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Memories Of Christmas Past - a Memory of Portavogie.

I left Ireland with my Family in 1953 and left part of my heart there. My Grandparents lived in Portavogie right by the seaside, they had a farm and a General store. Granny always had a pot of soup on her stove in the winter, and many people would have a bowl of soup to warm them. She always said, "always put an extra potato in the pot for the man from over the hill" I always wondered who the man from over the hill was. Just anyone who came along!

My home was in Belfast, but I always went on the bus for weekends, and my 6 week summer holiday. Portavogie was home to me. One day just before Christmas when I was about 10 years old. I asked my Grandfather if I could decorate the shop window, he quickly told me "yes" and I started with cotton wool and glue, I had seen a window in Belfast and wanted to really do this up. I broke off little pieces of cotton wool and glued them across the window, writing MERRY CHRISTMAS. When Grandfather and I went outside to look, I was so upset as it was backwards and read SAMTSIRHC YRREM. My Grandfather just looked and said "we will leave it, God knows what was in your heart and He understands it". Merry Christmas. What special Grandparents I had.

My mum was Jeannie Mc Clements and her dad was drowned at sea. Granny remarried, George Gowan, and the shop was on Springfield Rd. down a laneway right by the sea. I would walk to the harbour and meet the boats coming in and always come back with a string of fish.

I don't think children today have the imagination we had in making fun with very little. Playing on the Beach, catching smicks and crabs, gathering winkles and limpits. There was always something to do and we were never bored - if we were, Granny would find something for us to do.

Beautiful memories of Ireland, I love going back!.
Rita (Watt) Gillard

A memory shared by Rita Gillard on Jan 4th, 2015. Send Rita Gillard a message

 Comments & Feedback

Sun Dec 6th 2020, at 5:47 pm
Sorrel Price commented:
Love that story Rita! Those days have long gone!

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