Like any other town in this world Newry is constantly changing. Street names change, the layout of roads and streets alter, sometimes dramatically. The one aspect that seems to have remained constant over the past hundred years or so is the course of the two waterways that parallel each other in their passage through the town.
Leastways they have remained unchanged when viewed through the eyes of a bird flying high above our urban environment. Back down on terra firma and viewed from a more humble human perspective our once grand River and Canal have morphed into something quite different, something more dark and brooding.
The one obvious street change to meet the eye of any time-traveller, who has just checked into Newry from times past, perhaps from just over a century ago, would be the complete devastation and total destruction of the North Street and Water Street areas of the town. There are other more subtle changes: some of the street names have changed, and also some of the smaller thoroughfares have altered or disappeared altogether.
‘Smaller thoroughfares!’ What a quaint selection of words to describe the homes of the good citizens who lived therein. But nevertheless small thoroughfares they were. Places like: Bell‘s Row, Soho Place and Brown’s Yard.
‘ BROWN’S YARD!’ do I hear? ‘Where in heaven’s name was that?’
Well, if you really want to know… then I suggest we climb on board my good time ship THE TARDIS and set the clock for eighty years ago and let’s go back..back.. back…’.
……….. more later …………