Long ago when we were children my parents used to visit my Grandparents in Oughterard, We would travel in my Dads Volkswagen Beetle car from Galway where we lived and it was so exciting for us. When we were approaching Oughterard we’d sing out “up the hill and down the hill then Grandads house” . We’d arrive full of energy and ready for anything, Nan my Grandmothers live in help would always be there to greet us, and we loved her so much.
We called my Grandmother Bambie because she had a broach with a deer on it so my brother John christened her Bambie . From then on all the grandchildren called her Bambie,
My Grandfather was a strict Man who had a grocery shop ‘ pub and farm, Women or girls were not allowed in the pubs in those days so if we ever wanted a mineral or bar of chocolate we had to send John in and wait outside,
They had a huge yard out the back where we loved to play and feed the chickens . Nan used to put Easter eggs in the nests at Easter and we’d be amazed to find them, “how did the chickens lay chocolate eggs “I’d ask her “ because they are magic chickens “ she’d reply, That was good enough for us as small innocent children,
Sometimes we would go in the lorry with Kevin Watts out around Connemara delivering goods to different places , My Grandfather labelled his own beer bottles. and sometimes my Grandmother served in the shop, She loved chatting to the locals and getting all the news, One of our great treats was going across to Lemonfield to pick mushrooms and bringing them home to cook in butter, Delicious.
Often Nan would take us to Galway on Ferguson’s bus which was the only local bus at that time, O Sullivan’s hall had movies sometimes and if we were very lucky we might be allowed go . There was an orchard at the back of my grandfathers house and we’d climb up shake the apples down collect them and take them back to Nan who’d make lovely apple pies with them , lt was she who taught me how to make my first sponge cake,
On fair days which they had in the middle of the cross roads my Grandfather would be out pipe in mouth selling and buying cattle: They had to hose down everything after these fairs including peoples windows.!! It was a very simple life but we loved every minute of it and learned so much about everything,
My Dad was a Doctor and one of the Glynn’s of Galway who had a shop where the the Treasure Chest is today, My Mum was Mary Rose Joyce and one of a big family, They were handsome people, It’s lovely to be able to look back on these exciting times in Oughterard.
Comments about this page
Roisin, I just love your warmhearted colourful piece of writing about your grandparents. You really bring them to life and the amazing thing is I also have a memory of being in that house of Nan and John Joyce. My grandfather was Partrick Martin Joyce, and possibly a brother of your grandfather John Henry? In fact I’m currently researching our (?) great grandfather’s life – also John Henry – as you’ll see in the piece I have posted on this great site some time ago. I would really love to hear from you. I’m living in Cahir, Co.Tipperary. warm wishes, Breda
Add a comment about this page