John McCullagh September 5, 2008
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Playing there as young boys we used to marvel at how deep the water was in this Mill Race:  and with the aid of a stick cut from one of the many trees and bushes…


The old Mill Race

… that grow alongside the disused tramway, we used to partake in the dangerous practice of trying to reach down and touch the bottom of the Mill Race.

 

The dried up bed of the Mill Race still remains to this day and when you stand at the bottom of it you can appreciate just how deep it must have been.

 

As a young boy I used to watch the water from the mill pond flowing out from a metal grill at the front of Craigmore Mill and thence back once more into the Bessbrook River.  I was always a little overawed watching this display of hydro power. 

 

 A short distance beyond Craigmore Mill the river flows under the Newry to Goraghwood railway line. This old railway has long gone and nowadays there is little to show that a railway line ever had been here, that is, except the bridge that once carried the line over the Bessbrook River.

 

This was the old railway bridge that I had set out that morning to rediscover. The bridge is a strong stone structure, a single granite arch type, typical of all the bridges on this old line. Hopefully this old stalwart of Victorian engineering has escaped the onward march of progress. 

 

I walked through Craigmore and at that hamlet’s northern end, just at the point where the old tram track used to cross the road leading down to the mill I came upon the total chaos and devastation that was the new motorway development.

The new road cuts a swathe of destruction through one end of the hamlet of Craigmore.

 

One large very-grand house in fact is standing bravely like a sentry, right slap-bang in the middle of where the new road is passing. It rises courageously amid the destruction. You can almost hear it say to the bulldozers, ‘thou shall not pass.’  I don’t rate its chances once those Komatsu bulldozers get to work.

… Journeys: wading the river .. ….

 

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