Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Old photos, happy memories.

This picture brings back so many happy memories of childhood holidays in the country in Ireland.  In Cloneygowan near  Tullamore, Offally to be exact.  The little village where my dad was born.  We used to stay for a week with Uncle Tom in his white-washed, thatched cottage and have the best time imaginable.  This was the cottage where my Irish grandparents lived and where my dad was born .My Mother, me, Jean (both on the ginnet) Maureen and Uncle Tom.  Approx 1956 In this picture, taken around 1956, is my mother, with me sitting on the old ginnet behind my sister Jean.  Maureen, my other sister, is standing and that’s Uncle Tom.

Uncle Tom was the oldest  son in my dad’s family and he inherited the cottage.  There was no work to be had in the country and my father needed to earn a living so at the age of  16/17 he sold his bike and with the money from it he travelled to England to look for work.  I don’t know if this was planned or done on the spur of the moment but I do know his poor mother knew nothing about it until he wrote to her from England!  Can you imagine that?  She must have been frantic.On holiday in the country i.e. Cloneygowan, Offaly. Maureen, Ken, Jean behind him and me with some of the neighbours.

In this picture are, front row, Maureen, Ken, me, Jean is standing behind Ken.  The other three people were neighbours.  Don’t we all look happy?  That’s because we were. 

I have only recently thought about this part of it – I don’t remember the sleeping arrangements. I’m thinking there must’ve been a lot of bed sharing going on.  The cottage only had two bedrooms and there were six of us, plus Uncle Tom.  I need to ask my sisters about that.

It also had no electricity or plumbing or any modern conveniences.  There were no floor-coverings, I think the floors were the old stone flags.  One lasting memory is the smell of peat burning in the old black range.  I can smell it now, heaven! I can remember being taken to the bog by horse and cart to collect the peat… Like I said at the beginning these pictures bring back so many happy memories.

I could go on and on.  No doubt my girls will read this and think, but that’s what you’re doing Mother! 

Until next time. 

Kathleen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember those old days too.It was the absolute best memories a child growing up in rural England could possibly have. We had the time of our lives. Everything was different to us. The weather, the food, thecountry living; everything. We adapted though didn't we? Remember that Jean stayed at Uncle Jonh's house and I wouldn't stay with them without my Mam. You,me Mother and I think Ken shared the one big bed and Uncle Tom and my dad shared the other bedroom. Tom did too when he went. We must have been crowded but how did we know we were just thrilled to be there. I think back to those times as some of the best I ever had. I am glad we have each other to remember them with.

Keep your pictures coming. I really enjoy them. Love,Moll