Chapter 14


To describe a wee man who lived in Mary Street would just be impossible, but one word came close, a treasure. When people died, the bric a brac they left was often given to Jimmy Bloomfield, for Jimmy had a donkey and cart to collect those types of goods, and usually around Newcastle. On a Fair Day he had his pitch or stall on the street and hours could have been spent searching through the books alone. It was on one of those searching expeditions a young fellow came across 300 fourpenny Model Engineering Weeklys and being interested in models asked Jimmy the price of the books. Knowing Jimmy always gave himself room for manoeuvre the youth was not surprised to hear the old man wanted sixpence each, take or leave. Undeterred the youth asked how much for the 300 and Jimmy replied sixpence each or a bob (one shilling) for the lot. Another typical Bloomfield deal was clinched and the youth was delighted with his purchase. Jimmy also worked as a Janitor and Doorman, in the Picture House, for Watty Herron. On his death in the 1950's Castlewellan lost a grand old man and one of the most unique persons to tread the Town streets.

Further along this narrow street was a Junkyard and owned by Dick McCabe, from Dundrine, in the 1930's. This place must have been someone s pride at one time because it was surrounded by a high wall and had large entrance gates about 6 foot high. An avenue led to a small house sitting about 15 yards from the street. During the 1920's and 30's most people kept goats. To get milk from those animals, there had to be kids and to get rid of the kids everybody sold them to Dick McCabe for six pence. Dick had a market for the skins. It was the nippers who were sent on this mission which was like sending them to their own execution. After squeezing through all the scrap to reach the little house where Dick sat, the man hardly got time to get the Tanner out of his pocket before it was grabbed and the nippers ran like blue blazes before the kids were killed.

Section No. 5, Main Street

Section No. 5, Main Street

 

Wallace Shaw's Funeral Parlour beside Mary Hazlett's Hairdressers.

Wallace Shaw's Funeral Parlour beside Mary Hazlett's Hairdressers at the end of Main Street.

About the middle 1950's this place was bought by Wilfred Herron from Leitrim who demolished the lot and built a huge shed to house heavy farm machinery which he contracted out to farmers who needed help with their crop. Wilfe was another one of the Motorcycle Road Racing School and at fifteen faked his date of birth to be eligible to compete in Championship Racing. At one stage he cut a Ford Racing Car engine in two and fitted one half to his motorbike and although he clocked 140 mph it was still not competitive enough so he packed the lot up and quit racing at the age of forty. Wilfe Herron sold his Castlewellan property in 1968 to Wallace Shaw a local Funeral Undertaker who in addition sold and repaired furniture, as well as supplying and fitting carpets. He commenced his career in a small shed which was used as a Boot and Shoe Repair Workshop by Halls in the yard at the rear of their shop on the Main Street. Herron's large shed was an ideal spot for Wallace so he moved there. In 1979 Wallace Shaw sold his premises to Paddy Trainor and moved to open a Funeral Parlour next door to the Orange Hall. He was always greatly interested in horses, taking part in all local shows and has many trophies to his name. He is also a prominent figure in all Pony Parades for charity.

Wallace Shaw