Many thanks for the prompt and informative response, John. Really appreciate the pictures too. Firstly, about Derrybeg Villas itself.
I too went to Dorothy Shea for elocution lessons and even participated in the Newry Festival. But I was no star and one year was it. I was more successful playing the piano and competed for several years. At that time Newry enjoyed a surprisingly high talent in the arts and the music and drama festivals were very well supported. We had top level adjudicators from England. Leslie Woodgate officiated one of the years I competed.
Derrybeg Villas was built sometime in the 1930’s, I believe, by Frank Tredgold and he was our landlord. He lived in the house nearest the railway line. I believe we were the second tenant in our house. Strangely there was only one house changed tenants in the thirteen years we were there.
The family names, in order, were Tredgold, Findlay, Clements, Gunn, Shea and Robb. The houses all had large vegetable gardens in front and a plantation of tall fir trees provided privacy from the traffic on the Camlough Road. Going on up the lane there were two semi-detached houses on the left and maybe a quarter mile further the Kelly farm on the right.
That is where I had to walk to every Thursday, after school, to bring back a half gallon can full of fresh buttermilk and a couple of ‘pats’ of country butter floating on the top. A rare luxury during the war years.