I'm From Aughnacloy - a Memory of Aughnacloy.
I was born on Sunday 6th Frbruaqry 1944 in the residential area of the Central Bar, Moore Street, Aughnacloy, Nurse Shields was the midwife. The family moved to Cross Lane prior to moving to Moygashel in 1949. I remember Miss Lowery and her shop, my mother and I were frequent visitors there, Miss Lowery, an ex music teacher was strict and one had to behave in her presence but she was keen to ensure children were educated and encouraged reading, she always gave me a Rupert Bear Annual. I also remember Sergeant Irvin, Constable Arlow and his children Dickie and Daphne, Father Fox, Reverend Brownell and Bob Martin who lived in the cottages in Cross Lane. We lived in the cottage bordering the bottom of Dr Pringle's garden. Across the road from the Central Bar was McNulty's, Daly's and another pub. Tom Sawyers, Spears Solicitors and a bicycle shop are names I remember. At the top of the town where the market stalls were was a triangle weigh bar for the cattle dealers and at the bottom of town was the diamond. My older sisters and friends would go for walks out the Dungannon Road and we would stop at Rev. Brownells gates and go inside to play under the 'fairy tree'. Another place of interest was the railway yard which was closed. I remember walks out a road which I think was the road to Augher, there was an old buidling which the children would run past as there was frightening stories about the building, I think it must have been the workhouse during the famine and then a sanitorium. Although I was not school age I often was allowed into the classroom with my sister, well before the age of four, and the teacher's Miss Kenny and Mrs Quinn were very good. I can remember the cinema and the customs hut outside Aughnacloy on the way to Monaghan. There was also the custom hut outside Monaghan so either hut would expect you to say if you had anything to declare. I can just remember being taken across the fields for a walk over the blackwater river to a country shop in a house where we got sweets and cigarettes - the cigarettes were for the older members of the family or friends and the sweets were for the older children who had gone to the shop - everything was on ration and I remember the ration books and how I had nearly cut one up, I didn't realise the value of the coupons. There was plenty of stories about the yanks that had been stationed outside Aughnacloy during the war waiting for their orders for D-Day 6th June 1944.
The family moved to England in 1954 and for some years would return to Dungannon and call to Aughnacloy during the summer holidays. As I am the youngest and only member of the family born in Aughnacloy, having left at a young age, no one would remember me but I remember Aughnacloy and am proud of my birth place. I have spent most of my working years in community work and like to think it comes from the ethos of those people long ago who had lived and struggled through the hard times that I only very briefly glimsped. I am 68 years old now and will be taking it easier after 20 years in a Voluntary sector organisation for the welfare of Irish born persons in England. I did visit Aughnacloy around 2001 but I would not have known anyone, however, I did remember the very wide street, it was just the same as in my childhood.
A memory shared by on Aug 20th, 2012.
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