ST.JOHNSTON LONG AGO
- BY JOE PEOPLES, July 1999
Over sixty years ago, St.Johnston was a flourishing village.
It consisted of over eighteen business houses, railway station and a custom
clearance station. Not every village of its size could boast of having a piped
water supply and street lighting. Around that time the late Master Sean McBride,
well known by many, penned the following paragraphs. Local publican Joe Peoples
gathered together the lines which reflected the wit and humour of Mr.McBride.
St.Johnston Long Ago……
St. Johnston’s wee town is some city, believe me its one of
the finest wee towns you could see. From the station it runs to the foot of the
hill, on one side a graveyard on the other a mill.
There’s bits of our footpaths cemented and flat well if some bits are not sure we don’t care of that. For a great day is dawning and when it comes round, we’ll have streets paved with gold in St.Johnston’s wee town.
In Martin Golden’s you’ll get the best shoes; McCann’s,
Lynch’s & Toland’s you’ll get the best booze.
And if your ever feeling like grub or a rest call into Frank’s café they’ll serve you the best.
We have water in pipes flowing into the town no finer or better in Ireland’s ground. You’ll see folks with buckets around and about but they just turn a tap and the water flows out.
Come walk down the street on a dark winters night, there’s nothing dark here for the whole place is bright. There’s lamps up above you to show you the way and there’s something far wrong if you wander or stray.
A man of great vision by name E.J.White installed a fine plant and gave us lots of light, old paraffin lamps we have all kicked around, they are simply no use in St.Johnston’s wee town.
If ever your lingering about for the bus just call into Barney he wont make a fuss. He’ll tell you the prices with a glint in his eye and you’ll be surprised at the things you can buy.
We’re a wonderful mixture you all no us well, we’re Orange, we’re Papish Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. But some time ago when the fruit came to town by the hokey, for once we were all orangemen.
The moment has come I must finish this song you may think it short or you may think it long. But some things must wait till the next time comes round, their’s no end to the tale of St.Johnston’s wee town.
The Mill referred to is now Fleming Engineering.
The Footpaths did not always run the full length
of the street. The street lighting was switched off at twelve midnight, when the
E.S.B took over in the early fifties. Mr.White retired from his line of
business and sold the plant which was shipped to South Africa.
James McGirr a Fruiterer commenced by
selling oranges only. Franks café was owned by Frank Hegarty and his wife
Maggie, a confectionery shop was attached which kept boarders.