Kilkeel Square

With two notable exceptions each day of my life until I was fourteen was spent in and around Kilkeel.

As with all the children of the place my activities were confined to an area of six square miles. Our bay bounded it a mile to the east and we seldom strayed beyond an imaginary line – about midway between the town’s little market square and the lovely arm of the mountain range – a few miles to the landward side.

For me it was the best place in the world to live. All streets converged on the town square – the very heart of our town – and it was seldom without traffic.

That is not to say that there ever was congestion or danger of being run down. On Fair Days, the Twelfth of July, the Fifteenth of August, St Patrick’s Day – or when a circus parade passed, it was, as they said ‘brave and throng’ but for the rest of the years there was ample room.

On Fair Days (the last Wednesday in each month) or weekly flax markets (in season) the brae was seldom without a horsedrawn still cart. Sometimes there would be a line of five or six of them tackling the slope at the same time, zig-zagging to make it easier as they toiled to their unharnessing places in the upper Courthouse square or on the street opposite the First Presbyterian Church or ‘Big Meeting’ as it was called.

…….  much more to come …………….

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