My first taste of plays

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

In 1933 St. Columba's School opened and I was amongst the first entrants on transfer from the Convent. My first teacher was Christy Mangan. The head master was Mr Carragher.

It was around this time that Mr Duckworth, an Anglican, arrived as Church organist for St. Patrick's and I joined the boy's choir. Every Friday night after practice Mr Duckworth would bring us to the chip shop in Thomas Street. There would be ten of us in a snug each one armed with a fork. A large tray of chips costing ten pence was set in front of us and we took turns dipping into the tray. Not all the forks were handed back because on our way home we had to pass Neill's fruit shop. Outside the shop were all the crates of fruit and in the middle was a huge two square foot block of dates. As we passed by we could always spear a few of these exotic fruits.

At the age of ten I got my first taste of plays. My teacher, Tom Berry, loved Shakespeare and in class we acted out all the classics. My favourite part was "Shylock" in the "Merchant of Venice".

During the hungry Thirties, most boys could only afford a jotter and pencil so we had to share arithmetic books amongst those in the street in order to do our homework. In class, we always looked on with the boy beside us as there were not enough English "readers" to go round.
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.

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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