Interview with Sarah Gribben

Interviewer: Brilliant.

Sarah: Don’t go away without it.

Interviewer: I know, I know. So I was talking to somebody and they said that you …

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What age would you be?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What age would you be?

Sarah: What age am I?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: I’m 93.

Interviewer: 93.

Sarah: I was 93 last April.

Interviewer: When does that mean you were born then?

Sarah: I was born in 1906.

Interviewer: Whereabouts were you born?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Whereabouts were you born?

Sarah: I was born in Glenariffe.

Interviewer: Glenariffe. Whereabouts in Glenariffe.

Sarah: You know Glenariffe is just a plain country road.

Interviewer: Yes. Just in the middle of it, in the country?

Sarah: Yes just in the middle yes.

Interviewer: I was wondering do you have any memories, did of your parents or anybody that you knew in Glenariffe did they ever talk about the Glens Feis.

Sarah: The Feis?

Interviewer: Yes in 1904.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What type of things did they tell you about it?

Sarah: Oh I was at it.

Interviewer: Were you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Which year was this now?

Sarah: I couldn’t tell you which year it was.

Interviewer: Were you just a wee girl?

Sarah: Yes just a wee girl dressed up.

Interviewer: Were you? What type of clothes did you have on?

Sarah: I had a white frock on me.

Interviewer: Did your mother make that?

Sarah: No my mother bought it.

Interviewer: She bought it.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What did all the wee girls in the Feis have to do.

Sarah: They always danced.

Interviewer: Danced. Irish dancing?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: In white, all white?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: That’s very different from nowadays isn’t it.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: They wear all the coloured.

Sarah: No you just had a white dress and wee white slippers.

Interviewer: Lovely. What age would you have been?

Sarah: I would have been 8 or maybe more. I would hardly be any more.

Interviewer: Oh gosh.

Sarah: Just a wee lassie from the school you know.

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah. And did you like the Feis?

Sarah: Oh aye it was great.

Interviewer: Do you see on the day of the Feis.

Sarah: Do they have a Feis now?

Interviewer: Yeah. Do you see early in the morning that day when you were a wee girl?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What did you have to do?

Sarah: We had to dance.

Interviewer: Who brought you down?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Who brought you down to the Feis?

Sarah: Who brought me dancing?

Interviewer: No. Who brought you, whereabouts did you have to dance?

Sarah: They used to have it down in the field down at the shore.

Interviewer: Oh right. Whereabouts?

Sarah: Just down at the end of the Bay down.

Interviewer: At the Bay. And is that where …

Sarah: Pardon, four Hand Reel and Eight Hand Reel all them.

Interviewer: Were there lots of boys?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you dance with boys?

Sarah: Yes the fellows were the same age.

Interviewer: What did they wear?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What clothes did they wear.

Sarah: They wore a nice wee suit.

Interviewer: A wee suit.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: It must have been lovely was it?

Sarah: Indeed it was lovely and that’s the truth. Never mind all that will you?

Interviewer: Do you see down at the shore.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: You danced down near the shore.

Sarah: Aye down at the shore.

Interviewer: Do you know Glenariffe now?

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Is that where the play park is? Whereabouts is that now that you danced?

Sarah: I wouldn’t know. It’s that long since I was down there. We danced just at the same part. Aye we did.

Interviewer: Did you?

Sarah: We went to a field.

Interviewer: A field?

Sarah: Yes we danced in the field.

Interviewer: Did the field have a name?

Sarah: Aye it had a name but I still can’t remember the now.

Interviewer: Was it the Warren, was it? No. Can’t remember.

Sarah: Just can’t remember. It’s that long ago. It maybe come into my mind later.

Interviewer: No problem. So what was it like living in Glenariffe when you were a wee girl?

Sarah: Oh it was lovely.

Interviewer: Was it.

Sarah: It was indeed, different to what it is now.

Interviewer: There wouldn’t have been any traffic.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: There weren’t any cars were there?

Sarah: Oh aye. People come to see the Feis.

Interviewer: In cars?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: Not very many cars but you know people come.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: It was a great day and that’s the truth.

Interviewer: What did you do after the Irish dancing?

Sarah: Just hung around and just had a bit of a laugh and running around just.

Interviewer: Did you have to take your good dress off?

Sarah: No. I got keeping it on.

Interviewer: All day.

Sarah: Even until the evening and then my mother took it home.

Interviewer: Did she? How many dancers were there? How many girls and boys danced?

Sarah: There was 8.

Interviewer: 8 girls and ….

Sarah: 8 boys. They danced at different times you know.

Interviewer: So you done the Four Hand Reel.

Sarah: Yeah. And the Eight Hand Reel and sometimes the Lancers.

Interviewer: The Lancers.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Who played the music?

Sarah: There was a man played the accordian, Mickey Duffin, he’s dead now. He played that.

Interviewer: Aye there’s Duffin’s in Waterfoot isn’t there?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: There’s Duffin’s from Glenariffe isn’t there?

Sarah: Yes. There was but I don’t think, Maybe there’s is some now but there’s not that many now. They’re nearly all dead.

Interviewer: So that was the only music an accordian.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: An accordian was the only music.

Sarah: Yes the accordian, he played the accordian. There was dancing.

Interviewer: Was there a big crowd there?

Sarah: Oh aye a big crowd.

Interviewer: And how long, did you dance just in the morning and then stop and that was you finished for the whole day.

Sarah: We danced back and forward all day.

Interviewer: All day, really. For different crowds?

Sarah: Yes. And then we had tea.

Interviewer: Whereabouts did you have tea?

Sarah: In the teahouse.

Interviewer: Up at a …

Sarah: Do you know where the teahouse is, up in Glenariffe.

Interviewer: Near the waterfalls?

Sarah: Yes. Near the waterfalls yes.

Interviewer: What was it called, it called, was that Laragh Lodge then?

Sarah: Yes that’s right.

Interviewer: That was nice wasn’t it?

Sarah: They don’t call it that now.

Interviewer: No, no Manor Lodge.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: So whereabouts, in Glenariffe you lived in the middle.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Your house, the house that you grew up in was it in the middle of Glenariffe was it?

Sarah: Yes it was.

Interviewer: Whereabouts? Was it near the Laragh Lodge.

Sarah: Yes it was, near the Lodge, yes almost beside it.

Interviewer: Oh right. There’s a wee row of houses there.

Sarah: Yes and I worked there after I left school.

Interviewer: Did you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Serving food.

Sarah: Great place.

Interviewer: Was it?

Sarah: It was indeed.

Interviewer: Do you see at the Feis, what other things happened other than, when you danced what other things went on?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What other things went on at the Feis.

Sarah: Dancing and that was nearly about all.

Interviewer: Is it? Was there any singing.

Sarah: Oh aye there was singing.

Interviewer: Was there?

Sarah: Yes that’s right. We learned Irish songs at school.

Interviewer: Did you? And you did singing as well.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Was it the whole of your class or just all the dancers who sung?

Sarah: Oh no there was different ones sung.

Interviewer: All different ones.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And you were very, very young. You were only about…..

Sarah: About 8 year old.

Interviewer: That’s brilliant.

Sarah: It was a great life.

Interviewer: Brilliant. And was there anything else, was there any other music or anything like that at the Feis?

Sarah: Oh aye there was music at the Feis.

Interviewer: Was there?

Sarah: Fiddles and all. Oh aye they’d music.

