Characters, — July 6, 2009 10:02 — 0 Comments

I meet my wife-to-be …

Strange how names, faces and personalities shine across more than forty years as though untouched by time.  I spent nearly five years in Newry and can honestly say that the memories of the people I worked with in those years are clearer and more vivid than most later work placements. 

Lou Cole and Teresa Clarke – two feisty guardians of the town boxes; Anita Hale, blond and willowy; Sally Quinn, vivacious and fun loving; Ena Cust, large and imposing – who wasn’t at all sure about my intentions towards Sadie Mackrell (who I married in 1961); Miss Downing (I never knew her first name), shy and retiring; Bill Wallace, tall, reserved, polite; Ray Dilworth (emigrated to New Zealand); Frank Connor (emigrated to Australia); Willy Wylie, Jimmy O’Connor, – and many more I see now in my minds eye.

See Group Photograph taken in October 1961.


On morning in early 1958, about three months after I transferred to Newry I was standing behind the counter when a petite and striking dark haired girl arrived to start work. As soon as I saw her I knew that she was special and I said to myself that this was the girl I would marry.  Sadie Mackrell lived in Warrenpoint and had been transferred from Belfast.  It took me six months to ask her out.  When in the summer of 1960 we decided to get engaged we went to Dublin on the train from Warrenpoint, changing at Goraghwood.  We had a great day in Dublin, bought the ring in McDowells Happy Ring House in O’Connell Street, and, as was usual in those days, smuggled it over the border.


... more later …

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