Posted at Ballymaclinton
George Ithell 1995
Since the publication of this work in 1992, interest and further research has been maintained. Consequently, postcards relevant to the theme have been recovered. Though mainly with new details of their printing, they cover more interestingly, a picture hitherto not seen. These latest finds are listed with acknowledgements to Arthur Smith of Hammersmith and G. S. Bailllie from Bungay, Suffolk, who both reported examples which differed from the original index. With these new discoveries and adding my own from the renewed searches, gives one the impression that there could be many more yet to be unearthed.
Much excitement was caused when a letter arrived from the Isle of Wight, which opened up great possibilities for a complete new chapter, but alas, circumstances prevented this. The letter was from Norah Gallaher! A copy of this book was obtained by a Mrs Isobel Scott of Belfast who, on reflection recalled that her teacher had mentioned an exhibition in London and her association with it as a child. After a great deal of effort and perseverance Mrs Scott contacted her old mentor and to the delight of both ladies, discovered that this exhibition was the subject of those recollections many years before.
Nora Gallaher’s Father was a salesman and traveller for the firm of David Brown & Son, Ltd., and Maclintons Ltd., eventually to be a director and during the period of the Village at the White City’s Japan-British Exhibition in 1910 he was the manager. Samuel Gallaher and his wife Anne were residents in the Village and took along their baby daughter, Norah, then"aged five years. Sadly, a month before a proposed second meeting with her, Norah died in June 1993, she was 89 years old. She was a remarkable lady with a memory to match. It was obvious that her time in the Village left many cherished memories. At our meeting in 1987, amongst a case full of momentous and photographs, were letters and billheads, relics from her Father’s old desk. This desk had once been the property of Irme Kiralfy, who from the outset was Director General of the White City Exhibitions.
Most of the photographs Norah had to show were taken at the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 and included a group photograph of all the staff. Again remarkably, she was able to identify some of the staff without hesitation. Amongst these were of course, her Mother and Father, a Mr. Amos, Mr. Hicks, ‘Old Dan’, Girala Murphy and her two young friends, Kathleen Hicks and Marie Routledge. Norah is seen as on many occasions, mounted on the donkey ‘Napper Tandy’. The two younger girls, Kathleen and Marie were experts in their field of spinning and weaving,, the former being the Junior Spinning Champion of Ireland. Most of the time these girls were at a collecting post for donations, along with other celebrities who gave their services for the Health Organisation.
Amongst the many bits of ephemera, Norah gave me a couple of items which I found very interesting. One whole plate print, possibly the original photograph of my index card number 77 which is seen obviously untouched and shews Norah with other members of staff on the area of the Crystal Palace exhibit which was on show from May 12 to October 27 1911. The other Item given to me was a card written to her from her Father at Crystal Palace with the knowledge that he misses his family. It is dated on May 25 1911, so it is known that Norah and her Mother joined the staff later. The card addressed to Ivy Cottage, Donaghmore says, “I was in the old Village today and felt sorry to see it in such a dilapidated state and inhabited by natives and Indagoes, etc., etc. The exhibition in White City is not such at all and you would get thoroughly tired of it in a week. Mr McClean was over here yesterday and asking for you and Mother. The weather is just lovely and I wish you were both here. We will be in shape at about next Tuesday. There are good crowds in today.” (signed) D.. The card received the special event postmark (Whitney 405) code 3. The card is also showing a rubber stamped address, Ballymaclinton / Irish Village / Crystal Palace / London. One other postcard is extant addressed to Norwood Central Dairy, 3 & 5, Central Hill, Upper Norwood, with a request to cancel some milk! This card was dated August 21 1911, receiving the special event postmark, but the code 1, codes 1 - 8 of these postmarks are known. The Ballymaclinton handstamp, again in purple ink and the address of Crystal Palace, but signed this time by S. Gallaher, Norah’s Father! The obverse shows Nora in one of the four postcard pictures in which she is featured.
Another interesting card recovered is indexed as No. 78, similar to the previously mentioned card re. the milk. This card was however was used as an introductory card by a representative of David Brown & Sons, Ltd., intimating that a Mr. Ferris is to call in a few days and receive the favour of an order. The George V ½d definitive is cancelled at Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone on April 15 1912 and sent to an address in Lisburn. The stamp is punctured with the perfin D.B/&S, only one of three known to date. The other two addressed to firms in Manchester and Birmingham, are both on card index No. 78.A Mr. Milton and Mr. Crawshaw were the representatives respectively in these instances. These items were reported to me by the Perfin Society Editor, Mrs. Rosemary Smith, J.P.