Interviewer: What time of the day did it start at?

Sarah: It started between 8 and 10 o’clock.

Interviewer: In the morning?

Sarah: In the morning. It was nearly all day fiddles and all.

Interviewer: What time did it finish at?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What time did it all finish at?

Sarah: It didn’t finish until late on.

Interviewer: In the evening?

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: You must have been tired.

Sarah: Oh when you’re young like that you played around you know you never …..

Interviewer: That’s right. So how did you get picked to dance?

Sarah: Just at the school, Kilmore School.

Interviewer: Kilmore, is that where you went? What kind of school, did you like that school?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you like school?

Sarah: Oh I loved the school.

Interviewer: Did you?

Sarah: Kilmore School.

Interviewer: Was there a lot of boys and girls at it?

Sarah: Oh aye there was a good lot. Mrs Higgins was the teacher.

Interviewer: Who?

Sarah: Mrs Higgins she lived in Waterfoot.

Interviewer: And was it just one room?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was the school just one room?

Sarah: Just what?

Interviewer: One room, was there more than one room?

Sarah: Just the one room.

Interviewer: Was it?

Sarah: Yes just one room.

Interviewer: Was it? Was there an open fire?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was there an open fire.

Sarah: Oh yes there was an open fire. There was indeed an open fire, a coal fire.

Interviewer: Lovely.

Sarah: Different then to what it is now.

Interviewer: Isn’t it just. Unbelievable.

Sarah: You’re right it is unbelievable.

Interviewer: So what type of subjects?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What type of subjects did you learn at school?

Sarah: We learned singing.

Interviewer: Singing.

Sarah: And dancing and music.

Interviewer: It must have been a very musical school then if it did a lot of that.

Sarah: Yes it was.

Interviewer: And it was quite unusual that you learnt Irish.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: That was quite unusual in school. Did Mrs Higgins speak Irish?

Sarah: Yes Mrs Higgins was the teacher. She’s dead years ago. Her daughter teached along with her.

Interviewer: Did she?

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: Nellie Higgins you called her.

Interviewer: Neillie. Was there, how many boys and girls do you think were in the whole school.

Sarah: There was about 30.

Interviewer: 30, that’s big enough isn’t it.

Sarah: Oh aye.

Interviewer: Have you ever heard of the old Glens Gaelic?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: The old Glens Gaelic.

Sarah: The Old Glens …

Interviewer: Glens Irish.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Have you ever heard of that?

Sarah: What do you call it?

Interviewer: Glens Gaelic, Glens Irish, no.

Sarah: Glens Irish.

Nurse: There’s a wee cup of tea for you, wait until I get a table. Well how are you getting on Sarah?

Sarah: Brilliant. We’re talking about the Glens Feis.

Nurse: Very good.

Interviewer: A wee cup of tea?

Sarah: Yes, please. This is my bedroom.

Interviewer: It’s lovely isn’t it.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: It’s really, really nice.

Sarah: Is there sugar in the tea? 

Nurse: Yeah I’ve sugar in it Sarah. There lift up your biscuit as well. All right.

Sarah: Thank you.

Interviewer: That’s great. Thank you very much.

Nurse: Okay.

Interviewer: This is great isn’t it.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: This is lovely.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Do you sit outside much in the sun?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you ever go and sit outside?

Sarah: In the sun? Aye many a time lie in the sun.

Interviewer: Do you?

Sarah: Not now but when we were young you know.

Interviewer: Yeah. What did you like best about school?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What did you like best about school?

Sarah: I liked every part of it, that’s the truth.

Interviewer: Really.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did you ever hear your, did your mother or father ever talk about the very, very first Glens Feis?

Sarah: No I never heard them talking about it.

Interviewer: No. That was in, when were you born 1906.

Sarah: 1906.

Interviewer: That was in 1904. Yeah. It’s very interesting that you, it’s very, very interesting that you danced at that.

Sarah: Oh aye we had a great life in our younger days.

Interviewer: It’s very, very different isn’t it?

Sarah: You’re right it is.

Interviewer: What, Mrs Gribben, what was your very, very first memory.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What was your very first memory in Glenariffe? Do you know when you were wee when you went to school, is there anything wee things that you remember?

Sarah: He worked, he worked to the people by the name of Dobbs.

Interviewer: Before school?

Sarah: Before I went to school.

Interviewer: You worked?

Sarah: He worked.

Interviewer: Who?

Sarah: He worked to the Dobbs when I was a youngster.

Interviewer: Your father?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: Yes up in the mountain.

Interviewer: Whereabouts?

Sarah: He climbed up into the mountain and got work up in the hills.

Interviewer: Up in Glenariffe mountain?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Up there. Where was the mill up there?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Whereabouts, Dobbs mill?

Yes.

Whereabouts was the mill?

Sarah: Whereabouts was the mountain?

Interviewer: No the mill, how would you get to the mill.

Sarah: To the milk.

Interviewer: No to the mill, didn’t he work in a mill.

Sarah: No he worked in the mountain.

Interviewer: He just worked in the mountain.

Sarah: Sorry, sorry. Cutting turf and things like that.

Interviewer: Where did Dobbs live?

Sarah: They lived there, they’re all dead now.

Interviewer: Did they own the mountain?

Sarah: Yes. They’re all dead. Two lovely big houses.

Interviewer: Are the houses gone?

Sarah: The houses are all gone.

Interviewer: That’s a pity isn’t it.

Sarah: I think so. No Dobbs houses now. They’re all gone. I think Teddy Dobbs is the only one that alive.

Interviewer: Your father worked for him.

Sarah: He worked there. There was two or three men working at Dobbs.

Interviewer: So those wee houses where you lived, do you see those houses were they owned by Dobbs.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And the people that worked for Dobbs lived in those houses.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: I get you now. So your father didn’t actually own any land?

Sarah: He had the house and paid the rent to Dobbs.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: Do you know what I mean.

Interviewer: I do, I do. Dobbs must have owned the whole of Glenariffe.

Sarah: That’s a certainty. He built a big lot of houses in Glenriffe.

Interviewer: For the workers.

Sarah: Workers.

Interviewer: Right. How many was in your family?

Sarah: My father’s?

Interviewer: Yes your father’s family, yeah.

Sarah: My family are all dead now.

Interviewer: How many brothers and sisters did your father have?

Sarah: My father had, wait until I see, he had 2 brothers and 3 sisters.

Interviewer: And where did your father grow up?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Where did your father’s family grew up.

Sarah: They grew up, that’s them that I’m telling you about.

Interviewer: Yeah. Where did they all grow up, what house?

Sarah: Where did they grow up? They went here and there to work and places.

Interviewer: Did they?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you see when your father was a wee boy.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Where did his mammy and daddy live, where did his mother and father live?

Sarah: They lived in that wee house that I’m telling you about.

Interviewer: Did they?

Sarah: The labourer’s cottage.

Interviewer: Even that far back?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: It was a different Glen, it was a different place then than it is now.

Interviewer: Can you remember what your father’s mother’s maiden name was?

Sarah: McIlwee.

Interviewer: McIlwee. And where was she from?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Where did she come from?

Sarah: She come from Glenariffe to.

Interviewer: Did she? And your mother’s mother maiden name?

Sarah: Her name was Black.

Interviewer: Your mother’s name.

Sarah: It was Ann Black.

Interviewer: And she was from Glenariffe.

Sarah: Yes she was from Glenariffe too.

