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Grave and Gay by Louise McKay 1938


Grave and Gay by Louise McKay
The Flanagan Girls Old-Time Memories
The Irish Novelty House, Bridge Street, Belfast
Author of "The Mountains of Mourne" "A Little Bit of Ireland" etc.
Printed by McCaw, Stevenson and Orr, Limited, The Linenhall Works, Belfast
Foreword - I have been asked from time to time to publish Memories of Older Times - and The Flanagan Girls, a humorous tale of life in the country to-day. In presenting these varying descriptions of country life of to-day and yesterday to my readers, I hope that some memory however slight, may be recalled. - Louise McKay

The Flanagan Girls
      Many's the one has said to me,  "Did ivir ye come across the Flanagan girls?"  but the divil an eye ivir I clapped on one or other of them till the night of Teggarty's party.  For sure they were well worth havin' a squint at - well worth the five long Irish miles I traveller over mountain an' bog, jist to have it to say I had seen the Flanagans.  They were twins; an' bad t'ime if I could tell one from the other.  Oul' Biddy Tierney (a neighbour of mine) said to me time an' again,  "Paddy, don't marry till ye see the Flanagan girls."  (Biddy knowed I had a strong notion of marryin'.)  So there I was, sittin' in Teggarty's barn where the dancin' took place, for no other reason than to see the Flanagan girls.  Right enough, there was ivirything about them to take a man's fancy; so I looked at one an' then at the other.  "Which of them is it to be?"  sis I to m'self;  "I think I'll try the wee one; she's a sonsy-lookin' bit of goods."  So over I goes, an' sis I to her (the wee one),  "Will ye be my partner, miss?" I meant, of coorse, my partner at the dance.  At that remark, instead of answerin' me, she an' the other one giggled an' laughed, an' at the same time got up to their feet, an' I'm blist if they weren't both the same height, an' whativir way they manoeuvred I couldn't tell which of them I had put the spake on.  "I beg pardon,"  sis I to the one nearest me, "will ye dance with me?"  "You asked my sister that question jist now," sis she.  She spoke with an English accent, an' she, to my own knowin', reared an' lived all her day at Skelty's bog.  "Troth maybe I did," sis I.  Not to be outdone I attacked the other one with the same question.  "Oh, certainly," sis she;  an' while I looked roun' for a seat for her they had changed places again, an' the divil a bit of me knowed which was which.  Howanivir, after they had confabbed together for a while, one of them came forward an' offered to give me the first dance;  I could see they wanted to have a shine out of me.  No doubt they thought me an ignorant chap that couldn't dance, but I could tell tham I was two winters at Phil McGladdery's dancin' class;  I wasn't such a clown as they took me for, so I put on my best manners:  "Allow me, miss,"  sis I, as I offered her my arm.  There was a polka goin' on at the time, an' that was the one dance I was a master-hand at; so as we futed it roun' an' roun' she drawled out,  "I'm not used to dancin' polkas; they're quite out-of-date,"  an' added,  "I wish they'd give us a fox-trot."  Now I nivir heard word of that trot; maybe she did at Skelty's bog.  Folk said there was fairies at Skelty's bog - maybe they learned her. Her nixt remark was, "I wonder could I have an ice?"  Well she knew that ye might as well look for a needle in a hay-stack as ask for ices at Teggarty's.  By this time we were seated, an' I could see her sister an' herself exchangin' looks an' laughin' for all they were worth.  There was others in the plot as well; it was easy seein' I was the clown of the evenin', but I took my time; I wasn't as green as I looked.  "Have a cigarette," sis she, as she took a case out of a bag business she had tied to her waist.  "Have a cig," she repeated in a drawly kin' of voice that she nivir learned at the bog side; "they're a good brand."  Her nixt move was to strike a match on the heel of her shoe an' light the same cigarette with an air of freedom as is she was London born.  Iviry eye was on us.  "There goes the Blue Danube," sis she; let's have a waltz."  I noticed her sister got up to dance jist then with what seemed to me to be a polisman all dressed up.  They kept noddin' an' winkin' at my partner.  Sis I to m'self, "I've had enough of this; they'll be makin' a ballad on me if I stay here any longer.  The Flanagan girls may go to blazes for all I care."  So when she asked me to waltz, I jist said,  "Excuse me, miss," an' I walked straight out.  As I said, I walked out, an' went into Teggarty's haggard an' had a smoke there; I wanted to cool my temper.  After a while I slipped into the barn again.  