No postcards of the 1908-1910 Exhibitions feature the young girl, Norah, but on cards found from the Festival of Empire, Imperial Exhibition in 1911 at Crystal Palace, she appears in four scenes. Although the exhibit of the Brown Brothers at this exhibition was titled Ballymaclinton, it was not on the scale as were the projects at the White City in the previous years.
Norah was able to identify many of the colleens whose photographs I was able to show her, which were those that had been reproduced from originals loaned to me by Mr. Wilson’s daughters, Mrs. Mollie Whiteside and Mrs. Isobel Irwin, both of Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. She immediately recognised Anna McErval, the sisters Cecilia and Eileen Barnard, Miss Simpson and a Daisy Beattie, of whom she was especially fond and was delighted to be able to recollect them so vividly. All these girls are also seen featured on postcards and Norah admits that she was terribly spoilt by all the staff.
In 1986 I was able to visit Robert Brown’s daughter, Miss Alice Brown who still lives in Donaghmore where she actively pursues her charitable work. For nearly sixty years her chief interest has been in the Ulster S.P.C.A. In July 1993 she had ‘a very exciting trip to Buckingham Palace’ where she received the M.B.E. from the Queen for ‘Service to the Welfare of Animals’. Memories of the days of the exhibition are not vivid, but she remembers being taken for a few days to London when only a very small child. Which venue she visited was obscure, but amongst her souvenirs were trade cards, a collection of the indexed postcards and a number of teaspoons engraved ‘Ballymaclinton’. These have been donated by her to the newly formed Donaghmore Historical Society, instituted in March 1983, which has premises on the very spot of the original soap works in Main Street. Immediately opposite is the new Post Office, the area having been very much rebuilt.
The soap firm had a site during the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, but its participation in 1925 is not catalogued. Norah Gallaher and her family were there with a few others of the staff, but it is presumed that this exhibit was only on the scale of the first venture at Dublin in 1907. An Irish tower was however added. This part of the exhibit was a replica of the Tower in Denonish, Fermanagh, said to be the most perfectly preserved of these Irish landmarks. It commands a magnificent view for visitors to the exhibition who paid to climb the steps to the lookout.
Probably unique is an envelope addressed to Capt. The Hon. E. Cochrane at Red Castle, Co. Donegal, Ireland. Bearing the two requisite ½d Edward VII stamps, it is cancelled with the Post Office handstamp of Ballymaclinton on both definitives, dated October 26 1908. Richard Francis Ernest Cochrane (1877-1952), was the second grandson of the Earl of Dundonald and son of the famous Admiral Sir Ernest Cochrane. Captain Cochrane served in the Inniskilling Fusiliers and succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his Father in 1911. In 1908-1909 he was appointed a Gentleman-at-Arms to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland the Earl of Aberdeen and this connection makes it possible that he was very familiar with and often a visitor to, the Irish Village.
Year Index Pub Style Description / Title Back Colour
No. No. type of back
1908 7j 175 Col Colleens Dancing VII Black
1908 7k 175 Col Colleens Dancing IV Grey-green
1908 7l 175 Col Colleens Dancing VII Green
1908 7m 175 Col Colleens Dancing IV Grey
1908 8n 176 Col Ballymaclinton Colleen with Donkey VII Grey
1908 8o 176 Col Ballymaclinton Colleen with Donkey III Brown
1908 8p 176 Col Ballymaclinton Colleen with Donkey III Black
1908 8q 176 Col Ballymaclinton Colleen with Donkey VII Green
1908 8r 176 Col Ballymaclinton Colleen with Donkey (Palette type) IIb Grey
1908 9j 177 Col Main Street & Ancient Church IV Grey
1908 9k 177 Col Main Street & Ancient Church II Grey
1908 10q 178 Black Irish Village Entrance Ballymaclinton III Black
1908 10r 178 Sepia Irish Village Entrance Ballymaclinton XXVIII Brown
1908 10s 178 Col Irish Village Entrance Ballymaclinton I Grey
1908 12d Sepia Cead Mile Failte on Portcullis (Vert) XXII Grey
1908 13o 179 Col Ballymaclinton Cross (Vert) V Grey
1908 13p 179 Col Ballymaclinton Cross (Vert) IV Grey
1908 14j 211 Sepia McKinley’s Cottage ? Black
1908 14k 5203.3 Sepia McKinley’s Cottage XXV Grey
1908 14l 211 Col McKinley’s Cottage V Grey
1908 14m 5203.3 Sepia McKinley’s Cottage XXV Black
1908 15d 510 Col McKinley’s Cottage (Palette type) IIb Grey
1908 16g 961H Sepia Fisherman’s & Model Cottage ? ?