Interviewer: And what about her mother’s maiden name?

Sarah: I just can’t remember that, I think she was Black too. I’m nearly sure she was. It’s that far back.

Interviewer: Did your mother or father ever talk about the famine?

Sarah: Talk about who?

Interviewer: Talk about the famine.

Sarah: The family.

Interviewer: Oh no you know the famine.

Sarah: No I never heard them talking about the famine.

Interviewer: So your family all came from Glenariffe.

Sarah: Yes they all did, no my mother came from Cushendun.

Interviewer: Oh did she?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right. Do you remember when you were a wee girl.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you remember your grandmother and grandfather?

Sarah: Oh yes McIlwee. Yes of course.

Interviewer: Were they still alive?

Sarah: Oh no they’re dead years ago.

Interviewer: Oh aye but they were, did they live in the house with you?

Sarah: Yes they lived in with us.

Interviewer: Oh right. It must have been a big family.

Sarah: Oh yes. It was all right then you know.

Interviewer: You know the way you’re saying now that everything has really, really changed.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you know the way you’re saying now that everything has changed.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Did your mother and your grandmother say that to you when you were a wee girl.

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Did your mother or your grandmother tell you when you were a wee girl that everything had really, really changed.

Sarah: No she never did too much. They just talked away but they never talked like that.

Interviewer: Did they not?

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: So do you think the biggest change has been since you were growing up.

Sarah: Aye and since my daughters and that.

Interviewer: Yeah that’s right. After the war.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: That’s right. So what age did you start school, Kilmore school at?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What age were you when you started Kilmore?

Sarah: When I started?

Interviewer: Kilmore School.

Sarah: I was four when I went to Kilmore School.

Interviewer: That young?

Sarah: Yes. I went with my twin brother.

Interviewer: Oh are you a twin?

Sarah: Yes. He’s dead now too.

Interviewer: God.

Sarah: We went to school together.

Interviewer: Oh God and did he dance that day in the Feis as well?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did he dance in the Feis as well?

Sarah: Yes he did indeed.

Interviewer: It must have been lovely.

Sarah: Aye it was nice then. Went to the same school.

Interviewer: The same class?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: In the same class? Were you in the same class as your brother?

Sarah: Yes we were.

Interviewer: Did you copy homeworks?

Sarah: Aye plenty of homeworks.

Interviewer: Did you copy your brother?

Sarah: No. We just done it between the two of us.

Interviewer: Ouch right. Do you see that day of the Feis.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Was there a lot of people came from the Glens, were there a lot of people came from even Belfast?

Sarah: I just can’t remember, likely there would be coming down you know. There wouldn’t be so many then years ago as there would be now at the Feis.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: I don’t know whether there’s a Feis now or not. I suppose there is.

Interviewer: Yeah. It’s easier now to get travel.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: It’s easier to travel now.

Sarah: You’re right it’s dear now. Look at the price of going to a circus £6 to go to the circus.

Interviewer: It’s terrible.

Sarah: It’s terrible that.

Interviewer: Do you remember the First World War?

Sarah: Oh I do.

Interviewer: Do you?

Sarah: Yes because I had a Uncle who was in the First World War but he never was shot or nothing. He’s dead now years ago.

Interviewer: Do you remember when it started the War? Do you remember finding out that the War had started?

Sarah: That’s true, yes.

Interviewer: Were you at school?

Sarah: I remember the First World War?

Interviewer: Did it affect your life at all?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did it make any changes to your life?

Sarah: No we hadn’t the sense. We were too young.

Interviewer: Yeah. That’s right. Were there any army or soldiers or anything in Glenariffe during the War, the First World War?

Sarah: Oh there was.

Interviewer: Was there?

Sarah: Yes. The army and soldiers.

Interviewer: Yeah. Whereabouts?

Sarah: Just down in Cushendall.

Interviewer: Cushendall. Whereabouts?

Sarah: The used to take them to the hotel.

Interviewer: That’s right. Were they British soldiers?

Sarah: They were.

Interviewer: Were there no Americans or any other?

Sarah: No, I just can’t remember. You’ll have to go on.

Interviewer: Yeah. Do you ever remember any ships sinking?

Sarah: The Titanic.

Interviewer: Yeah. Do you remember it?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you?

Sarah: I remember the Titanic when it went down.

Interviewer: What did you think?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What did you think when you heard of all those people dying?

Sarah: Terrible.

Interviewer: Did you read about it in the paper or did you hear about it?

Sarah: Read about it in the papers.

Interviewer: Very sad.

Sarah: Very sad right enough.

Interviewer: Do you remember the Black and Tans?

Sarah: Aye the Black and Tans, of course I do.

Interviewer: They were awful.

Sarah: The IRA. Of course they’re still going yet.

Interviewer: They’re different now. Were there men, there was innocent men killed was there?

Sarah: Aye innocent men killed.

Interviewer: In Glenariffe?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: That would have been in 1922.

Sarah: We weren’t that very old.

Interviewer: Yeah you would only have been 16.

Sarah: I remember all that.

Interviewer: Do you?

Sarah: Going to school.

Interviewer: Were you frightened?

Sarah: I remember we used to go to school and carry a gas mask with us.

Interviewer: Did you?

Sarah: Oh aye you had to do that with the arm, the IRA, you used to carry the gas mask on your shoulder.

Interviewer: What happened if there was you know if there was an air raid siren? Was there ever air raid sierns in Glenariffe?

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Where were you told to go if there was?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you know if there was an attack where were you all told that you had to go to? Where was the safe place you had to go to.

Sarah: The school.

Interviewer: The school. You know the way in some places had a special place where you to go to underground.
Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Do you know the way there are some air raid shelters underground.

Sarah: Oh I know. We had an air raid shelter built beside our school.

Interviewer: Beside the school?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right. Do you remember the time the Black and Tans shot those men in Cushendall.

Sarah: Shot who?

Interviewer: Those three men in Cushendall.

Sarah: Three men?

Interviewer: In Cushendall in the shop, McGonnell’s shop.

Sarah: Who was shot?

Interviewer: They were shot beside the Curfew Tower.

Sarah: I know where the Curfew Tower is.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: But I can’t remember anybody being shot there.

Interviewer: Oh right. You would only have been about 16, you would have been very young. Mrs Gribbin do you think when you were a wee girl that there was a lot of money about?

Sarah: There was more money about.

Interviewer: Do you think people had more money then?

Sarah: Indeed they had.

Interviewer: Do you think so?

Sarah: Of course they had.

Interviewer: How many brothers, you had a twin brother.

Sarah: I had a twin brother. I just had one brother.

Interviewer: Oh is that all?

Sarah: Two brothers.

Interviewer: Two brothers and did you have any sisters?

Sarah: And they married and I have only one son and seven daughters.

Interviewer: Have you? Did you have any sisters?

Sarah: Seven daughters.

Interviewer: Oh right but did you have any sisters?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: How many sisters?

Sarah: I’m telling you I have seven.

Interviewer: You have seven sisters in your family?

Sarah: And one brother.

Interviewer: Right.

Sarah: I have seven daughters I mean. I have a daughter in Canada.

Interviewer: Right. And did your mother and father have a lot of children?

Sarah: No they didn’t have a lot.

Interviewer: Just you and ….

Sarah: Just a few. They didn’t believe in big families then.

Interviewer: Yeah. Did your mother, I suppose your mother was kept very busy about the house was she?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was your mother very busy about the house?

