Places, — December 17, 2009 9:55 — 0 Comments

Corner Boys

‘Corner boys’ were just the culture of an era …


… one remembers our parents telling us not to hang about the corners – only ‘corner boys’ do that …

… but looking back, it was not the corner but part of the social life …

… it was the place to meet friends, have a bit crack.  Certain people dandering along would stop for a yarn …

… also some of the local characters would come along and give us their expert opinions.

Now, one could stand at any corner but certain groups stood at certain corners …

… those from the better-off end of town would stand around Hill Street – near J.V.Kelly’s shop.

..now sometimes when a certain girl you liked walked past a certain corner on a regular basis, you could position yourself strategically, hoping to make contact.  It worked the other way round too!

Sometimes when a girl liked a boy who stood at a certain corner, this young lady and a couple of her friends would walk past the corner.  You might think it fortuituous or incidental until they turned and made a second pass.  Oh, the old heart beat a bit faster when you were the object of that maid’s interest!  Many strong courtships – indeed not a few marriages – were cemented on less!

Us ones from Carnegat used to stand at Ballybot – on what was known as Stark’s Corner – across the road from McGennity’s pub, some of us hoping to catch the eye of a girl we’d fancy who worked in Stark’s  factory …

I call that period the ‘age of innocence’ … I never heard one smart or rude remark about any young lady that ever passed the corner …

Just remember this time of our young lives:  there were no T.V. – in some homes there was not even a radio so we had to find different ways to amuse ourselves …

… so if there was such a person as the fairy Godmother who came to me tonight and said, ‘I can tip you with with my wand and change your life as it was, growing up around Newry,  I would say

… just leave as it was …’

Tom Wharton 

Australia

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