for an officer of his rank and many of his colleagues were amazed that he settled for quarters in “Kensington”.
- Limassol, beaches, Jim swimming,
- Chameleon, RC church Episkopi, Basil and James serving Mass.
The chameleon was called Henry 8th as there were 8 family members there at the time, including May’s mother.
- Mt Troodos, observation centres, ponies, go carting.
- Curium theatre with Fr Aspinwall, Tunnel Beach.
When it got too hot in summer, the family went up into the Troodos mountains. During winter there was skiing.
- Paramali garden, family together and Jim in Gp Capt uniform, including “brass hat”.
By summer time the Henrys were installed in what was deemed more suitable accommodation for a senior officer in Paramali. (A Group Captain is the army equivalent of a full colonel in the army)
- Episkopi, “Dodge City”, neighbour’s dog,
- Tunnel Beach and Shahib Din’s.
Work started early in Episkopi but finished early too, about 4 pm so the family used to go down to Tunnel beach and in between swims they’d eat chips at Shahib Din’s. Jim used to have a bottle of coke poured into a pint glass and filled with water to quench his thirst.)
Malta Autumn 1968
- Flying into Malta
- May in the old town,
- Aircraft carrier.
- Visiting churches with Lady Gordon Jones.
Malta (2:52 mins)
The Holy Land (4:56 min)
The Holy Land 1970
- May’s friend Toni Thompson
- Dome of the Rock,
- Holy Sepulchre,
- Via Dolorosa,
- Wailing Wall,
- Lunch on the shores of the Sea of Galilee
- Beirut Castle, canon balls
- Famous Pillars of Jupiter, Baalbek,
At this time Beirut was a beautiful mediterranean city with many interesting, historic sites.
Beirut Castle originally 8th C was renovated by Jean d’Ibelin during the crusades.
The ancient ruins in the valley of Beqaa have some of the heaviest stones ever quarried.
Lebanon (3:02 mins)
Tehran (2:30 mins)
- Flying to Tehran.
- Downtown Tehran with statue of the poet Ferdowsi.
- Iranian mountains
- Clonmell, May with history book.
Jim missed the Irish countryside and seascapes when he was abroad. May loved the history everywhere.
- Dublin, Stephen’s Green with Phelim Henry
- Horse Show. May and Jim were often to be found at the Dublin Horse Show if they were in Ireland in August.
Ireland (4:39 mins)
Germany (25 mins)
Germany Winter 1972
- East Berlin
- River Spree
- No man’s land, the Wall
- Galicia, Penitents in hoods, Holy Week
- San Diego di Compostella, May, Jim, Phelim and James Henry.
Spain (3:32 mins)
USA (3:32 mins)
- New York skyline
- Statue of Liberty
- Twin Towers
- On the Ferry
- Central Park
- Jim with walking stick
- View from the hotel