The dancin' was in full swing, an' the first one I saw was my partner dancin' with another polisman.  "Good luck t'ye," sis I to m'self;  "I don't grudge ye to him."  There was "wallflowers" aroun' lookin' on, so I went over an' sat down beside an oul' acquaintance, Susy Trimble.  Now I knowed for a long time that Susy had a great wish for me, an' in troth maybe I had one for her, but Susy was lame, besides she was miles oulder than me - I mean she was a wheen of years ahead of me - all the same I always looked up to her.  Only for fear of what the people would say, I would have went in for Susy long ago.  What people would say has kept many's the one back; an' sure if iviry one knowed or heard what iviry body else was sayin' about them, there would be a civil war; iviry one would be tearin' other people's hair out.  It would be a war bigger than the Great War.  I listened - worse luck - to folk sayin', "What would ye do with a lame oul' woman?"  but I had learned my lesson;  the Flanagan girls gave me the scunner (disgust); so, as I said, I sat down beside Susy.  Susy was a niece of the Teggarty's, an' she owned thirty acres of lan', not to speak of bog land, so she was no pauper.  "It's a warm evenin',  Susy," sis I.  "It's all in the way you take things," sis she.  "What d'ye mane?"  sis I.  Her nixt question took me unawares.  "What forder (progress) did ye make with the Flanagan girls?"  "The Flanagan girls,"  sis I;  "sure they're only 'bletherskites'; they ought to go from home to some place where nobody knows them, to show off."  "All the same,"  sis she,  "you were took on with them."  "Oh, for that matter,"  sis I,  "a body has to pass himself;  they're good sport - London born ye know."  Susy laughed.  Jist then the Teggarty's called out that the tay was ready.  I wanted no tay; so whilst the others was movin' into Teggarty's parlour I stole out by m'self.  The moon was in the full, an' the stars was shinin' in the heavens.  I'm no scholar, but I learn a lot from nature: when I'm all "me lone" I can sense things as I look up at God's great firmament.  At these times there comes a peace to my heart and noble resolves.  As I stood there I thought of Susy.  Susy, like m'self, was fond of nature;  she was always cheery an' bright, no put on - jist natural, an' I always knowed she had it in her to make a man happy.  But what the people would say kept me back all these years, an' there the thing lay.  The Flanagans turned the scale for me;  I seen things as nivir before, an' so under God's beautiful sky I made the resolve that I would marry Susy.  When the party broke up I helped Susy on with her jacket, an' saw her safely home.  As we went along I says to her,  "How is the crops lookin', Susy?"  "Not so bad,"  sis she,  "considerin'."  "Considerin' what?"  sis I.  "Och well, ye know, Paddy, I have no man to look after the workers."  "How would ye like me to do that, Susy?"  Now I needn't set down any more, other than to say that I got the job.  I nivir rued it - no, nivir.  Sometimes when I'm a bit crusty with Susy (an' min' ye I have no reason to be so),  she looks over her spectacles at me an' says,  "Paddy, ye should have married one of the Flanagan girls."  Then I jist turn away to hide a smile.

Old-Time Memories
      Sitting by the fire to-night musing on the past, the thought came to my mind that I would pass on a few memories of my early days.  I was blowing up the embers at the time.  Being an old-fashioned woman I use bellows, and many a time I lean my elbows on the same bellows and gaze into the glowing coals, for often scenes of the past are pictured there.  I don't know how these things happen, but one face comes up again and again, and then fades away;  others anon take its place - forms, shadowy forms of those whom  "I have loved long since and lost awhile."  Memory is my only company, for I live alone.  Some people dread a lonely life, but I find mine anything but dull, living as I do in the past.  It may be my old-fashioned notion, but times are not as they were when I was young.  Less friendliness exists now, more "hurry-scurry"  and this  "time-saving"  craze.  Long ago, folk visited one another in a leisurely way.  There was no  "ringing-up"  your friend.  when I look at all the innovations - breakfast on the train, electric light, motors, and flying machines - I feel glad that the most part of my life is over.  However, it was not about modern improvements I meant to write, for I am an unlearned woman, old and full of years, but merely to set forth some memories of "days that are gone."  I am the only one left of the generation I write about, and I feel I am treading on sacred ground.  Someone has written,  "To-day is commonplace, yesterday is glorified by memory."