Sarah: Oh aye she was always busy cleaning and sorting the house.

Interviewer: Did she make clothes?

Sarah: No she didn’t but she knit a lot.

Interviewer: Did she?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did she make a lot of homemade food?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did she make a lot of homemade food?

Sarah: Made?

Interviewer: Food.

Sarah: Food, yes she did.

Interviewer: Tell me about the types of food she made.

Sarah: She baked on the griddle.

Interviewer: The griddle is the thing, big open fire and the griddle is put over it isn’t that it?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: It looks like a crane, that type of thing. What did she make on the griddle?

Sarah: Soda bread.

Interviewer: What else?

Sarah: Pancakes.

Interviewer: Pancakes. Anything else?

Sarah: And fadge.

Interviewer: Fadge? What’s that?

Sarah: Made of potatoes.

Interviewer: Bread.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Potato Bread.

Sarah: Aye potato bread.

Interviewer: Ouch right.

Sarah: They called it fadge.

Interviewer: I wonder why?

Sarah: I don’t know. They used to fry it on the pan.

Interviewer: Oh lovely.

Sarah: Before you went to school in the mornings.

Interviewer: Did you have to bring your lunch with you?

Sarah: Oh aye.

Interviewer: You didn’t go home to eat your lunch at lunch time?

Sarah: Oh no it was too far away.

Interviewer: Was it? How far do you think it was from your house to your school?

Sarah: You had to walk a good wee bit.

Interviewer: Did you? In all weathers.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: In rain or sun or anything.

Sarah: It didn’t matter what, rain or sun. Always wore heavy boots.

Interviewer: Yeah. Did you wear boots in the summer?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you wear boots in the summer?

Sarah: We did.

Interviewer: Did you?

Sarah: Not in the very, very summer you know.

Interviewer: Did you run round in your bare feet?

Sarah: Not many girls. I had a cousin her and I run together.

Interviewer: Where did she live?

Sarah: She lived in Glenariffe too.

Interviewer: Did she? Did you never go in your bare feet?

Sarah: Many a time I went in my bare feet. We used to get thorns in our feet when the men would be cutting the hedges you know.

Interviewer: Oh yes. Did you ever get up to any mischief?

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: No. You must have, nothing.

Sarah: No nothing at all.

Interviewer: I know. Was there any rivers or anything that you could go swimming?

Sarah: Yes there was a river passed by the house where we lived, just flowed along the side of the house.

Interviewer: Did you go swimming in it?

Sarah: We used to go in with our bare feet?

Interviewer: Fish?

Sarah: Aye there was wee trouts in it.

Interviewer: Very nice. Do you remember the first time you heard a wireless?

Sarah: A what?

Interviewer: The first time you heard a wireless a radio?

Sarah: Eh?

Interviewer: You know a wireless you know the thing you listen to, a radio.

Sarah: The wireless?

Interviewer: Yeah. Do you remember the very first one?

Sarah: I think I do now.

Interviewer: Who had it?

Sarah: Oh dear I don’t remember it. No I do not remember the first wireless.

Interviewer: Did your family have one later on?

Sarah: Yes they did have one.

Interviewer: Was it the type of one you put headphones on?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Those ones.

Sarah: Those ones yes.

Interviewer: That means that only one person can listen at a time doesn’t it? What about the first car?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you remember who had the first car in Glenariffe?

Sarah: I do remember that all right.

Interviewer: Who was that?

Sarah: By the name of O’Boyle.

Interviewer: O’Boyle.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What did he do? Was he a taxi man?

Sarah: He was a kind of a taxi thing. We used to go to the chapel in it.

Interviewer: Did you? Where is the chapel in Glenariffe, the Bay Chapel?

Sarah: Yes the Bay Chapel.

Interviewer: That’s a good wee distance away isn’t it?

Sarah: You’re right it is.

Interviewer: Did your father have a horse and trap?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did your father?

Sarah: No he had nothing like that. We just walked.

Interviewer: Did you get a bicycle when you grew up?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you have a bicycle, you know a bicycle that you ride, a bike.

Sarah: A bike. Aye my father had a bike.

Interviewer: Did he? Did you not have one to go to school on?

Sarah: We had one between us.

Interviewer: Do you see your house inside.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you have electricity in your house?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Electricity?

Sarah: Aye we had electricity but we hadn’t it then.

Interviewer: Did you not?

Sarah: No just gas.

Interviewer: Gas. So where did the heat from?

Sarah: Just from the gas.

Interviewer: A gas heater.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was there a gas heater?

Sarah: Just a gas heater.

Interviewer: A gas heater. And did you have a big open fire?

Sarah: Yes a great big open fire.

Interviewer: It must have been lovely. So what age did you leave school at Mrs Gribbin?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What age did you leave school at? What age were you when you left school?

Sarah: When I left school?

Interviewer: What age?

Sarah: Wait until I see now. I was 14

Interviewer: 14.

Sarah: To work in the teahouse.

Interviewer: Oh yes that’s right. Did Dobbs own it then?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did Dobbs own the teahouse?

Sarah: Who?

Interviewer: Dobbs.

Sarah: Dobbs. No they weren’t in the teahouse.

Interviewer: Oh no.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Who had that?

Sarah: People the name of Duffin.

Interviewer: Duffin.

Sarah: They’re all dead now.

Interviewer: Was the teahouse good to work in?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was it hard work?

Sarah: Aye you’re right. Scrubbing floors and all. Different to the work that they do in them places now.

Interviewer: Very different. You worked very hard when you were young didn’t you?

Sarah: I know that.

Interviewer: Very, very hard and you didn’t have set hours, you worked from morning to night didn’t you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: How much did you get a week, how much pay?

Sarah: I think we were paid every month.

Interviewer: How much did you get, was it a lot?

Sarah: Indeed it wasn’t a lot.

Interviewer: I’m sure it wasn’t.

Sarah: Just a whean of shillings.

Interviewer: Did you give that to your mother?

Sarah: Oh aye. She needed that to keep the house.

Interviewer: So were you the oldest child, you and your brother were you the oldest?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Were you the oldest in your family.

Sarah: In my father and mother’s family?

Interviewer: Yes.

Sarah: No, no. My brothers and sisters.

Interviewer: Oh right. Were you the youngest?

Sarah: I’m the youngest.

Interviewer: You and your brother, you and your twin.

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: Did your brothers and sisters all go to work?

Sarah: They all went to work.

Interviewer: Did any of the emigrate?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did any of them go to America or Australia or England or anywhere?

Sarah: My brother went to Australia and married and had a family. My daughter went to America, Canada.

Interviewer: Did she?

Sarah: She’s still in it.

Interviewer: Is she?

Sarah: Married and lives in it.

Interviewer: What age did you get married at?

Sarah: Me? 20.

Interviewer: Very young. Was he a Glenariffe man?

Sarah: A Scotchman.

Interviewer: Oh right. How did you meet him?

Sarah: I met him when I worked in the Teahouse.

Interviewer: Was he over on holiday?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And did you go to dances with him?

Sarah: Aye went to dances in the Bay Hall.

Interviewer: Yeah I know where that is. And how long was it from when you met him until you married him?

Sarah: It wasn’t very long. I was 20 and he was 22.

Interviewer: Were you engaged or anything?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you get engaged or did you just get married?

Sarah: We just got married.

Interviewer: Do you think engagement is a new thing?

Sarah: I don’t believe in engagements.

