Parish - Characters and nick names
extract from Golden Wonders, by Colum Cromwell)
Nick Names seem to have always been part of being Irish.
Down the years the GAA has given us The Gunner Brady, The
Pook Dillon, The Diamond Hayden, Jobber McGrath, Snitchy
Ferguson, Babs Keating, Bomber Liston, Toots Kelleher, Jinxie
Beggy and many more.
Of course it's not necessarily confined to Ireland. Boxing
has given us The Brown Bomber, The Manassa Mauler, The Boston
Tarbaby etc. etc. all from the USA, while British Soccer
has had The Ghost of White Hart Lane and The Preston Plumber.
In racing we had Scobie Breasley. Last Race Cook and Buster
Parnell and of course Harry Wragg was the Head Waiter apparently
because he always pounced for victory at the very last second.
Growing up in Skryne, the place was full of nick-names and
many of the proud owners of these names were out and out
characters, so much so that people wouldn't recognise them
by their real Christian names. We had the Groom and the
Bundy - Callaghan brothers at the 5 Rds, the Pixie Clusker,
the Landy White, The Bickley Kennedy (Garlow X), The Tan
Allen and his brother The York, The Gutchie O'Hare ("Ouls"
Gutchie and "Young" Gutchie), The Skipper Donnelly,
The Yankee Connell (Pub owner on top of the Hill, born in
the U.S who played a very big part in the fight for Independence
circa 1920 as outlined by Tony Coogan in his book "Politics
and War in Meath"), The Midge Fox and The Dolly Martin.
My grandfather always referred to a man called Patsy Collier
as "Wheeler" and my father talked about characters
in the Rathfeigh area such as Paddy "Boggins"
(Byrne, I think). The "Whicker" Duffy, the "Brock"
Gargan and the "Showman Bennett".
Going to school we had the "Spider" Kelly called
after a Wexford footballer, the "Flash" Bennett
and "George" Dolan, whose real name was Paddy
but very few knew that. In fact, on one occasion Fr Cooney
PP explained to an unbelieving cathecist "He was christened
Patrick but we call him George. "George" was only
about 7 or 8 at the time.
In the Swan family, the title "The Farmer" goes
back many generation. A man who lived briefly at Oberstown
was always referred to as the "Gauxie" Gorman
while a man from neighbouring Walterstown was affectionately
known as Quebec (real name Polean, I think).
On the Meath GAA scene, the Razor Farrell played for Trim,
Hitler Morgan played for Donaghmore, the Ringboard Reilly
played for Dunboyne, whilst among well known officials or
referees were the Ratty brothers from Navan. The Buffer
and The Dinsher, The notorious Rah Doyle from Drumree, the
equally notorious Shed McGrath from Garlow X - Kilcarne.
On the Meath team of the 1930s were The Boiler McGuinness,
The Frog Coffey, The Spog Geraghty and The Weasel Browne
(in goals). The Rasher Cleary was from Curraha - a sort
of permanent linesman. Up around the Curraha/Donaghmore
parish was a good nickname area as apart from those already
mentioned were the Rack Lynch (still going strong). Sam
Brady (real name Jack - He recited a poem about Arkle on
the video of the great horse), the Scamp Kearns, The Giant
Clarke - not by any means a giant of course. The man who
minded the coats in Kilmoon Ballroom was the Major Dowling
(pronounced Doolin) - he is also still going strong. The
biggest employer in Navan and owner of Beechmount was "The
Bard" Walsh and his two brothers were The Nosy and
The Busty one of whom had a Skryne connection and probably
the most famous of them all was the Twinny Byrne.
Some of these nicknamed characters were always good for
a laugh or be the subject of a good yarn.
The Callaghan Brothers
The Callaghans who lived right beside the 5 Roads were true
Irish legends of there is such a thing - three bachelors
living together with a couple of nice farms to support them.
No mod cons - everything done the way their father and grandfather
did it before them. The "Bundy" was a GAA man
- played with Skryne in 1910, by 1914 he was winning a Junior
Championship with Curraha and he was an official and Co.
Board delegate for Skryne in their glory years of the 30s
and 40s. The stories are legion about his jousts over fixtures
with Chairmen John Newman and Fr. McManus. On one occasion
he proposed Skryne as a suitable venue for an upcoming important
match "We could be doing with the gate Father"
- he says to Chairman Fr. McManus "Mr Callaghan"
reported Fr. McManus "did I not give Skryne a gate
2 or 3 weeks ago". "You did alright Father"
said the Bundy " but I often seen more at the ringing
of a pig".