          Memory beings me back to the little village of Purdysburn, within three miles of Belfast, in which was my home.  I think I can see that old homestead as it was in those far-off days - a dear, roomy house with lofty windows, over which hung festoons of roses, rambler roses, which drooped down to caress the honeysuckle that clambered up over the spacious porch.  But it is the memory of the garden that holds for me the greatest charm.  I wish I could describe it as it was in the days of my youth, with its dear old-fashioned flowers.  Flowers of to-day may excel them in variety of blooms, but old-time flowers are to me like old friends, old songs - because they abide with us for ever.  In memory's garden I see the tall foxgloves, the stately bluebell, the ever-charming hollyhocks that grew around the old sun-dial, the neat boxwood border that enclosed the lilies, sweet-Jane, winter cherries, and other old-time flowers.  Again I fancy I can see the syringa arbour where, as children, we played and dreamy dreams in the long summer days.  As the years passed on we had other "ploys" there - family conclaves, courtships, merry-makings.  As I think of it all I wipe away a tear, for, alack-a-day!  all my early friends who figured there are now lying in the valley, asleep, and the summer-house is no more.  The recollection of it all lingers with me still, like the last rays of the setting sun which glorifies all around - the memory of that home garden fills my heart,  One corner was reserved for the bees that from
Old-fashioned flowers their honey did make
In the old-fashioned way, in their houses of straw,
Contented and happy, for fashion's no law
To the bee.
          Honey was more used then than at present (strange).  Mother had a custom of telling the bees all her troubles.  Once she neglected doing so, and they left and never returned.  Some of our neighbours who kept hives had a similar experience.  It was a popular belief then, and I have since heard of English beekeepers who were most particular about telling the bees of the death or other trouble in their family.  We had a great collection of herbs in our garden that  "cured every ill."  Doctors nowadays smile at the name of these simple remedies, because they are considered "out-of-date."  Yet I believe with these same herbs mother cured more people than the doctor.  There was simplicity of living in those days.  Newspapers were scarce.  Our paper was passed round to half a dozen people.  Very often the neighbours gathered round our hearth in the evenings to hear the News-Letter and Commercial Chronicle read, and to talk over the politics of that time.  Those were the days of Palmerston and Peel.  Nor has we many magazines: The Dublin Penny Journal was widely read, Reynolds' Miscellany and The Spectator were very popular.  One other Belfast magazine called the Quizzing Glass was greatly sought after, for in it were reflected the doings and undoings of Society.  Certainly things moved more slowly.  I recollect, when a child of seven, going with my father to see some relations off to America.  I was dressed in a little nankeen spencer, white sun-bonnet cased with flax, and a white dimity dress.  The quays at that time were well up into High Street.  The vessel that our friends sailed in was very different from those of to-day.  I remember quite well seeing the bunks, which looked to my youthful eyes very dark and uncomfortable.  The voyage to New York occupied sixteen weeks - that was eighty years ago. (1858)  Father predicted then that there would come a time when the journey would be accomplished in sixteen days, little dreaming that I should live to see it done in six days, or even less than six.
          My father was "everybody's body";  by that saying I mean he was a public man.  He held a government situation, and acted as tutor to gentlemen's sons in the neighbourhood.  He was a surveyor of land as well.  In those days few of the peasant class could write, and often of an evening father was called upon by someone who wanted him to act as scribe.  I remember hearing one address him after this fashion:  "Mr. Grey, I want ye to write to our Tammy in Ameriky an' say to him we hope he's well, an' that we are all well, an' that we hope he's gettin' on well."  Often father would lay down his quill, unable to proceed, it being so laughable,  Then the visitor proceeded:  "An' Mr. Grey, tell Tammy that tho' we're poorer than iver, if he doesn't like over beyont, tell him to come home to his mother an' me, an' we'll share our last pratie with him, we will, God bless him!"  It wasn't every day the working class could afford to send letters to America, as the postage of a letter to New York at that time cost one shilling.  Labourers' wages were 6s. per week, and out of that sum 1s. went for rent.  I have known large families reared on 5s. per week.  Certainly, they grew their own potatoes, which with milk formed their principal article of diet.  Tea was 5s. per pound: that beverage only appeared on their tables on Sundays.  Sugar was one shilling per pound, butcher's meat four-pence per pound, and eggs fourpence per dozen.  White bread, as baker's loaf was then called, was considered a luxury, and was bought on great occasions only, such as weddings and christenings.  I remember in my early days going to Ogden's in High Street for pastry of a kind that's not to be had nowadays, and to Linden's, Corn Market, for wine biscuits and spice cakes.  It would be difficult for the present generation to imagine what Belfast was like eighty years ago.  Few of the young folk now could say where Montgomery's Market (now Castle Market) is situated, yet I remember farmers selling their produce there.  Those were the days of the stage coaches.  It seems to me but yesterday that the mail coach with its four fine horses started from the "Donegall Arms" in Castle Place for Dublin.  Crowds would assemble when the coaches were expected back, to hear the latest news from the metropolis.  The coaches now belong to the past, and with them has gone the kindly sentiment of that time.  Gone likewise are the old familiar faces, and strangers and stranger ways now occupy the public arena.