Interviewer: But when you were young when you were getting married?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you see when you were young did other people get engaged?

Sarah: Aye got engaged and some of them got married.

Interviewer: Right. I just wondered why because engagement isn’t a very old thing it’s quite new. It’s not everybody gets engaged.

Sarah: No I didn’t get engaged. We just got married.

Interviewer: Did you just have a wedding ring then?

Sarah: Oh aye I still have my wedding ring although he’s dead. My husband is 20 years dead now.

Interviewer: Really.

Sarah: He died with cancer. Cancer of his back.

Interviewer: When you got married then whereabouts did you and your husband live?

Sarah: We went to Scotland to live.

Interviewer: Did you? I can hear a wee bit of Scotch in your accent.

Sarah: I’m sure of that.

Interviewer: I can. Glasgow.

Sarah: Outside it. A place they call Hearthill.

Interviewer: Hearthill.

Sarah: Between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Interviewer: Did you like Scotland?

Sarah: I liked it and he liked Ireland.

Interviewer: That’s good.

Sarah: And we came back to Ireland then. He got a job in Ireland and then he died over here.

Interviewer: Did you live in Glenariffe then?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Near your family?

Sarah: My family were all born in Scotland.

Interviewer: Were they? All your daughters and your son.

Sarah: All born in Scotland.

Interviewer: So what made you come back to Ireland?

Sarah: He wanted back.

Interviewer: Did he?

Sarah: To Ireland. So I didn’t want to say no. So we just came back.

Interviewer: Were your children all grown up then by this stage?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was this when all your children were grown up?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Which did you like best, Ireland or Scotland?

Sarah: I liked Scotland.

Interviewer: Do you remember the ’39 War?

Sarah: Pardon?

Interviewer: Do you remember the ’39 War.

Sarah: 39?

Interviewer: War. The Second World War?

Sarah: Aye that’s right.

Interviewer: Do you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Were you in Scotland at that stage?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you remember when it broke out then?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Was there a lot of people from Scotland that went?

Sarah: A lot of people …

Interviewer: Did your husband go?

Sarah: Where to?

Interviewer: War?

Sarah: No he didn’t he was too young.

Interviewer: Was he?

Sarah: When you get all this knowledge do you write that all out?

Interviewer: I just keep it all written out and it gets put away and kept, you know the reason that we’re doing this is because the way that you grew up and the kind of life that you had when you were young.

Sarah: Eh?

Interviewer: The reason that we’re doing it is because you know when you were young and everything was so, so different.

Sarah: Yes I know.

Interviewer: You see if we don’t record it now it’s going to be forgotten about forever and it is really, really important to keep this.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Because it’s important to understand how you lived and how difficult life was.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Because children now have it very easy.

Sarah: They do indeed.

Interviewer: Compared to the way that you lived.

Sarah: To the way we had it.

Interviewer: Exactly. So it’s the Historical Society and they just want to keep this.

Sarah: Oh I see.

Interviewer: Because they think the way you lived is very, very important to remember.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: You know because people don’t always listen.

Sarah: I know.

Interviewer: To how it was and this is just an opportunity for you to just talk about, you know everyday things.

Sarah: Yes I know.

Interviewer: Nothing, just you know the type of sort of things that you had to do and work and school and things like that to give us a wee picture.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Just a wee picture of how it used to be you know. When did you come back from Scotland then to Ireland?

Sarah: We came back when the last War was over.

Interviewer: Oh were you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Oh right.

Sarah: Came back to Ireland.

Interviewer: That War.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you remember the planes going over Glenariffe then to bomb Belfast.

Sarah: I do indeed.

Interviewer: What was that like?

Sarah: Terrible.

Interviewer: Did you think they were going to bomb Glenariffe.

Sarah: I did indeed.

Interviewer: Was it very noisy?

Sarah: It was terrible.

Interviewer: How many times did they come over?

Sarah: They just came the once.

Interviewer: Just once.

Sarah: Just came over and stayed over.

Interviewer: Can you remember when your mammy and daddy died?

Sarah: I was in Scotland when they died.

Interviewer: Were you?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: You must have been very young then?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And what did they die of?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What did they die of, how did they die?

Sarah: Just old age.

Interviewer: Because you were the youngest so your parents must have been quite old?

Sarah: That’s right, yes.

Interviewer: Can you remember what age they were when they died?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Can you remember what year?

Sarah: No I don’t remember what year?

Interviewer: Did you come back for the funerals then?

Sarah: I can’t remember the year they died that’s the truth.

Interviewer: Can you tell me a wee bit about wakes.

Sarah: About what?

Interviewer: Wakes.

Sarah: Wakes?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: What do you want to know that for.

Interviewer: I just want to know what it used to be like.

Sarah: Well when there was a wake you went to the house and the person that’s dead is there and then you sit up with them.

Interviewer: All night.

Sarah: That’s all I know about them. And then you stay up with them all night and then you come out and go away for the funeral.

Interviewer: Was it two nights?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was it one night or two nights?

Sarah: Two nights.

Interviewer: Two nights. I heard something about clay pipes.

Sarah: No I never heard that.

Interviewer: I just thought the men smoked. And what was the hearse like.

Sarah: The funeral, that the wake was in, oh it was all done up cleaned and all.

Interviewer: The house.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you see the hearse, do you know the hearse.

Sarah: The hearse.

Interviewer: Yes. Was it in a car or was it pulled by horses?

Sarah: No it was carried just.

Interviewer: Carried. I think that’s much more regal.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: I think a big carriage is nice. Where there black horses?

Sarah: What time?

Interviewer: Ten to three. Do you want me to stop?

Sarah: No, no.

Interviewer: Yeah ten to three.

Sarah: Oh I see it now.

Interviewer: That’s a lovely wee watch.

Sarah: It was … gave it to me.

Interviewer: It’s pretty isn’t it.

Sarah: It’s lovely.

Interviewer: It’s very, very nice.

Sarah: She gave it to me when I came here.

Interviewer: Nice and light, it’s not very heavy.

Sarah: She gave me, my watch was needing a battery and she took it away to get a battery and couldn’t get a battery for it so she gave me that one in it’s place.

Interviewer: It’s lovely. It’s very, very pretty. So you see when you went to school, do you see when you were a wee girl at school and you came home from school did you have to do any work?

Sarah: Any what?

Interviewer: Work.

Sarah: Work, school work?

Interviewer: No work about the house.

Sarah: Oh aye worked about the house.

Interviewer: What type of things did you have to do?

Sarah: We used to have to wash the dishes for my mother, wash the floor and do things like that, brush up the floor.

Interviewer: Did you have any animals.

Sarah: We had a cat and a dog.

Interviewer: You didn’t have any goats or pigs or chickens or anything?

Sarah: My mother had fowl hens.

Interviewer: Did she?

Sarah: She did.

Interviewer: And what did she do?

Sarah: She fed them and all herself. My mother had fowl hens and ducks and all.

Interviewer: Really.

Sarah: Yes she had indeed.

Interviewer: Your mother must have been a very hard worker.

Sarah: Indeed she was.

Interviewer: Was she lovely?

Sarah: She was a nice person. Very clean old woman. Do you see that thing there, could you pull that.

Interviewer: Are you okay. Do you want me to get somebody? This here.

Sarah: No don’t touch that.

Interviewer: No.

Sarah: Do you see where it’s joined, well could you pull that out. Take it over here.

Interviewer: Oh right. Is that okay?

