Carlingford of Old 2

Many evenings after school with my pals Jimmy, Jack and Brendan I explored the walls of King John’s Castle. Many’s the time we risked life and limb searching for hand grips and toe holds, to reach the top of the main parapet.

From this lofty perch we – like the gulls – had a bird’s eye view of the village and the tapestry of life that unfolded before us.

As we looked down on the harbour, men were busy loading sacks of Cooley potatoes on to a steam ship bound for Liverpool. Cooley potatoes were famous for their flavour and size back in the early part of the last century.

As we looked up the Lough we saw one of kelly’s coal boats steaming towards Newry. The outline of Rostrevor and Cloughmore in the Low Mournes cast their reflected shapes on the shining waters of the Lough.

In the other direction the Great Northern Hotel in Greenore – with its sentinel-like stand of trees – proudly marks the mouth of the Lough on the Carlingford side.

We glance sideways and espy a plume of smoke ….

‘It’s the train leaving Greenore Station! It’ll be here in a few minutes!’ Jimmy shouted.

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