‘There was much talk around my table in Dick’s back in the late 1960s, of jobs – or rather, of the lack of them ….
Two members of the crazy, prophetically-named Mad Earth Band, Jim McManus and Martin Payne.
My guests were of an age to join the labour market, if there was one.
Some tried to arrange to go to England with their friends, to find work.
I learned later (when they returned – or their stay-at-home pals discussed things in Dick’s) that several of them did emigrate, many never to return.
Benny McKeown – whose name is scratched on my surface – was a case in point.
Benny, at that time, lived up the Pound Road, beside the sculptor John Haugh. John later made the figures for the Cathedral outdoor crib. John’s story is told on Newry Journal.
Benny moved to England in the early 1970s and still lives there. He has a brother called Peter who lives now on Courtenay Hill.
Gerry Brady, also from Monaghan Row, also emigrated to England. Over there he married a Japanese lady and for a time moved to that distant country to live. Eventually he returned, using the trans Siberian Railway! He talks of returning some day, via the Silk Road.
Jim McManus, also of Pound Road, moved to England too. He settled in London where he lives today.
Jean Havern was from the Windmill Road back then, when there were no more than half a dozen houses up there. Today there are hundreds, literally! Jean had a sister called Joan. Jean still lives in Newry and would call in from time to time!
Ann Hagan is a sister of Dennis Hagan. Dennis married an English lady Simone. Among other places he worked in the (much-featured) Newry Mineral Water Company and in various Meat Factories in Greenbank. Dennis achieved fame by becoming joint-author of the historical booklet ‘Dirty Town, Proud People: a History of the Church Street Area’ back in the 1980s. He still calls into The Cavern occasionally. Ann still lives in Church Street.
Myles McKevitt worked with one of my other signatories in Newry Metal Fabrications many moons ago; later he worked in Englave at Warrenpoint.
I will leave it to my human friends to fill in further details of the story scratched on my surface!’
And … I am a bus?
Ah! That’s a story for another day!
… Mrs Kelly’s door-knocker …