Sarah: Yes that’s okay.

Interviewer: Did your mother and father speak Irish then?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did our mother and father speak Irish to you?

Sarah: Speak Irish? No they neveer spoke Irish.

Interviewer: Did they not?

Sarah: No never did.

Interviewer: You learnt songs in Irish.

Sarah: Yes Irish at school.

Interviewer: To speak Irish as well?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Oh did you?

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: Ouch right. Were there many people in Glenariffe who spoke Irish?

Sarah: Oh aye there was a good lot.

Interviewer: Yeah. Then it all stopped didn’t it then.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Everybody speaks English now.

Sarah: Nobody speak Irish now. Don’t believe in Irish now.

Interviewer: It’s a beautiful language.

Sarah: It’s a beautiful language right enough.

Interviewer: Very descriptive the words.

Sarah: I wonder if that’s working now. Do you know how to use it if it’s working.

Interviewer: No I’m not sure how to use it.

Sarah: Reach me that but of course you haven’t a thing to turn it on.

Interviewer: Do you want me to do something?

Sarah: You haven’t the thing to turn it off with when it goes on you know. Do you know how you turn it on?

Interviewer: No.

Sarah: You haven’t the thing to turn it off.

Interviewer: No I don’t.

Sarah: No that’s all right.

Interviewer: When the girl comes back in I’ll ask her to check it.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: When the girl comes back in I’ll ask her to check it for you to see if it works.

Where there ever any plane crashes in Glenariffe?

Sarah: Any what?

Interviewer: Any plane crashes. Do you know the planes, the aeroplanes?

Sarah: That fly about.

Interviewer: Yes. Did any crash in Glenariffe?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Were there any plane crashes.

Sarah: There was one.

Interviewer: One.

Sarah: Just the one.

Interviewer: Where was it at?

Sarah: Oh it was away down near Cushendall.

Interviewer: Oh right. And was that during the War?

Sarah: That was during the War.

Interviewer: Was the person killed?

Sarah: No there was nobody killed, no nobody.

Interviewer: Did you go up to see the wreckage?

Sarah: I did indeed.

Interviewer: What was it like?

Sarah: Terrible.

Interviewer: I wonder how the person survived then?

Sarah: Don’t know.

Interviewer: Was it an Englishman?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was he English or German?

Sarah: It was an English plane that came down.

Interviewer: An English plane. Whereabouts did you get married?

Sarah: We got maried in Glenariffe, married in Cushendall.

Interviewer: Cushendall Church.

Sarah: Yes, Chapel.

Interviewer: And could you tell me a wee bit about your wedding?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Could you tell me about your wedding day?

Sarah: Oh I had a nice navy dress.

Interviewer: Navy.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did somebody make it?

Sarah: My mother and my father bought it for me.

Interviewer: In Ballymena?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Which shop.

Sarah: Now I couldn’t tell you that.

Interviewer: Tell me how the day went.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Tell me all about the day, tell me about the wedding day.

Sarah: The wedding dress?

Interviewer: No about the wedding day.

Sarah: The wedding dress.

Interviewer: Aye tell me about the wedding dress.

Sarah: It was a nice dress with long sleeves.

Interviewer: Long sleeves.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Was it long?

Sarah: No it wasn’t long. They weren’t wearing them that long then.

Interviewer: About to there.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Just below your knee?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And did you have a blouse underneath?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you have something underneath the suit, a blouse or a wee shirt?

Sarah: Oh yes.

Interviewer: Did you have a hat, a navy hat.

Sarah: A nice wee navy hat.

Interviewer: Gloves.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What colour were your gloves.

Sarah: Those were navy.

Interviewer: Navy as well.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: It must have been lovely.

Sarah: It was all right. I had it but don’t know where it went.

Interviewer: Did you have a wee bunch of flowers?

Sarah: Yes I had.

Interviewer: What kind?

Sarah: I could hardly explain to you now what they were like you know.

Interviewer: A wee small posie?

Sarah: Yes, just a posie.

Interviewer: Was it? So how many people were at your wedding?

Sarah: About two or three.

Interviewer: Your parents?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Were you mother and father there?

Sarah: They were.

Interviewer: And were you, do you see when you got married.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you see when you got married was it just you and your husband or was there any other couples getting married on the same day.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Just you.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Must have been lovely.

Sarah: It was.

Interviewer: Were you nervous.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Were you nervous?

Sarah: No not a bit.

Interviewer: No.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: You were only twenty.

Sarah: I wasn’t a bit nervous because I loved my husband and I wasn’t nervous.

Interviewer: Were you really, really sure.

Sarah: Yes I was sure.

Interviewer: Gosh. And you were with him 50 years.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: 50 years you were married.

Sarah: Aye I was indeed.

Interviewer: 50 years. Gosh. Did you go on a honeymoon.

Sarah: No we just went to Scotland.

Interviewer: Straight away.

Sarah: That’s where we went. He had a house bought for me and we went there just straight away.

Interviewer: Did you have a bridesmaid?

Sarah: Oh yes I had one of my sisters.

Interviewer: One of your sisters. And did you have a bestman.

Sarah: Oh aye his brother.

Interviewer: His brother. Do you see after the wedding.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did you go to anywhere for tea?

Sarah: I went to a house in Cushendall for tea.

Interviewer: One of the hotels.

Sarah: No just a house that I knew.

Interviewer: Oh right.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did you have a party?

Sarah: No just our two selves.

Interviewer: Really.

Sarah: It was lovely.

Interviewer: Very, very different from now isn’t it.

Sarah: No we didn’t bother. We just saved up my money and went over to Scotland.

Interviewer: Nowadays they spend an awful lot of money on weddings.

Sarah: I know.

Interviewer: Very, very different.

Sarah: Aye it’s different now.

Interviewer: It is indeed. So Mrs Gribbin do you think there were a lot more people.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you think when you were young, when you were a wee girl do you think there were a lot more people lived in Glenariffe than there is now.

Sarah: Do you what?

Interviewer: Do you think there was a lot more people lived in Glenariffe?

Sarah: Oh God aye there was plenty of people lived in Glenariffe, plenty of people lived there.

Interviewer: Do you see when you were growing up and then when you came back from Scotland did you notice any difference?

Sarah: They knew the difference in us talking.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: All of my family talked Scotch.

Interviewer: That’s right. And did you notice any differences about Glenariffe?

Sarah: I did. I knew the people were all different.

Interviewer: Did many people move away?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Where there many people that had moved away.

Sarah: Where?

Interviewer: Did some people move away from Glenariffe.

Sarah: Some moved away and some died.

Interviewer: Did they? Glenariffe is beautiful insn’t it?

Sarah: A great place Glenariffe.

Interviewer: Did you miss it, did you not miss it when you went?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you miss Glenariffe when you went to Scotland?

Sarah: No I didn’t. I missed Scotland when I came back.

Interviewer: Really.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: I’ve never been to Scotland.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: I’ve never been to Scotland.

Sarah: You’ve never been. It’s a great place.

Interviewer: Is it? Did your father have to work very hard in the mountain?

Sarah: Indeed he had the good creator. He had indeed.

Interviewer: How many hours did he work a day?

Sarah: He went at 8 in the morning and he wasn’t home to the evening then.

Interviewer: And I bet you he didn’t get paid much.

Sarah: He only got two pound a week.

Interviewer: Was he sort of hired, was he sort of hired out, was that sort of the way, was he wort of hired by Dobbs?