On another occasion he was half an hour late for a meeting
and he demanded off Fr. Mac that he go back over the early
part of the meeting so that he could be brought up to date
with proceedings. "Mr Callaghan" says the Chairman,
"the meeting was timed for 8pm and it started at 8.
It was up to you to be here". "That's alright
for you Father" says the Bundy, "You don't have
to folly (follow) a pair o' horses and a plough all day,
like I do".
The Bundy once told a story of his playing career, which
would put into perspective the well looked after youth of
the New Millennium. "We were playing Slane", he
says "and we were travelling by pony and sidecar. I
was busy in the morning and missed me lift, so I ran to
Slane mostly across the fields" (now Slane is about
10 miles from Skryne and even as the crow flies had to be
at least 8). The game was ready to start when I got there,
so I togged out and ran on immediately, without getting
me wind back. We won by a point or 2 and then went into
Slane for a drink. The pint in Slane was horrid bad - ya
couldn't drink it, so a few of us said we'd walk to the
Dolly Mitchel's in Rossin (note - about 4 miles in the opposite
direction). The pint was good there, so we drank till closing
time and then walked home to Skryne arriving in the middle
of the night. Me mother left a note in the kitchen table
that Leo Charles of Oberstown wanted cattle 'drove' to Navan
Fair on Monday morning - it wasn't worth going to bed, so
I went down and gathered the cattle and headed to Navan.
I stood the whole day at the Fair, but they weren't sould
(sold), so I had to walk them home again. I went to bed
late on Monday night and do ya known what - I didn't wake
Bundy used also love telling about playing in Pairc Tailteann
or The Showgrounds, as he called it. In the early part of
the old century, it was used as a cricket ground and as
such, was supposed to have sinders underground, especially
in the area where the wickets would be placed. Anyway, somebody
tackled the Bundy in an over-robust manner - if such were
possible - and he fell rather heavily. "Do ya know
what", he says, "I was pickin' cinders out of
me back for a forthnight".
Bundy did a fair bit of work for the County Council as a
Carter - supplying a horse and cart for filling potholes
and at tarring jobs. In fact, to listen to him he was nearly
an engineer, but he loved the work as it brought him into
contact with all the passers-by and he was never short of
conversation, whether it was politics, weather, crops, football
In later years he was badly affected by arthritis, hobbling
along on sticks "I'm like a big winda (Window)",
he used to say, "full o' pains", but he still
managed to go to the matches, particularly at McManus Park
beside home, where a special chair would be put out for
him. I recall his interest in Martin Quinn when he was first
marking his appearance for Kilbride in the 50's - "a
damnable man to take down a high ball".
One last story was an elder brother. He did the 'housekeeping'
and all chores about the yard. If the other brothers were
going out to work with the Council (horse and cart) not
alone would he have the breakfast ready but the horses harnessed
up as well. He would also have the dinner ready for them
on return. In between he milked the cows, the calves etc.
and could be seen knocking around 5 Roads with a bucket
in each hand and a friendly word for everyone. He apparently
got his nickname because of his being involved with horses
from a young age and he considered himself a great judge
of a young horse. On one occasion, Waring Willis, a local
horse trainer who had come down from Northern Ireland to
Skryne, was exercising a young horse near the 5 Roads and
stopped to talk to the Groom, who proceeded to throw his
eye over the animal. "What do you think of her Groom?"
says Mr. Willis. "Well I often heard it said about
a good throughbred Sir", says the bould Groom, "that
she should have a showlder (shoulder) like a parlour maid
and an arse like a cook". Mr. Willis was suitably impressed!
When Groom was well on in years, a worker in the Willis'
yard bought a new motorcycle and approached him to go guarantor
for a Hire Purchase agreement. Now if this was a local lad,
he would probably be told what to do with himself but because
this lad worked in the horsey business, the Groom signed
up. Apparently the man only paid one or two instalments
and soon the letters started to arrive. To add insult to
injury, yer man was now gone out of the racing stable and
eventually the Groom was 'got' for the price of the bike.
He paid upright and was getting plenty of snide remarks
from the boys in Fox's pub. "Well Groom, when will
you give us a spin on the motorbike?" Tempers occasionally
became frayed and one night when somebody enquired how he
really felt, he came out with the immortal 'spake' "Be
Jaysus, I even curse him when I'm saying my prayers".
