I was born in 1946 and raised on the north coast of Ireland, near Portrush, on the border of counties Antrim and Londonderry, and educated at Carnalridge Primary School and Coleraine Academical Institution.

I left school when I was 16 and worked for two years as a junior quantity surveyor with Dalzell & Campbell, in Coleraine.

In 1965, when I was 18, I left Ireland to see the world and make my fortune, both of which are still works in progress.

Until I left Ireland I was known as Leonard Douglas Blackwood and as Blackie at grammar school.  Since then, I have been known as Len Blackwood, except for a few years in Australia, California and London, when some friends knew me as Douglas Blackwood, my second name.

Why Douglas?

Cherchez la femme…


4 thoughts on “About”

  1. Was an inst boarder from 1993-96. Still know the war cry by heart, always interested in its origins. Yours is the first bit of info I have found on it. Interesting blog!


  2. Len, so interesting to read your dad played piano for Ernie mann.. so did my mum! Edith Martin, later Thomas.
    She would have been about 19 then? Around 1935?

    Later her and my dad Stanley lived beside ernie, in 12 Princess Street… God’s country.

    Take care


    1. Hello David, I clearly remember my parents speaking of your mother. I think that my father took over from her after the war. Later, when Ernie Mann retired, my father became the band leader. I have never known what happened to your mother or Ernie.


      1. Great to hear from you, however this site works. My email..in case you ever need it is cherylanddavid2@aol.com

        My mum died of cancer, sadly, in 1969 when i was 12, not sure what happened of ernie. But i do have loads of old photos, …apparently it wS Speedy moore that introduced my yorkshire Raf dad, to My mum qho grew up at the aird, Giants causeway. Sadly nobody is alive any more to find out the real stories. Im married to a welsh lass, and existing on whitchurch shropshire border. Always homesick.. lol. Happy new year!


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