Sarah: Aye he was tired working.

Interviewer: But was he hired out?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you know the hiring fairs?

Sarah: No he never went to them.

Interviewer: No.

Sarah: No hiring fairs. He just kept working for Dobbs.

Interviewer: So did he take over that job from his father?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did your father work for Dobbs after his father had left. Was that the way it worked? Your father took over your grandfather’s job.

Sarah: That’s right.

Interviewer: Is that the way it worked?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right. And he cut turf.

Sarah: Hard work in them days.

Interviewer: Did he work seven days a week?

Sarah: No he didn’t work on a Sunday.

Interviewer: Do you remember the 1947 snow.

Sarah: 1947?

Interviewer: Snow.

Sarah: No. What was that like?

Interviewer: It was a big snowfall.

Sarah: Oh aye the snowfall.

Interviewer: Yes.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you remember it?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: What was it like? Were you snowed in?

Sarah: Terrible. Aye indeed we were.

Interviewer: How long did it take before it cleared.

Sarah: It took them a good while.

Interviewer: Desperate. Have you ever, do you know what I would love to hear about?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Do you know any superstitions, do you know the way people, no but even if you don’t believe in them just you know things you know that are going to be forgotten about that people used to believe in. Do you know things that are passed down, and even if you don’t think there’s any ….

Sarah: Things that are what?

Interviewer: You know things that are passed down, things that are good luck and bad luck, superstitions.

Sarah: No I don’t remember any of them.

Interviewer: Because they will be forgotten won’t they?

Sarah: Oh they’re bound to be forgotten now.

Interviewer: I know.

Sarah: Nobody wants to think of them.

Interviewer: But it would be interesting you know just to know what they were even if people don’t believe in them. Can you think of anything that was good luck or bad luck. What about the first footing?

Sarah: The first what?

Interviewer: First footing, do you know on New Year’s Day.

Sarah: First what?

Interviewer: First Footing is that what you called it?

Sarah: What was that?

Interviewer: Do you know on the 1st of January.

Sarah: The first family.

Interviewer: No the 1st of January.

Sarah: Oh aye.

Interviewer: What was that about the first person that you saw, was there something about it?

Sarah: No nothing. No I can’t remember.

Interviewer: Oh well.

Sarah: That’s the truth.

Interviewer: Was there anything that was bad luck to bring into the house?

Sarah: No I had nothing brought into the house that was bad.

Interviewer: Any ghost stories?

Sarah: Pardon?

Interviewer: Any ghost stories. Ouch go on please.

Sarah: Well there was one ghost story. There was a big tree growing beside where we lived in Glenariffe and they always said that the fairies kept in it but this day there was a man, a sailor man and he said I’ll put an end to the music and he went away, he went to Cushendall and he got a mouth organ and he went up into the tree and played in the tree and went up into where the fairies were supposed to be and played in there and it was him that was playing and not the fairies and the next morning ____ they heard this music what was supposed to be the fairies and it wasn’t the fairies at all it was this man, this French fellow and he went up and played and played and played and then people thought that was the fairies and it wasn’t the fairies at all.

Interviewer: Was he just trying to fool people?

Sarah: Yes trying to frighten them. That’s what it was, it was the man.

Interviewer: Do you believe in fairy thorns.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Skeeaghs is that what you call them.

Sarah: My mother knew him but he got the people fooled and he got it and played it up in the house, up in the tree.

Interviewer: Up in the tree.

Sarah: And the people thought it was the fairies and it wasn’t the fairies at all it was him. That’s the only thing ever I remember about them.

Interviewer: People say that all the fairies have gone now.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Some people say that all the fairies have left, all gone.

Sarah: Oh I don’t know. Fairies where?

Interviewer: They’ve all left now, all gone.

Sarah: It must be they have because you don’t hear tell of them now.

Interviewer: No you don’t. Not at all. Wasn’t there something about babies, baby boys. Didn’t the fairies like to take, sometimes talk and take baby boys away.

Sarah: No I never heard that.

Interviewer: I heard that somewhere. How long did you work in Laragh Lodge for?

Sarah: Four years.

Interviewer: Until you got married.

Sarah: Four years and then I got married.

Interviewer: And you left. Was it hard work in those days?

Sarah: You’re right it was hard work.

Interviewer: What type of games did you play in the countryside?

Sarah: Games, played cards.

Interviewer: Cards. What games, what card games?

Sarah: I can hardly mind that because I wasn’t interested in playing cards.

Interviewer: Were you not? What type of games did you play, what type of things did you do when you were …

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: What type of games did you play?

Sarah: Played 45.

Interviewer: 45. Did you ever play any sports?

Sarah: Books?

Interviewer: Sports.

Sarah: Sports. No never played sports at all. We used to play with a shinney you know.

Interviewer: Yeah. In the field. Did the girls play that too?

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: You were saying there about books.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Books, what kind of books did you like?

Sarah: Never bothered much with books. I had enough bother with the school books.

Interviewer: That was enough.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Do you know the way you danced in the Feis.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you remember you said you danced in the Feis when you were eight, about eight so that was about 1914 the year when the war started. Was that the year the war started?

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Do you think? It’s hard to remember.

Sarah: It’s hard to remember them things.

Interviewer: That was round about that time wasn’t it.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you think it was round about the war time?

Sarah: It was yes.

Interviewer: Right. Well was that the only place that you danced at?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was that the only time that you danced at the Feis?

Sarah: Only once.

Interviewer: Only once. And did you keep on doing Irish dancing?

Sarah: Yes I kept on. We used to go to a wee shed down at the bay and we used to go to dances there and danced Irish dancing there.

Interviewer: Every week?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: How often?

Sarah: Nearly every week.

Interviewer: From when you were small?

Sarah: Yes. We used to go down and dance there.

Interviewer: Did you like dancing?

Sarah: I did but I can’t have it now.

Interviewer: Ouch you could.

Sarah: Sore foot.

Interviewer: Is it sore all the time?

Sarah: It’s not sore now.

Interviewer: It’s all swollen.

Sarah: Aye it’s all swollen. It’s down a good bit from what it was.

Interviewer: Is it? How did that happen?

Sarah: I can’t remember what happened my foot that’s the truth.

Interviewer: Oh dear. Maybe that’s too much dancing.

Sarah: It must have been.

Interviewer: Did your husband dance?

Sarah: What’s that?

Interviewer: That’s a tape.

Sarah: A tape.

Interviewer: That’s just to keep everything.

Sarah: You tape this now.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: When do you tape it?

Interviewer: Oh it’s being taped now.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: It’s being taped. It’s switched on so it is.

Sarah: Of us talking.

Interviewer: Yeah. Oh don’t worry about it. Did your husband dance?

Sarah: Oh aye.

Interviewer: Was he a good dancer?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: So every week you went to the Bay to dance.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: You went to the Bay to dance is that right? You went to the Bay Hall to dance?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right. Was there anything else that you got to do in Glenariffe or Waterfoot in the evenings.

Sarah: Nothing.

Interviewer: Nothing. What did you do?

Sarah: Just sat about.

Interviewer: Was it not boring?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Were you not bored?

Sarah: No. You never got bored then.

Interviewer: Why?

Sarah: Ouch I don’t know. Different then to now.

Interviewer: Do yo remember ceili-ing?

Sarah: Ceili-ing?

Interviewer: Do you know going to people houses.

Sarah: Oh I remember that.