          One eventful day stands out clearly through the mist of the years - the day that saw the first train leave Belfast on its way to Lisburn.  The excitement that event caused is past the telling.  Farm hands left their work in the fields, women threw aside their spinning-wheels, and all made for the nearest point of vantage.  My mother and I viewed it from Pow's Hill.  As a matter of fact we saw only the funnel and the smoke; all the same, that was a red-letter day.  I can well remember the thrill of wonderment that possessed me as I looked after "the iron horse,"  as the engine was called.  Some said it was uncanny, others that the devil had something to do with the wonderful monster.  Certainly the noise the engine made and the clitter-clatter of the metals were to our ears very frightsome.  How many are living now, I wonder, who saw that train!  Some time afterwards we went for a jaunt to Lisburn in it.  It was a rainy day, and as there was no covering overhead we had to keep our umbrellas up; in fact, the carriages were made somewhat after the pattern of the cattle waggons of to-day.  I remember being greatly amused watching the drips off a lady's umbrella trickle down a man's back - inside his collar - and the man in question took it so patiently, I verily believe he thought this infliction part of the train arrangement.  I also remember hearing my father say that when the gentry travelled to Dublin in the early part of the last century they always made their wills before starting.  They drove to the metropolis in their own carriages drawn by four horses with postillions.  Most old people like to think back to their childhood's days - to the days of "make-believe."  I often say that the children of this generation have more advantages than we had.  Our toys were few; certainly we had dolls, but of a kind that would be thought ugly now - stick dolls with terrible faces.  Nor had we many juvenile books.  The Children of the Abbey was widely read; and later, Carleton, Lever, and Miss Porter's works.  Youngsters nowadays are satiated with literature and throw away what we would have prized and treasured.  Making samplers occupied our spare time - every girl made a sampler in cross-stitch, which contained the alphabet, usually with a verse underneath and the worker's name.  They were very frequently framed - I believe, indeed, our parlour boasted of four such samplers.  Quite lately, I came across the remains of one I made when I was ten years of age; it is old now and faded - only the name is legible:  "Jane Grey.  Anno Domini, 1835."  Children then were taught to know the value of time, and to have a time for everything.  Sewing, knitting, and spinning were our chief accomplishments - sewing machine were unknown.  In after years, Sandy Robinson, the tailor, bought one, and the people far and near flocked to see it, and so surprised were they to see how quickly the wonderful machine could sew that Sandy was called  "the steam tailor"  ever after.  The spinning-wheel, now finds a place in lofts and storerooms, and reels are hung up in solitary state on kitchen walls.  One hears no more the pleasant "birr" of the dear old wheel, nor the click-click of the faithful winder.  Looking through old-time papers lately, I came across the following lines:-
 ------ continued below

The Auld Wife's Farewell to Her Spinning-Wheel.
"Now fare ye well my canty old wheel,
In age and youth my staff and my stay,
How gladly at gloamin' my kind auld chile,
Has watched thee busy and birrin' away.
And though we never had muckle o' gear,
And though we never were blest wi' a bairn,
For cauld and hunger we hadna' to fear
As I sung my song and I spun my yarn.
And now my poke and my staff I maun take
And wander away, an amous, to beg,
For a plack in the day is the most I can make
Though I work at my wheel till I'm blind as a cleg,
An' work till the witchin' hours of the night -
A time rather late for a thing like me.
But the gude auld days are gone out o' sight,
An' it makes the salt tear often fall from my een,
For the lords o' the mill and machine hae decreed
That buddies like me maun beg their breid."
