The Mill Horn

Watches were expensive and not in vogue with ordinary people in those days. In any case, we didn’t need them! There were many ways to tell the time; there were the trains, the church clock and the mill horns, for example.

Most people knew the times of the trains ferrying passengers back and forth to Warrenpoint. If you couldn’t see them entering and leaving Dublin Bridge Station, then you could hear them! St Mary’s Church clock could be heard striking all over the town. It was easy for us, living so close to it. 

 The Mill sounded its horn for the convenience of its workers but of course everyone else heard it too. The local mill blew its horn each working day at a quarter to seven, then at a quarter past seven, twenty-five to eight, ten to eight and the last horn blew at five to eight when all the workers of the Dromalane Mill had to be standing by their machines ready for the day’s tasks. 

 I hated that last horn! It meant only one thing to me – time to get up for school! Usually I had to leap up in time to arrive at school early, with time left to borrow and copy some boy’s ‘exer’. 

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