The youngest of the 3 brothers was Stephen. He was a huge
big fat man - much bigger than the others. My mother used
to tell me that in his youth, Stephen was a good dancer
- very light on the foot, was her description. When I knew
him, dancing wouldn't be something I could imagine him being
good at. Like the Bundy, he did a lot of Council work, mainly
in the Garlow X/Kilcarne section, where his overseer was
Around 1960, PAYE (Income Tax) was introduced for the first
time. I was working in the Accounts Section of the Council
at the time, so in Fox's one night in the middle of football
conversation, Stephen decided to bring up the subject of
Tax. Apparently he hadn't filled up any forms and was put
on Emergency Tax, which could be quite 'painful'. "How
much did they take Stephen?" said I. He went in to
a long episode of how he had 8 full days and was due a day
from the previous forthnight, which Kit had omitted - Total
9 says £2.10 shillings a day, amounting to about £19.
"All I got" he says, "was between £11
and £12. I think they even stopped off the f***in'
The lads in the pub loved to play tricks on him and manys
the night a car pulled up beside Stephen, as he walked home
in the dark, asking for directions to some very remote place
- just to hear him say - "Ya wheel to your right, ya
wheel to you left, ya come to a cross but ya pass no remarks
on it, or you could go another way but it might be longer",
never copping on that he was just being got at.
On another occasion, a friend of mine, Stephen Kelly, who
was at least 50 years his junior and was brilliant at drawing
him out, came at him with a question. "Stephen",
he says, "ya know them big yard brushes they have on
the Council? Why are there two holes in the head?"
"It's like this", says Stephen, going into overdrive
in his anxiety to let everyone know that anything to do
with the Council and road works was just into his barrow,
"one hole is smaller than the other and if they handle
gets loose and the head is still good, it can be refitted
no bother and will last much longer". "Not at
all", says Kelly, "I thought you'd know better".
That lit the wad all right. "What would a young f***ker
like you know about it - ya never handled one of them brushes
in your life". "Maybe not" says Kelly, but
I know the right answer - the 2nd hole is for putting a
candle in when yez are on overtime". The follow up
is not printable.
Stephen although the youngest, was first to die - in cold
January weather in 1966. We all went to pay our respects,
on a snowy evening. No electricity in the house - (they
had steadfastly refused to get it in - too bloody dangerous
- how did our father and grandfather manage?). The hearseman
was Kevin Reilly from Navan, another legendary character
know affectionately as "Hard Times". Kevin was
measuring windows (while we were saying the rosary), wondering
how they were going to get out the coffin. The problem wasn't
being solved too easily and eventually someone says "Does
anyone remember how they got out the Father and Mother?"
We found it hard to suppress the laugh and finish the rosary.
The Father and Mother had died 50 years previously!
The 'Pixie' Clusker was the sort of chap who should have
been unhappy with the hand of cards God dealt him in life
- yet he was as happy as Larry. Born into a very poor family,
childhood would have been pretty severe in the 20s and early
30s. Last year I did a survey on Skryne National School
in 1950 (half way through the century) for the Christmas
Edition of the Parish Newsletter and I had access to the
roll book which went back as far as 1900 or thereabouts.
I had known a little bit about Pixie's schooldays, or lack
of them, so with relish I searched for the name James Clusker
in the 20's and 30's. Having found him the writing jumped
off the page at me, 1934 (age 14) sent to Industrial School.
The story goes that Pixie was brought to Dunshaughlin Court
for non-attendance and sent directly to Artane without his
poor mother being informed (his father was already dead).
There he remained for the following 4-5 years and was them
sent to work with a farmer in Co. Roscommon.
He didn't appear back in Skryne until 1948 when he was in
lid late 20's but looked much older. My first introduction
to him was when he came to visit an aunt of mine who happened
to be his godmother. Even though he had been gone 14 years,
the name Pixie had not been forgotten and he was never known
as anything else. He worked here and there with local farmers
- nothing too strenuous! When he failed to turn up for a
busy haymaking session one irate farmer, Bill Logan, went
looking for him and met his mother on the road. "Where
is Pixie today?". "Jimmy is not too fond of haymakin'
Mr Logan" said the old lady. This reply is not fit
for printing either.