Interviewer: What was that like?

Sarah: It was all right.

Interviewer: Was there a certain night of the week that people came to your house or did you just go and come whenever.

Sarah: No they just went.

Interviewer: Whatever.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was your house a ceili house?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did you dance or just talk?

Sarah: Just talked.

Interviewer: And what type of things, did they just talk about things that happened during the day, or what type of things did people talk about at ceili.

Sarah: I don’t know much about them that’s the truth.

Interviewer: Was it men or women that went to them?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was it men or women that went to the ceili?

Sarah: Both went?

Interviewer: Both and it was all talking.

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did they just talk? Was there cards played?

Sarah: Just talk.

Interviewer: So how many lived in your house?

Sarah: Now?

Interviewer: No. When you were a wee girl?

Sarah: My father and mother and my granny lived in it and when we were small we lived in it too.

Interviewer: How many was there?

Sarah: There was four of us.

Interviewer: You, your brother.

Sarah: And my sister.

Interviewer: And your sister and ….

Sarah: My father and mother.

Interviewer: Oh just three children.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And you’re the youngest.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Right. Did any of your aunts or uncles ….

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did any of your aunts or uncles ever move away to America?

Sarah: Just the one went.

Interviewer: Your uncle.

Sarah: Yes she went away to America. She’s coming back home to come and live with me.

Interviewer: Is this your daughter?

Sarah: That’s my daughter, yes.

Interviewer: Oh right. That will be nice. So do you know the way that you danced at the Feis.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Did it have to stop when the war was on?

Sarah: No it never stopped.

Interviewer: Oh did it not?

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: It went on.

Sarah: Went on.

Interviewer: Was that the only year it was in Glenariffe?

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Or did it come back to Glenariffe?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was it only in Glenariffe once?

Sarah: That’s all. We danced in Glenariffe.

Interviewer: And did the Feis on in Cushendall or Cushendun or Ballycastle or anywhere else?

Sarah: Just Cushendall.

Interviewer: Just Cushendall.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: And were there stalls?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Was there stalls, you know stalls where people sold food? Were there stalls?

Sarah: Where you could buys things.

Interviewer: Yes.

Sarah: Yes.

Interviewer: Is there? What types of things?

Sarah: Oh there was wee dolls and things like that.

Interviewer: And was it boys and girls and men and women that went?

Sarah: Yes

Interviewer: Was it like a big day out? Did you ever go to the Lammas Fair.

Sarah: I never was at the Lammas Fair.

Interviewer: Do you think Waterfoot has changed much?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you think Waterfoot has changed?

Sarah: Do I think it’s changed?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Sarah: I supposed it has.

Interviewer: I suppose the people are different now.

Sarah: There’s a lot of houses built now.

Interviewer: A lot. So when Glenariffe become a Forest Park?

Sarah: Become a what?

Interviewer: Do you know the way now it’s owned by the Forestry.

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: When did Dobbs sell it then? Dobbs owned all that didn’t he?

Sarah: I can’t remember.

Interviewer: Maybe you were away. Maybe you were in Scotland.

Do you remember Christmas time when you were a wee girl?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Do you remember Christmas when you were a wee girl, Christmas time.

Sarah: Aye.

Interviewer: Did you get many toys?

Sarah: Yes. Santa Clause would come.

Interviewer: What would you get?

Sarah: A doll and maybe sweets.

Interviewer: What happened in school, did anything special happen in school?

Sarah: We always got holidays then.

Interviewer: Did you ever do a Christmas play?

Sarah: A what.

Interviewer: Christmas play.

Sarah: Christmas?

Interviewer: Play.

Sarah: Play, no.

Interviewer: No. So you really liked school?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did you liked the school.

Sarah: I loved the school that’s the truth.

Interviewer: Do you see anybody that wrote with their left hand.

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Do you see anybody who was left hand.

Sarah: Aye me.

Interviewer: Oh are you left handed?

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: Did you have to right with your right hand.

Sarah: Yes. I used to get hit by the teacher with the ruler. Are you left handed?

Interviewer: I’m left handed too. So what hand do you use now to write?

Sarah: I can use the right now. The teacher used to hit us to make us write with the right hand.

Interviewer: Why, why like?

Sarah: I can write now with the right hand.

Interviewer: Can you? If you had to write with your right hand it must have been very difficult.

Sarah: Aye you’re right.

Interviewer: Because your writing maybe wasn’t very good.

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Did they think it was bad to write with your left hand.

Sarah: There was nothing wrong with your right hand.

Interviewer: Did they think it was bad or evil or something?

Sarah: No I never thought that.

Interviewer: No. Did the teachers.

Sarah: They didn’t, they always give you a slap with the ruler on your left hand to make you write with your right hand.

Interviewer: That’s terrible. What was your favourite subject? Did you like English, Maths what was your favourite?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: What was your favourite subject?

Sarah: My favourite what?

Interviewer: Subject in school. Subject English or Maths or Music or Art, which did you like best?

Sarah: I liked music.

Interviewer: You liked music best. Can you sing?

Sarah: Used to be but not now.

Interviewer: Do you know any Irish poems or Irish songs or anything?

Sarah: Irish what?

Interviewer: Irish poems or Irish songs.

Sarah: No I do not. Can’t remember any of them.

Interviewer: I loved you to sing for me.

Sarah: I couldn’t sing because I’m hoarse.

Interviewer: I’m sure you were very good. Could you do a wee gig?

Sarah: I couldn’t do a a gig now, no.

Interviewer: It’s another world now Mrs Gribbin.

Sarah: You’re right.

Interviewer: Do you miss it? Do you think it was better now than then?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you think it was better then or now?

Sarah: It was better then.

Interviewer: Why?

Sarah: I don’t know, the world was different then.

Interviewer: Do you think people were, you could trust people more?

Sarah: What?

Interviewer: Do you think you could trust people more?

Sarah: Now?

Interviewer: No then?

Sarah: Aye you’re right you could trust them better then than you could do now.

Interviewer: Did people ever lock their houses up? Did you have to lock your door?

Sarah: I never bothered. Oh aye you have to lock your door now.

Interviewer: Oh now you do yeah. Do you remember the first television?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Do you remember the first television?

Sarah: I do.

Interviewer: Where was that, Scotland?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: In Scotland or here? Where did you see the first television?

Sarah: Over in Scotland.

Interviewer: Was it very strange?

Sarah: Hmm.

Interviewer: So was your house, when you were growing up in your house in Glenariffe …

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: When you were growing up in your house in Glenariffe, do you see when you were growing up in your house in Glenariffe was it a very cosy house?

Sarah: It was indeed. Big fire and all on. It was lovely.

Interviewer: Was there anything that ever happened in Glenariffe you know like, anything that really sticks in your mind?

Sarah: No nothing.

Interviewer: No famous people or …

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: You know like famous people.

Sarah: Famous people.

Interviewer: Yeah. Nothing at all. Did nobody ever come into Laragh Lodge?

Sarah: No.

Interviewer: Did people ever play tricks at Halloween?

Sarah: Pardon.

Interviewer: Did people ever play tricks at Halloween?

Sarah: Oh indeed they do. Used to pull trees out of fences.

Interviewer: Did they?

Sarah: Closed up the doors and all that.

Interviewer: For a joke.

Sarah: For a joke. It was no joke.

Interviewer: No. They don’t do that now.

Sarah: No you never see them doing anything like that now.

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