1908 16h Black Fisherman’s & Model Cottage VII Black
1908 17c Sepia The Irish Village XXIII Black
1908 17d Col The Irish Village (Small frame) XXIII ?
1908 20I 223 Col The Round Tower palette type (Vert) II Grey
1908 21e Black Village Colleens Spinning (Vert) VII Black
1908 21f Col Village Colleens Spinning (Vert) ? ?
1908 24g Col Model Cottages (Art Gallery added) VIII Green
1908 30d 408 Col Colleens Dancing (Palette type) II Grey
1908 34b ? Irish Village XXVII Brown
1908 35b Sepia Pride of the Village III Black
1908 37c Sepia Irish Village Entrance (in frame) XXVII Brown
1908 37 Sepia (As 37c but in smaller frame) XIX Brown
1908 40e 394 Col Kissing the Blarney Stone (Vert) VIII Brown
1908 42a* Sepia Entrance (McKinley’s Home) XXVIII Brown
1908 45e Sepia A Ballymaclinton Colleen (Vert) III Black
1908 46b 405 Ballymaclinton Colleen (Vert) VIII Grey
? 55e 578 Col The Square Ballymaclinton
(Palette type) II Grey
1909 56 579 Col Post Office Ballymaclinton VIII Brown
1909 56 579 Col Post Office Ballymaclinton VIII Plum
1909 56 579 Col Post Office Ballymaclinton
(Palette type) II Grey
1908 61b Sepia Napper Tandy Irelands smallest horse XIII Black
80 Col Humorous cartoon (By Jove etc.) V Grey
81 Col Jaunting Car Unlisted** Red
82 Col Ballymaclinton. (Scene of centre)
83 Col The Irish Village (Variation of No. 54) XXVI Red
84 Col Ballymaclinton (Variation of No. 21) VIII Grey-green
* Original index No. 42 is now 42b.
** A red ‘White City’ seal type back not listed in G. Ithell’s book
Addendum to ‘Posted at Ballymaclinton’
Personnel identified from the issued postcards. (See page 83)
Page Index Personnel
10 8 Left to right, Angel Atkinson, Mrs. Gee and Myrtle Atkinson
10 13 Eileen Atkinson and ‘Barney’
10 21 Myrtle and Eileen Atkinson
13 9 Left to right Eileen Atkinson, Mrs. Gee, Myrtle and Angel Atkinson
32 43 Miss Baxter
37 24 Marie Walker with donkey in the centre
37 44 Miss Simpson
52 23 Mr. H. P. Wilson extreme left with back to the wall
57 16 Miss Simens with the donkey, Mrs. Gee seated in the centre
72 50 Girals Murphy drives the cart
72 53 Miss Kavanagh stands at the left, Cecilia Barnard sitting first from the left
73 52 Eileen Atkinson
30 (Not illustrated) Includes Monica Logan and Mollie O’Brien
60 Frontspiece. (one known copy existing)***
Inside back cover
79 Norah Gallaher, as a small child on a step ladder
More identification of others may be possible, but the above are certain.
A Miss Norah Gallaher, now aged 84 and living in the Isle of Wight, has pictures and documents as proof of her Father and Mother being at the 1908 period of the Village and also photographs of herself with the girl on cards 63 and 64. Photographs are also known of Miss Gallaher with ‘Napper Tandy’ the donkey, Kathleen Hicks (the girl featured on postcards 63 and 64 who was the Junior Champion Weaver of Northern Ireland) and a Marie Routledge. Norah is featured on postcards 77, 78 and 79 as a little girl, at the Crystal Palace in 1911. She tells me that she remembers well, Daisy Beattie and Anna McErval !
1925 - 25
Norah Gallaher was at the Wembley British Empire Exhibition, with a party of no more than ten staff, A small stand was all that represented the firm of McClinton’s.
*** G. Ithell states the card on the frontispiece is No. 60, but on checking with his book this should be No. 65