Tuesday

We got the bikes out of their bags and cycled the 3 or so miles into Killough. Visiting Killough after 55 year’s absence filled me with excitement and trepidation.

I have such vivid memories of an idyllic childhood in Killough, where the sun always shone and days were spent playing on the farm or down by the harbour.  I was scared that the reality experienced in adulthood would rob me of my treasured childhood memories.

My first view of Killough

My first view of Killough

As we entered it was just as I remembered with the trees lining the street.

The trees don't look fifty years older!

The trees don’t look fifty years older!

I immediately spotted our first house, Paletine House, where Liney was born. We used to go up into the attic and meet up with the neighbour’s girls, Elizabeth and Christine Nelson. The house had been joined at one time and they hadn’t got round to separating the attics.

Paletine House.....Very grand.

Paletine House…..Very grand.

House .. Lane ..School

House .. Lane ..School

Next to the house was the leafy lane down to the church, with the school Chris and I used to go to on the other side. I remember sitting in Mrs Cray’s classroom, looking out of this window, watching Aunty Nancy (Mrs Nelson) sitting out on the window sill  cleaning the upstairs window.

I remember looking out of this window, watching Aunty Nancy cleaning the sash window.

I remember looking out of this window, watching Aunty Nancy cleaning the sash window.

The school is now a youth and community building, but apart from the coat of paint, it was just as I remembered.

The School today

The School today

We walked on down past the church and along the track that I knew would lead to the back of the second house we lived in…..sure enough, there it was. Gone are the stables and pig sties, but the man doing the garden remembered where they had been so I knew I had the right house…… no.14 Castle Street.

Looking back up the lane to No 14

Looking back up the lane to the rear of No 14

The front of No 14. The middle two dormers and both the green and brown doors.

The front of No 14. The middle two dormers and both the green and brown doors.

On along the lane to the bay and the quay. This had changed, it was not the dilapidated stone pier that I remembered with a ruined tower. There had been repairs and refurbishments in the 80’s, but the layout was the same.

The old tower refurbished

The old tower refurbished

The quay with a boat thatcould have been there 55 years!

The quay with a boat thatcould have been there 55 years!

Looking at the wreck at the end of the wall took me back to the time Chris was held upside down by his ankle over the water. The owner of a boat, very similar to this one, had caught us trying to get on-board. When I add this memory to the one of peeping through the gaps in the door of the old tower and seeing rifles stacked like a stook of corn, my adult mind suspects we had stumbled on some gun smugglers …… they did a very good job of scaring us off!

This was where we saw the guns.

This was where we saw the guns.

I have always liked the smell of seaweed when the tide is out, it makes me feel good, whereas most people think it stinks.     Standing on the quay, looking out over the harbour, I realised that the smell and the place go together…. all became clear ….. the smell simply reminds me of happy days spent here in Killough.

The church from thequay at low tide

The church from thequay at low tide.                     Aaaaah!….Killough

Up from the beach to the ‘top of the town’ …..we were never allowed up there near the post office….that was where the Teddy Boys hung out! It was also where the pubs were, so we stopped off for an hour or so in the Saddle and Sail
…very aptly named as we were on our bikes and moored in Ardglass.

The major change in Killough was Duffy’s store. Gone were the four big windows and the huge arched doorway, but inside the modern frontage there was the same emporium, selling everything including the kitchen sink!

The delivery van, that brought us our new gas cylinders, with the new store behind.

The delivery van, that brought us our new gas cylinders, with the new store behind.

We met two of old Thomas Duffy’s sons, who were delighted to talk about the Killough I remembered and produced a painting of the old store of my memory. When they renovated,last year, they took up the old door step which they have placed outside as a seat. It was surprisingly bigger than I remembered.

I must have walked over this stone ..... it gives some idea of the size of the old doorway

I must have walked over this stone ….. it gives some idea of the size of the old doorway

So on down memory lane to see the Parochial hall where I had my BCG jab when I was 4 ….. TB was rife in the area. It put me off injections for life…. I still have to lie down or faint!

The one place that holds my least favourite memories

The one place that holds my least favourite memories

It was also where the traveling dentist, with his pedal driven drill, put me off dentists for life when he slow drilled one of my teeth when I was 6.

The time had come for us to cycle back home to the boat. What a great day.

A last look  back at Killough

A last look back at Killough

The fear I’ve had all these years about coming back and ruining my memories was totally unfounded…. Killough hasn’t changed…… and my treasured memories remain intact and, perhaps, even a little more shiny than before.

2 Comments

  1. Wonderful to hear about your visit to Killough and to know that some thing’s stay relatively the same.
    Precious memories. Xxxxxx

You must be logged in to leave a reply.