Daily Life

At that time there was no lights and the like the country wasn’t lit. Like everybody just had a gas lamp or a tilly lamp or an oil lamp you know. There was no electric in this; up round here to 1971 I think the electric went in. The water came then in later years maybe nearly ’80s, but we put on a pump down on that well and we were fit to pump the water to the house here. (Francis Quinn)
Well at that time marriage I suppose was counted something special. I had a wedding gown, a white satin gown and a veil, a wreath and veil sort of thing. We were sitting in the photograph you see myself and my bridesmaid and then my husband was sitting at the back and the best man as he was called then you see, in the photograph and we had quite large wreathes. Long, long dress to your ankles. I suppose just the toes of your shoes showing. It was ordered and bought in a shop, a draper’s shop. Oh I kept it for a long, long time and then you know it was beginning to sort of discolour, it was going yellow.

Well I got married in the Church that I belonged to and that was in Derry of course and that is where I was born. I got married in Great James’ Street Presbyterian Church and the marriage was no different from what I think it would be now. We stood up at the alter with the bridesmaid and the best man and my husband of course and there was an organ in the Church and the organ was played for coming in and going out and during the signing of the register. Probably they retired to a different room to sign the register and came out and photographs were taken outside the Church, it was a Church with a whole lot of steps up to it, high Church and nearly always snapshots taken as well as real photos you know. I went to a hotel for the reception just more or less you would do now but some people at that time later on where I was we had a Church Hall and very often then wedding receptions would be held in that Church Hall. We spent our honeymoon in Torquay actually. Well I hadn’t been in London so we stayed a week in London first of all. My husband knew London a bit better than I did and we stayed a week in London and then we went down to Torquay for the other week, we just had one other week and that was the fortnights holidays and then when I was married, as I say my husband was a clergyman, they provided what was called a Manse for the Minister to live in while he was in Church. There were eight bedrooms in that house and a dining room and the drawing room and then what was called a playroom, a large room. My son later played table tennis in it. It was the full width and most of the length of the house, of the building you know. There was three pantries believe it or not all with shelves and yet none of the shelves were closed in with glass cupboards. It was old fashioned you see. You just put your things on shelves but there was no glass fronts or anything like that at that time.

So that was how I started and the rooms were of course big and high ceiling and hard to heat, awfully cold in the winter and you required big fires. They had fireplaces and all too but it took an awful lot of fuel and the work too clearing them you know. Well for a short time we had, what was called, a little maid, a young girl that came in and did just the rougher cleaning you know of the rooms round. We just had a kind of sweeper that you pushed along more or less like the vacuum would be now you know and there was no hoover at that time. You furnished it then as you wanted to you see and used what rooms you wanted and as I say it was great big house with all those rooms. We just furnished the bedroom that we were in and two spare rooms, a single one and double one so that if we had our parents in the double room and maybe my brother or whatever in the single room. Although we had plenty of room, other rooms we didn’t bother with … we weren’t able to afford really to begin to furnish them, to get furniture for all of them. So that was how things went then. I was always a bit afraid and I think my mother had been like that, not to go into great expense.

When you are married your husband is the thing you know. I suppose you don’t think an awful lot about your parents and you have to be more responsible really too when you’re married. You are left on your own. You haven’t your mother to do this, that or the other you know for you and since I was in business before I was married I didn’t have an awful lot of experience even about cleaning in the house or anything. I didn’t see what my mother was doing really and at that time my mother even wasn’t doing much housework. (E. Bruce)
I mind there was only two motor cars

On Sunday at Chapel … whole row of traps and then traps began to disappear, and then the motor cars.
I had one … it was just … room for four but it turned out it was too expensive, she was terrible with petrol to keep her running, whole lot of ones were saying, “I’d like you to run me over to Cushendall to see people”, and then the petrol and I wouldn’t get a penny for it. Aye, I got rid of the car altogether and got a new motorbike.
Oh, I was 16 or 17. It was a great wee machine, and I went away up round Armoy, people that I knew coming to see me and my motorbike. A full load of petrol would take you ever so far. Aye, a wee light motorbike, them big heavy motorbikes, they’d drink the petrol. (G. McCullagh)
Causes of death

In the two graveyards there, there was plenty of folk died young too. Oh aye and according to the headstones if you go through them. Aye there was a lot of families now where there was young ones died, before their parents and that. I suppose there was a lot of complaints and ailments then that they hadn’t cures for. TB would have been one of them and simple things. That’s right, meningitis and things like that. Had to pay for the doctor and his technology wouldn’t have been as good as what it is now. (J. Duncan)

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