Soon after the mother dying in the early 50's, Pixie received
another body blow when the Council evicted him for not paying
rent - the Sheriff just threw his few belongings out on
the roadside. From then on he lived in an old falling down
house which hadn't been lived in for years. It was known
as The Taylor's, apparently because a Tailor named Hughes
had occupied it years earlier. In later years he had a caravan
for a while. It actually went up in flames one morning and
people feared the worst until it transpired he wasn't in
it at the time. He ended his days being well looked after
by Mrs. O'Connell in the pub at the top of the Hill.
Pixie didn't enjoy the pension for very long, as he died
at the age of 68 in 1988, but when he did get the few bob
he began to head for Navan, a luxury he couldn't afford
in previous years. I met him in Trimgate Street on the Friday
before the All Ireland in '87. "What about Sunday Pixie",
says I. "Meath won't want to be foulin" he says,
"this Hopkins will point all the frees: Not far out
- Hopkins of course was Larry Tompkins and he didn't miss
Before the next All-Ireland, Pixie had died at St Joseph's,
Trim, after a brief illness. I couldn't believe the size
of the crowd at his funeral at the top of the hill beside
the Old Steeple. We paid our respects to as gentle a soul
as ever walked. We never did discuss Artane with him, but
he did tell us that he sometimes got to Croke Park with
the Band, (though not a member). He once got out on the
pitch to shake hands with Tony Donnelly. Reading in later
years of all the abuse he took place in such institutions,
it is easy to imagine he suffered badly in those far off
days - yet he came out of it all a lot happier then many
well heeled individuals.
Another great character around Skryne was Jimmy Coffey who
lived in a cottage on the Colvinstown Road.
Never knew him to have a Nick-Name, but he certainly was
a sort of likeable rogue. He fancied himself as a clock
or watch repair man and was actually good at it, but not
many would entrust him with valuables.
On one occasion, Fr Cooney PP approached him to have a look
at the chapel clock which had come to an abrupt halt. He
promised the good PP that he would look after it - no bother.
The clock was a big one about 5-6 feet up on the wall on
what was known as the Men's side. A fellow coming down from
Communion could easily hit it with his shoulder if he didn't
take evasive action. Anyhow, Coffey confided in a good friend
of mine, Tom Browne about this new major contract that he
was about to undertake. A month later Tom enquired how the
job had gone, having noted on Sunday that the hands had
not resumed "doing the rounds". Oh I didn't get
started yet says the bould Jim. "This is a big job
- I'll have to put up scaffolding first".
I'm not sure, but I think Fr. Cooney eventually had to head
for Walsh's in Watergate Street, Navan.
One night Jimmy had a few too many in Swan's and instead
of heading home on his bike, was left home by car at the
gate for safety reasons. Next night he came out with the
greatest "spakes" of all time "ya know lads
when I went to get up this mornin', didn't I discover I
never went to bed at all". Apparently, he had just
made it to inside the front door.
I also had one very funny incident with him. It was the
night of an All-Ireland semi final - in I think 1970. Meath
v Galway. I was in my mother's in Skryne on the way home
and went down to Swan's to hear the after match talk (about
half an hour before closing time). I met Coffey on the way
out with a brown paper bag under his oxter. "Are you
bringing home a few Jimmy" says I. "Wait till
I tell ya Colum", he says, "but don't breathe
a word of this to anyone". Willie Doyle (next door
neighbour) asked me down to look at the match on the telly
and I arrived in time for the minor! Says Willie (who wasn't
too interested in anything only the senior), "will
ya go down to Swan's and bring back a half a dozen that
we can drink during the game". Sure I couldn't very
well refuse with Willie paying the bill. On the way down
the Chapel Hill, who did I meet only Danny Hogg who wanted
me to have a look at an ould clock which had stopped. It
didn't take long to fix the clock and then Danny says "will
we go up for one". I tould (told) him I had to go up
anyhow, explaining about Willie Doyle and the match. So
we went up and had the one - then we had to have another
- then another and du ya know what! I'm only going back
now, says he with a laugh, clutching Willie's half dozen
under his arm. Now this was around 10.15pm on a Sunday nught,
5 hours after the senior, not to mention the minor! I'm
sure Willie was pleased at the slight delay!