          From a very early date I was on the habit of going twice yearly to my grandfather's house in the Ards.  My grandmother taught me to spin when I was nine years of age.  I fancy I can see her yet in her large mutch and white kerchief folded across her breast, showing me how to handle the distaff and putting my tiny fingers over the yarn.  She was seventy years of age at that time, and was born in 1766.  Very often the late Lord Dufferin, then a youth, when out shooting, would call on his way home to see grandmother; she always handed him her snuff-box on these occasions, and he, laughingly, would tap the lid and take a pinch.  They then would crack jokes together.  He was very chatty - many an hour he spent in that old farm-house.  Nothing pleased my childish imagination better than to hear my grandfather on a winter's night, when we would all be seated around the peat fire, relate how at the time of the rising in '98 he fought at the battle of Ballynahinch.  After relating the blood-curdling events of the time, he would recite the opening verse of an old ballad, namely :-
"Did you hear of the battle of Ballynahinch,
Where the country assembled on their own defince?
They assembled together, and on they did go,
Led on by two heroes - Clokey and Munroe."
So excited would he become that he would jump up from his chair and walk about, overcome with the emotion of the moment.  Grandmother, sitting knitting in the inglenook, would nod her head and say,  "Yes, Willie, you were aye to the front; no coward were you, my man."  This allusion was directed against my paternal grandfather, who hid in a straw stack for fear of the red-coats - a fact that he was reminded of till the day of his death.  My mother's father was a handsome man, and stood six feet high.  He wore a bottle-green coat with skirts at the back, velveteen knee breeches, and fawn gaiters with moth-o'-pearl buttons.  He had large buckles on his shoes, and his hat was of a curious cut, not unlike the shape of a crock turned upside down; such was the style or fashion of that day.  I happened to be on a visit there at the time of the great storm of '39.  There have been many severe storms since, but all put together would be a mere bagatelle compared with that awful hurricane.  It seemed for the time as if the elements were let loose; so unearthly was the wild shrieking sound of the wind that it is past my power to describe.  Many thought the last day had come.  Windows were blown in, doors taken off their hinges and carried, or should I say hurled, away for miles.  I remember all in the house stood with their backs to the door as a precaution to prevent it from being blown in.  During a lull in the gale my uncle ventured out to see to the cattle.  Looking through a window by the light of the moon, I saw him carried right off his feet and dashed against a stone wall about twenty yards away.  A stack of corn just then was carried away clean off the stone pillars and deposited intact at the extreme end of the haggard, as if it had been built there.  This was considered a most wonderful phenomenon.  The thatch was blown off hundreds of houses, and very frequently the walls fell in.  Animals without number were lost in the merciless fury.  To add to the weirdness of it all, the two house dogs kept howling most dismally.  I pray God such a storm may never visit our shores again.  Later, on returning home, I found that nearly all the giant trees, centuries old, had been uprooted and had turned somersault; in fact, with their branches resting on the ground and their immense roots in mid-air.  It was such a wonderful sight that the Squire would not allow them to be removed for a long time.
          Amongst my cogitations I often think if the people I used to know, who are dead and gone, could come to life again, and see the electric light switched on, alack-a-day, I verily believe they would want back to their rest again.  What a change from the days of the tallow candle!  The candle was the only artificial light to be had in country places at that time.  They were placed in large candlesticks which stood on the floor and could be adjusted to any height by pressing a spring.  I remember my little brothers used to amuse themselves shooting the candle up to the ceiling, which was rather a dangerous practice.  Somehow, to my mind, candles showed a better light then than they do now.  Composites were used on Sundays only and when we had company; then the great brass candlesticks were brought out as well as the silver snuffers.  I remember hearing at the time of the American War between the Northern and Southern States of a woman who went to buy candles.  The shopkeeper remarked that candles were dearer now as tallow was up in price owing to the American War.  "The Ameriky War,"  she replied;  "bad luck to them, and do they fight with candle light?"  Writing of candles beings up an incident to my mind.  Dr. Hunter and my father were in the habit of having a game of cards occasionally at our home.  On one particular night - it was the small hours of the morning in fact, and all the household had long since retired to rest - they were playing an interesting game, when suddenly the candle burnt out.  The fire had burnt out too, and matches then were unknown.  In the search for candles, both played blind man's buff, and, in trying to make as little noise as possible, made all the more - plates rattled off the dresser, but still the search went on.  There were high stakes on the game, and light must be procured at any price.  At length my father stumbled on a heather broom, which was promptly tied to the candlestick, and with the aid of the tinder box, which every man in those days carried in his pocket, the besom was set alight, and while it burned my father won the game.  "Burning the besom"  became a proverb in our house ever after.
