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. I like to visit it from time to time, just to reflect on how times once were across Ireland. Whilst capturing this image I was approached by a local farmer. He told me that this little cottage was once inhabited by 2 elderly brothers named Albert & William Ballentine who where 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. Its 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 more harsh 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….