Dance Bands…

Showbands: We experienced the pleasure of live music from visiting bands at our dances and ceidhles. They would all be fronted by a vocalist and dancers would send up pieces of paper with song requests written on them.

 ‘Skins’ Collectors: One way to supplement a family income was to keep one or more pigs in an enclosed area on an allotment or in a back yard. They would devour anything and the owners would appeal to neighbours to hand over their ‘refuse’ – that is, the ‘skins’ of peeled potatoes and vegetables and the uneaten scrapings off dinner plates. Many complied and there was a steady business. When the new ‘housing estates’ came into being in the late 50’s-60’s the ‘Rent Lady’ was instructed to ensure that tenants weren’t keeping pigs in the yard in breach of their tenancy agreement. Many did anyway.

 The Knife Grinder: This man with his revolving grinding wheel would make periodic visits to the streets and housewives would bring their knives and scissors to him for sharpening. It was too, of course an occasion for gossip!

The Peddlar: He would sell items such as lace, ribbon, thread, needles and buttons. He wasn’t in the big league of the Dromintee Pahvee with his cloths!

Bandstand in The Park: Brass bands were still all the rage and a favourite venue was Warrenpoint Park. Also in Warrenpoint in the summer, talent contests were held where children would dance and sing, recite poetry or play musical instruments for general entertainment.

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