Greenaway's ghost

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

In my youth, fireside storytelling was a great way to pass an evening. Sitting on the floor in front of a roaring turf fire we would listen to the older people relating stories. The ghost stories of Kitty The Hare which appeared in "Ireland's Own" were very popular. There were many local ghost stories too . The most popular of these was one which happened on our very own doorstep.

On Bridge Street, at the top of Marley Street John Greenaway had a boot and shoe shop. He was a member of the Town Council representing the Edgarstown ward. John Greeenaway told of waking in the night and hearing the tongs rattling in the fire grate. In the morning he would find ashes scattered over the living room. It was said that Dr. McDonald had seen bruises on Mrs Greenaway's body where she was crushed against the banisters on the way down to the basement kitchen. The large grandfather clock would start chiming in the middle of the night and could only be stopped by dismantling the pendulum and removing a weight. Customers told of finding boxes of shoes containing one brown and one black shoe. 

I recall one of my teachers telling of a visit to Greenaway's house one night. After tea they discussed books and my teacher went to the bookcase to get a copy of R.L. Stevenson's "Kidnapped". A sudden gust of cold air swept through the kitchen and books came tumbling down from the bookcase. All the books, except one, lay on the carpet. Yes, you've guessed it - the remaining book was "Kidnapped".

The ghost was eventually "laid" in a bottle and buried in the basement by Canon McDonald, the parish priest of St. Patrick's Church. As children we dared not go into the entry at the end of Greenaway's house. It was said that on cold, wintry nights the ghost in the bottle could be heard roaring. We can only hope that if the Bridge Street area is redeveloped, the bottle remains intact!
Market Day in Portadown.

Street gangs and fogging orchards.

The wee shops.

Colourful vendors.

The Canon's trip.

The Butterfly.

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.

First class show!.

Who could forget Mary Ann!.

Health remedies.

Fondly Remembered.

Going To The Dogs.


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