Memories o’ tha grocery cairt

The Poocher comes out of retirement for special Ulster-Scots Language Week article

Memories o’ tha grocery cairt

Charlie 'Tha Poocher' Reynolds

Tha Poocher


Tha Poocher

A WUS jest switherin tae maesel tha ither deh aboot tha gran time A had whun A wrocht as a weechal as a ‘grocery assistant’ on a wee grocery cairt.
It wus mae furst jab o’ wurk an it wusnae ower far fae hame sae A gean it birl in mae schuil holideys an endit up naw gane baak tae tha schuilhoose.
 A wus jest a kin o a message boy lukin efter tha egg boxes that wur tane tae egg man in tha toon, keerin yin hunner wecht baags o’ pig male, layers mash an tha lake tae keep tha toories an chuckies fed. Whun a sterted tha jab A fun it wus kinna sore on tha oul baak fur tha bags wur mair than tha wecht o maesel.
 Pittin tha prootas intae stane baags wus anither thing A dane, ye had an oul wudden tamata box an ye filled it sorta level wae Arran Victors tae maak tha stane an aff coorse ye had tae fill gallon jars wae blue parrifin.  
Noo this wus awa baak in tha 60’s whun A wus jest gein up tha schuil tae maak maesei bit o ’siller.  Noo tha siller a got wus gie an licht twa pun ten fur aroon saxty oors a week. In thon deys folk leevin in tha countrie  wurnae able tae trevel far frae thur ain loanin sae they wur gie an gled o’ tha wee grocery van caa’in wae them  ivery week.
Wae wud hae caa‘ed wae a soarts o’ folk fae tha big fermer tae tae anither poor bein wha slept in a big Bushmil whiskey barrel in amang tha waa steads o’ an aul hoose. A alwyes fun tha countrie folk tae bae tha saalt o’ tha airth an aff coorse tha oul Ulster Scots tongue wus spake nearly iverywhaur wae treveled.
Roon Christamas time wus a guid time tae bae a ‘grocery assistant’ fur tha guid folk wud hae gaen ye a guid Christamas tip an it gean ye a qoure lift in tha oul wallet depertmint. Celenders an fruit loafs wur in graet demand at Yuletide an wur alwyes gein tae tha customers as a wee thenk ye token for thur custom throughoot tha year.
Noo whiles thur micht hae bane a wee bit o’ ill wull ower tha heid tha twa afore mentioned items for ye had tae maak sure naeboady wus left oot ir it wud hae caased a hale rucshun. Ach weel that wus a ower saxty year ir mair an tha yung yins widnae iver hae saa’ a grocery cairt ir a grocery assistant wae a broon shap coat on him clarried wae hen male an blue parrifin. Onywye tha mair A moved on tae ither things in mae life a alwyes  luk baak tae grocery cairt an tha grait deys thae wur. Bye fur noo .

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The generation game

Mother and daughter Alice and Annie McGill who played for Coleraine Thirds at the weekend.