First class show

From Harry Foy's Book  'Growing up in Portadown in the Thirties and Forties'

The annual agricultural show was a big day when we were young. It meant a day off school for one thing. We would be up early so that we could see all the animals arriving. In those days the majority of people came by train so they passed by the top of the street on their way to the showground's.

There was a great variety - dogs, horses with their manes plaited and large bulls which lumbered along. We would sit at the top of the hill with a jam sandwich watching the passing parade. In the evening we watched them return with their coloured rosettes to mark their success. In the street there was a variety of animals. One man kept a pony in his back yard so the animal had to be paraded through the kitchen. Wild singing birds, grey and linnets, were seen in cages in most houses. Dogs were common pets as one might expect and many people kept racing greyhounds. One resident reared fighting cocks and sold them to people in the Border areas where the sport was popular. I remember we had a white kid goat and when my parents were out I charged other children a halfpenny to see it. It was a handy way of gathering money for the pictures. We also kept pigeons and it was a full time job keeping cats away from the pigeon loft.

I remember my grandfather getting drunk one day with a gentleman from Duffy's circus and he arrived home with a crate containing ten fantail tumblers. When released from the Pigeon loft they flew in a tight circle until they reached a certain height and then they would come tumbling down until they almost hit the rooftop before flying up again. They were a great source of delight for everyone in the street.
Market Day in Portadown.

Street gangs and fogging orchards.

The wee shops.

Colourful vendors.

The Canon's trip.

The Butterfly.

Greenaway's ghost.

Summer on the Bann.

The Great Lemonade Robbery.

My first day at school.

The packman.

Even the dog understood the language.


Our House.

A long throw since skittles game was born.

The Gas Man Cometh.

In tune with the band.

Clubs and tickmen.

Donald Campbell Had nothing on us.

The Obinsville Cowboys.

Singing in the streets.

Such good sports.

The days of the sand quays.

The magic of Christmas.

Bombs - not sandwiches.

Skipping, football and cigarette cards.

Escape to the movies.

My first taste of plays.

Smuggling knew no borders.

The tale of the pigs.

Three brass balls.

Thanks for the memories.

Who could forget Mary Ann!.

Health remedies.

Fondly Remembered.

Going To The Dogs.


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