During my all too brief visit to Newry in 2005 I had an even briefer visit to
It has to be said that the appearance of the street shocked and dismayed me! And I’d think it fair to say that a bit of tender loving care would not go amiss.
Naturally I compared it to the place of my childhood. A mistake? Probably.
In spite of that however, I occasionally dust off my memory box and enjoy a wee dander there.
Our house was situated facing south and three or four doors from
My earliest memory of the garden is of waking each morning early and hearing the cooing and cawing of the rooks, doves and pigeons that nested in and fed off the ivy. I loved those sounds and to this day I’m happy to say I am still surrounded by trees and ivy and lots of birds.
My earliest days at school, at the age of three, were spent at the aforementioned
Next door to our house lived the two Misses Wallace. They had a ‘sweet’ shop at the top of
Next door to them was O’Hare’s. A fine family of several boys and girls. The names I can recall are Jim, Edward and Kathleen and possibly there was a Mary. The son of one of those boys went on to dance ballet at the
Further on along the street was the school and beyond that, Corr’s shop from where I carried milk in a jug brought from home. The milk was always creamy and warm. Almost straight from Corr’s cows!
To the east of our house lived several families. I remember Gallaghers. They were Jim, Aidan, Peggy and Dolores. Maybe others that I’ve forgotten. Peggy later became Mrs. Sloane.
There was Lavery’s. They were builders by trade.
There was Florence McNulty. She of the Newry music scene. And many others whose names now escape me.
Further down towards the canal and just on the corner there was a store. Can’t remember exactly what kind of store but they sold ropes. Could have been a corn or ship’s chandler. From that store I could buy a length of rope for skipping and a longer length to make a swing by flinging it over the gas lamp-post that stood like a friendly sentinel outside our front door.
A few doors along on the Quay lived our very good friends the McKay family. Tommy and my Dad worked together for a time in the Milestone – Quinn’s Grocery and Bar. Mrs. McKay and my mother were friends and so I grew up knowing Tom, Anthony, Benny and later, Marie McKay.
A door or two along lived the Carlin family. Michael and Minnie Carlin with their very fine family of seven children. Joe was the eldest whose son owned Carlin’s Record Shop in
And it’s at this special time of year that childhood memories come flooding back.
The many Christmases spent in
And so it was then in those far off days of childhood.
A lovely friendly street with very good neighbours.
Happy times and happy Christmases.
And so for all who live in Newry but especially for those who now reside in