Chapter 17


If the little shops and pubs along this part of the upper square, could speak, they still would be unable to recall the names of the people and businesses which passed under their roofs in the last 100 years. In the corner under the shadow of Mooney Bros. is a small shop and dwelling owned for the past 20 years by Pat Murray the Garage Man. The shop was then a second hand clothes department run by Susan McKay from Ballylough, and since her retirement has been the Ardmore Insurance Company Office. Somewhere along here was a private bus stand, remembered only as Edgars, who sold out to the U.T.A. in 1934. Going back till about 1930, this was the shop to buy furniture. Sam Corken was the owner originally from Lisburn and related to Corken who was at that time the owner of the-Old Palace Cinema in Newcastle. Prior to Corken this place in the corner was the hide out of people who must have been the Al Capones of the Fruit World, "The McFaddens". This family of brothers had two or three old open tourer cars to collect and hawk their fruit around the country. They would have been to the market in Belfast and home again in the morning before the Town's people were out of their beds. Nobody could compete with their prices and woe betide any man who tried to start at the fruit business in their territory. He would have been completely surrounded by the McFaddens who kept shouting and lowering their prices till they were practically giving their goods away. Fruit, at that time, was usually sold in dozens, and at the large sum of six pence but the customer benefitted further from the price war and often bought at 2 pence a dozen. The McFaddens faded from the scene about the late 1930's and have been unheard of since.

Section No. 6

The Ardmore Insurance Office once the McFadden stronghold.

The Ardmore Insurance Office once the McFadden stronghold.

Between Pat Murray's and the wreck, was another small business premises. In early 1986 it was a wool shop run by Jenny McBride and before that, the same, run by Miss Ford who lived in Newcastle. This whole place had been bought from Wallace Shaw by Susan McCappan, a sister of Robert Armstrong the draper. The large yard and shed across Mary Street had already been sold to Paddy Trainor. Any one living during the 1920/30's would remember this place as the residence of the famous greyhound trainer and barber 'Trix' Donnegan, and the place which Stanley Foster and his wife Greta have now made into an old peoples home. Wallace Shaw had purchased the lot from Wilfred Herron, the owner occupier during the 1950's. Up to the middle of this century all the little places along this street were visited on market and fair days by dentists, solicitors opticians and various other services, but as the local people became qualified to cope with all those needs, the outsiders gradually disappeared. It is like a dream from the past, that Harpers the painters lived in that vicinity. Willie Harper had two sons 'Shaw' and 'Davy' both painters and stalwart players on Castlewellan 'Stars' Football Team about the early 1930's. Only Davy is still around now and is living in Newcastle, often brightening a page on the local weekly paper, The Mourne Observer, with his poems.

Francy Trainor became a Castlewellan man when he first left Belfast, sometime in the early 1940's. He lived in a house in lower Clarkhill and bought a small farm in Moneyscalp. He then purchased the old station which had become empty on the closure of the railway a few years earlier and moved into the station masters house. The last master to reside there was 'Mr. Barr.'

Paddy Trainor in his yard.
Paddy Trainor in his yard. He works at trucks and traps. Is it a long lost friend he spies or an easier pound perhaps, 1985?
The second of three sons also named Francy succeeded his father in their vehicle breaking business and his business in the old station continues on a massive scale today. Paddy the eldest moved up town to work at repairing lorries and vans, and is another member of the Castlewellan group of pony trap owners always willing to give his time to raising funds for cancer research.