Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
This little farm cottage is nestled on the side of the ‘Sperrin mountains’ only a few miles from my home. Weather up on these hills can change in an instant as this photo was only captured yesterday, yet today up there the sun is shining like a summers day & there is not a snow flake in sight!
This little cottage was once inhabited by 2 elderly brothers named Albert & William Ballentine who were born here around 1900 & lived here until the 1970’s. On bitter cold winter days such as in this photo, they would both be sitting inside this tiny cottage beside a turf fire. Their only door had no latch & was propped closed each night by a long plank of wood. Under that same door had a 3-inch gap that mice & water would run onto their clay floor. Both gentlemen usually walked about this cottage in the snow wearing trousers & vests!
It just goes to show that many parts of Ireland didn’t jump onto the “modernism train” quite as fast as the rest of the western world. It’s possible that they could not afford to modernise & build larger more elaborate homes, but I personally like to believe if something works why change it? They had the right idea to a certain degree. I know times were harsher and many families grew with nothing but each other but I bet that overall, they were just as happy back then with nothing as we are now with everything….