          I wonder if any of the present generation have ever been to a "quilting"?  In the time of full moon there would usually be quilting parties all over the country.  I remember, when a girl of fifteen, going in charge of our servant, Patience Lalor, to a "quilting" at a farm-house convenient to Shaw's Bridge.  At these functions the girls would assemble early in the afternoon and commence sewing on quilts, which was called "quilting."  These quilts would be spread out on trestles or frames - I have seen as many as six young women sit sewing around one of these frames.  After the quilting process was over, and the frames cleared away, tea would be served.  Then "the boys" dropped in at "day-li'-gone" and a fiddler would strike up a stirring tune - the girls retiring to one end of the barn and the boys to the other.  Then came the choosing of partners: two chairs were placed in the centre of the floor, and to one of these seats a "gallant" would bring the girl he liked best.  A song was then sung which was called the "Marrying Song," and when all the lads and lasses got "married" after this fashion, the fun began.  That was a memorable night for Patience Lalor.  Poor Patience!  I see her in fancy yet dancing a jig with her sweetheart, Bob Gillespie.  Bob was a ploughman; all the same he was a very nimble dancer.  To my mind there is nothing half so uplifting as an Irish jig or reel, and only an Irishman can put the "go" or "dash" into it.  Patience was in high glee that evening.  She was a bonnie lass, with cheeks like roses and flashing eyes; very witty was she, and had her answer ready for all comers.  As I have already said, she was our maid-of-all-work.  She came to live with us when she was twelve years of age, and stayed until she got married twenty years later.  Servants in those days did not change their situations as now; your servant was your friend then.  That, indeed, was a memorable quilting night for Patience, for Bob popped the question, and a few weeks later the marriage took place.  It seems like yesterday that I saw Patience on her wedding morn attired in a slate-coloured bombazine dress set off with pink ribbons, her hair done up in curls that clustered over her ears, and finished off at the back by a high comb.  Weddings in those days were very different from what one is accustomed to see now.  Marriage presents were unheard of;  now, present-giving is the rage;  it has become a "fever" in fact, and I like it not.
          The year following the exit of Patience from our home (1848) saw a great shadow fall over our land.  It was called the year of the "blight";  that is, total failure of the potato crop.  The blight extended well through the year '49.  Those were dark days for Ireland; the suffering caused by want, then, has never been told, for there were many who hid their extreme poverty and so died of slow starvation.  As I have previously stated, the peasant class dieted mostly on potatoes; in other words, potatoes were the only article of food obtainable for breakfast, dinner, and tea.  The best potatoes in my young days were called black seedlings, and sold at 1s. 6d. per cwt.  Indian meal was introduced into the country then; somehow the peasantry disliked it so much that they nicknamed if "sawdust."  Alack-a-day! the misery of that time is untellable.  One incident comes to my mind as I write.  Jimmy Duff, the village shoemaker, together with his apprentices, dug over half an acre of ground one day in order to obtain a meal of potatoes.  They succeeded in getting a small basketful.  Just at that moment the hounds and red-coats bounded over a hedge close by; each digger threw down his spade, and made off after the chase.  My sister, who happened to be on a neighbouring hill watching the sport, seized her opportunity and ran off to the potato field, and carried away the basket of "spuds."  No one knew of their destination save the Widow Maguire, to whom my sister gave them, nor could anyone imagine the chagrin of the diggers when they returned from the hunt to find their booty gone - the outcome of a day's labour.  There are few living now who remember those terrible years.
These old-time memories are ever with me; the quiet and east-going pace lived by us all in
those far-off years is in strange contrast with the bustle of to-day, and the recollection
of it all brings peace to my heart.  So as I sit by my hearth to-night, I poke up the
embers and see all these scenes reflected there, till they disappear. as I shall
soon, when the day is over.

Louise McKay

the end

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Click here for a more complete account of this volume and the lists of soldiers and memorials
Northern Banking Co. Limited, Belfast
1824 Centenary Volume 1924
Presentation Copy
The Directors of the Northern Banking Company, Limited, present their compliments to
Sir Samuel Kelly, K.B.E., D.S.
President Belfast Chamber of Commerce
and request his acceptance of the accompanying Historical Sketch of the Book.
It is hoped that the record here given of the Bank's career throughout a century, and the influence it has exercised in fostering the community's prosperity, and in the development of those industries which have conferred on the City a world-wide fame, may be deemed an acceptable contribution to the History of Belfast.
And the Directors trust that the chapters which narrate the transition from Private to Joint-Stock Banking; trace the growth and expansion of the Bank's activities; commemorate the men who well and truly laid the foundations, no less than those who have carried on their work, may be regarded on the one hand as of local interest, and, on the other, as a fitting tribute to honoured lives.

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