A good character around Rathfeigh was John Gargan, a man
with a quick turn of phrase. He was at one stage in the
employment of a well off farmer, Frank Delaney and on one
particularly wet day when himself and a fellow worker retired
indoors to keep dry, Frank facilitated them with a major
job, cutting up firewood or as they used to say 'splitting
sticks". If that wasn't bad enough, the boss stood
in the shed doorway, in an overseeing capacity which to
put it mildly didn't gain him many marks. After about an
hour or so when he was still there, Gargan asked "did
ya ever play draughts Frank". "I did surley",
said Frank, "why". "Because if ya don't move
soon" says Gargan "you might lose two men".
Another good Rathfeigh story concerns the Lynch family from
Bellew. One of the sons called James joined the British
Army at the turn of the 20th century around the time of
the Boer War. On one Sunday morning his father pushed into
the back seat of the chapel at Rathfeigh Mass and immediately
says to his neighbours "The Boers 'ill suffer now,
Seaimin's gone out".
Another Rathfeigh man - I think it was Paddy "Boggins"
wasn't feeling well - he was in his late 70's and had never
been to a doctor in his whole life. He had to go now however
and as soon as the doctor made his initial tests he found
that the old ticker wasn't great. "My Good man Paddy",
he says, "you'll have to go to bed". "Is
it in the day ya mane (mean) doctor" says he "I
never was in the bed in the day".
The "Buckley" Kennedy (real name Thomas) was as
good a character and rogue as I ever came across. I met
him in Fox's (Halligan's) on Saturday nights when as secretary
of Skryne GFC I went into what was known as "The Tap
Toom" to discuss last minute arrangements for Sunday
with treasurer Christy (Kit) Browne. Buckley enjoyed his
bottle of stout and could spin yarns as long as your arm,
so long as he had an audience. If there was someone who
hadn't heard them before then he was at his brilliant best.
On this particular night, someone was talking about wages
back in the 20's. Well he says, I worked in Reid's Garlow
Cross for 10/=(50p) per week plus yer dinner and tea. "Was
the grub good" someone queried. "Good enough"
he says, "but ya had to be careful what ya were eatin'
(eating) because Reid's would chance anything. There was
this day we went in for the dinner and we didn't like the
look o' the mate (meat). Very red it was and it didn't taste
right - still we had no choice only "lorry" into
it. When we went back to work there was a heavy shower and
we went into a shed for shelter. What was hangin' up only
a dead fox that was caught in a trap the day before, with
a whole piece missin' out of his hind quarters. Peter Clarke
was with me and we looked at one another - it just dawned
on both of us about the red meat". Of course he played
it along until someone asked "How did ya feel Buckley
- had it any affect on you". Then the smile came into
the face as he explained "There wasn't a bother on
me but if ya saw what happened to Clarke!. About 4 o' clock
he took a fit, ran through the haggard and killed every
f***ing hen in the place".
When Pat Ward opened the Tara Na Ri pub at Garlow Cross
"Buckley" was one of those who had to go to court
to explain how far he had to travel for a pint, to enable
the licence to be granted - so after that he didn't have
to ride a bike to Skryne any more. Unfortunately, the poor
man was killed (like so many more) while crossing the main
road outside the new pub - I seem to remember his coat got
caught in the bicycle wheel and he couldn't recover in time.
He is buried on the Hill of Tara - one of the all time great
In a big house at Oberstown Cross (now owned by the O'Sullivan
family), lived a man called Leo Charles. He was elderly
when we were going to school: he was a protestant and a
bachelor and he employed a housekeeper named Bridgie Hynes.
He had originally come from Bellew Rathfeigh at the other
end of the parish where his brother Cecil, another bachelor,
still held court. They both owned quite substantial farms.
Of course to us kids going to school Leo was "Mr Charles".
Mr. Charles had a very big orchard and most years in Autumn
the trees were hanging down with apples and plums and raiding
it was a bit of a problem. He kept a couple of dogs and
he kept a close eye on the place around school closing time.
If he were out on the Cross and he quite often was, we would
say politely "Any chance of a few apples please Mr.
Charles". Depending on the humour and (it was usually
about 8/1 against), he might let the whole 30 or 40 boys
and girls in, but it was more likely to be a tirade of abuse
which of course made us all the more vociferous the next
evening. Leo, to put it mildly, was fairly fond of the jar
and he would be out on the cross looking for some trusted
friend to go into Halligan's (as the pub was then), with
a basket of empties, about two dozen stout bottles and a
large bottle of Powers or Jamesons with the same order again.
