The coal-mining industry was the main employer in the Slieveardagh Hills in the mid-20th Century. The men who worked for the mines reared families, contributed to the community and also had a social life.
This year for Heritage Week online we are fortunate to be able to share a recollection of social events and entertainment in Ballingarry Village from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Over the years the extremely observant and creative man Michael Barron photographed the local area and then put pen to paper to record the changes that took place over a period of 50 years. This is the story of the coal mining village of Ballingarry, but it could anywhere in Ireland in the 20th century.
Starting on Monday, each day over six days we will post a short video featuring Michael's writings in this blog.
Ex-miner Billy Barron, who worked in Gurteen as a ‘fitter’ or electrician reads ‘The Social Scene’. It was written by his father Michael Barron, in the mid-70s or early 80s, it charts the social life in the village of Ballingarry from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Paddy O'Connell worked in the Garage at Gurteen Mine, he was a close friend of Michael Barron and has great interest in the area, the history of vehicles, day to day items and local heritage. He has been an invaluable help in many of our projects, and this time he has shared images from his albums and scrap books.
The museum artefacts, maps and models will be on view. Photographs and images from Ballingarry will also be on exhibition. Some of the photographs from this project and others that have recently been included have the people named, so more information on the images is now available.
If you have any photographs from the area, of people or places please bring them along to add them to the collection. Any photographs brought along will be photographed on the day so the originals can be safely taken home again.
We hope you will enjoy the series of videos, that they will either bring back memories or help you discover more about the past in this area. And all are welcome to visit The Old School and see the work that was put into the new displays during Covid Lockdowns.