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“They Broke The Mould”


Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

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Legfordrum, Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

This little cottage high in the hills, was once inhabited by 2 elderly brothers named William & Albert Ballentine who were born in this homestead around 1900 & lived here until the 1970’s. I once got yarning to a local farmer who told me that on bitter cold winter days these brothers would sit inside this tiny cottage beside a turf fire wearing string vests! Their front door had no latch & was propped closed each night by a long plank of wood. Under this door had a 2-inch gap that mice & water would run under, onto their clay floor. Both gentlemen were often seen by locals walking around this cottage in thick snow wearing only trousers & vests! Nowadays most men would be wrapped in cotton wearing moisturiser to stop their skin drying out in the cold ? These were the true hardy men of Ireland & they certainly broke the mould after men like this were born many years ago ?

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. 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….

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12"x8" Print, 18"x12" Print, 24"x16" Print, 30″x20″ Print, 36″x24″ Print, 8"x6" Ivory Single Mounted, 16"x12" Ivory Double Mounted, 18"x12" Premium Canvas, 24"x16" Premium Canvas, 30"x20" Premium Canvas, 36"x24" Premium Canvas, 48"x32" Premium Canvas, 60"x40" Premium Canvas, 12"x8" Metal Printed Panel, 18"x12" Metal Printed Panel, 24"x16" Metal Printed Panel, 30"x20" Metal Printed Panel, 36"x24" Metal Printed Panel