This was a daily occurrence so you can easily see the effect
he had on the local economy. Yet he didn't go in himself
- apparently he had been barred some years before for some
misdemeanour and was never reinstated.
He kept a few hunter type horses and I have a memory of
him heading for Ross Cross to get the Dublin bus at Spring
Show time and he dressed up to the nines, complete with
bowler hat. He always kept up that air of a country gentleman.
Leo died in 1958 in his 80's and is buried in Kentstown.
A rather unkind remark was made at his funeral - when some
good lady suggested as they used to "I'm sure his soul
is gone straight to Heaven - a certain wag retorted - "If
so, it must be a Commons".
Cecil the brother in Rathfeigh didn't quite live in the
same style. He must have drank away the most of the farm
in Maguires of Kentstown and late in his life he was walking
the roads with a little dog called "Towser" -
a broken man with an old house falling down around him and
the farm divided up by the Land Commission. He ended up
in St. Joseph's in Trim, where he died in 1963. I later
came across his name in a register in that establishment
in my job in the NEHB.
If he was down on his luck in life, that certainly wasn't
the case in his young days, when apparently himself and
another brother Ralph (who seemingly died very young), were
up to every type of mischief and devilment one could imagine.
According to my father, who was an "historian on the
Charles era", he was forever quoting poetry in pubs
and showing off all he knew. What are now known as Cemetery
Sundays were at one time known as Patterns (Patrons). They
commenced with the rosary in the graveyard - then perhaps
a sports and ended with a long pub session, when he arrived
by horse and side car. The horse was called "Woe the
Man" and of you could believe it all, he was capable
of doing 25 miles per hour with whip flailing. On one occasion
Cecil was coming full throttle and Cecil, (probably full
of porter), singing loudly The Shawl of Galway Grey. "Too
short the Night we parted, Too quickly came the day".
Out stepped the Sergeant and brought proceedings to an abrupt
halt - Cecil was arrested and put in a cell where he began
to cry bitterly. The Sergeant enquired the reasons for the
tears, to which the reply was "Concerned for the Poor
Mare - she is due a foal any day soon and could need veterinary
attention". The Sergeant was slightly worried and sent
to Drogheda for a vet. When the good Vet arrived on the
scene and examined "Woe the Man", the Sergeant
was slightly embarrassed at being told that there wasn't
much danger of a foal arriving - the horse was male. I never
found out what Cecil's extra punishment was, but he did
get out the next morning.
Incidentally, his most famous poetic quotation at those
pattern days was:
"The Dove let loose in Eastern Skies
And hastening fondly home
Ne'er stoops to earth her feathered breast
Where idle warblers roam".
Another great Skryne characte
r who could match Cecil Charles in the poetry stakes was
Paddy Duffy of Colvinstown.
It is said that he went to National School until he was
16 and that Master Malin then "expelled" him because
he knew more than the teachers. He actually had two sisters
in the teaching profession, but Paddy was a free spirit
and didn't like to be tied down by the constraints of a
full time job. He preferred doing a bit of trucking and
dealing in calves, attending John Connell's sale yard or
hay auctions, bidding on behalf of someone else and his
crowning glory - measuring land by means of a chain. He
was regarded as an expert in this field. He was also a very
witty man and was quick to boast of his self-education.
He liked to show off he could use big words in the right
context - jaw-breakers and boy! could he recite poetry.
His most famous one was Gray's Elegy in a Country Churchyard.
"The Ploughman homeward plods his weary way, and leaves
the world to darkness and to me".
He told me once that he drove cattle from Skryne to the
Dublin Cattle Market, all on foot.
A year or so before his death I visited him in Our Lady's
Hospital. Although ill he still had a twinkle in his eye
as he praised the food (wish I was able to ate it all) and
the staff. "They make the bed about 5 times a day Colum"
he says outlining the various times and then he added with
a chuckle "And you know Christmas and Ayster (Easter)
used to do me".
When Paddy got the Old Age Pension it was probably only
about £1.50 a week or so but there was back-money
for the weeks since he had qualified for it. It was of course
one pound note at the time, not coins as now, but in showing
off his new found wealth he told someone "It's a long
time since I saw £9 together at the same time".
As I said, a true character and a funny little man.
Golden Wonders was published in 2001 by Colum
Cromwell, who passed away in 2003. This extract was kindly
reprinted thanks to Colums wife, Kay.