How a Belfast sailor met his Carrickfergus Girl

A love story between a sailor in the Royal Navy and his ‘Carrickfergus Girl’ who met during a dance in Belfast’s famed Floral Hall on Christmas Eve in 1968, now made into a catchy new country song by a family friend has gone.

That video of the song has just been made available to watch on YouTube and contains some pictures of the couple during the 1960s and a video of them dancing a few years back.

Sailor and her Carrickfergus Girl, also known as Gary and Rosie Eames, were surprised by the song at Rosie’s 70th birthday party in 2016, when their daughter Tori arranged to write the song to show how they meet.

It was written, produced and presented by Steve J Curtis, a musician from Helsworth in Suffolk who has been friends with the couple for over 30 years.

Gary said: “Her research about Carrickfergus, Shore Road, Floral Hall and Glitter Ball was great and to put it all together we were meeting for the first time and singing Carrickfergus Girl at Rosie’s party, it was just Was amazing – dancing has always been something magical for us.”

Rosie moved with her family to Carrickfergus when she was just five, and moved to London for work in 1968, when she was just 22, and was coming home for Christmas when she met Gary. Was.

Ironically, Gary’s family, originally from Suffolk, had just moved to Northern Ireland and had come to visit them for the holidays from the Royal Navy when he attended a Christmas Eve dance at Floral Hall. .

The video for the original song ‘Carrickfergus Girl’ features a picture of Rosie from the 1960s wearing the red dress she wore on the night they met.

The story tells of how Rosie loved going to the dance hall and is reminiscent of some of her favorite bands.


Love Story: The Carrickfergus Girl, Rosie Eames née Hebburn, and sailor Gary Eames, whom she married after meeting at Floral Hall

The video also features a painting of Floral Hall, created by famed artist Ronnie McClunse, the husband of a friend of Rosie’s who joined her at the dance the night she met Gary.

After meeting at a Christmas Eve dance, the couple lived together for just seven months before marrying at the Methodist College Chapel in Belfast on 12 August 1969, one of the first weddings to take place there.

Gary said that just six weeks after the wedding, he was out at sea for 10 months.

Rosie then moved back to her flat in London and continued to work as a teacher.

“I would write Rosie at home because of course we didn’t have a mobile or a phone,” Gary said.

“It would take up to three weeks to get a response, it wasn’t like just sending an email!”


Rosie was in the red dress she wore on the night the couple met

After the completion of his first 10 months, he came home for four months and then was sent away for 10 months.

Rosie said it was certainly a rough start for a young marriage, “but we survived it”.

In Gary’s 11 years working in the Royal Navy, the couple moved to different areas of England before eventually settling in Essex, where they are still based. They had two children, Victoria and Tim.

Despite living in England for more than 50 years, Rosie and Gary stated that they would still continue to tour Northern Ireland every other year.

Rosie said she hopes the video and song about how they met will “bring back many good memories for many”.

“The 1960s were really a great time to be a teenager, show bands, cars, dancehall, concerts, getting ready on Saturday nights and expecting you to be asked to dance, it’s just Had a great time,” she said.

Gary said: “We hope that whoever listens to this song will be reminded of their teenage years and that it will be a magical retreat for the people of Northern Ireland as a whole, and perhaps anyone else who has lived in Floral Hall for the rest of their lives.” Meet me with love.”