Thursday, 10 March 2011

Lifford - Leisure

At Prior School, which I attended for a few years as well, boys and girls had to play hockey, whether we liked it or not. I was one of the ones who liked it. I can't say the same about cricket, I like watching cricket but not playing the game. We went all over Northern Ireland, Donegal and Sligo playing hockey, but we never went down the country. After I left school I joined Strabane Hockey Club and spent quite a few years playing there.

I must have been about twenty years old before I started playing tennis in Urney and then in Donaghmore. About the time I started the tennis I also started playing badminton, which I enjoyed very much in Donaghmore. Donaghmore had a church hall where they held socials. The Presbyterians did not allow dancing in their halls. You had the likes of The Siege of Venice and the Waves of Tory. If a dance would happen to start up the minister of the said church had a whistle and all you heard was a few blasts of the whistle to cool things down again.

Things have come a long way since the sixties, but I don't know if it's for the better or not. - Joe Mc Cormick

Growing up I didn't have much leisure time, after work when I got home I had to help out around the house, and help with my brothers and sisters, and at weekends I helped my dad with his book work, and orders for customers so I had a busy life. I did get to the cinema, and concerts when something good was on and I still enjoy the cinema regularly. - Carmel Parkes

I lived beside St. Pats hall and growing up I would watch all the local girls going into the dance. The glamour of the girls, in their pretty dresses, lovely hair style and nice high heels shoes. I just couldn't wait to be old enough to go dancing.

In the late 50s it was in St' Pat's that I learned to dance the 'Slow Waltz', 'Tango', 'Quick-Step', Old-Time Waltz' and 'Fox Trot'. The boys would stand at one side of the hall and girls at the other. When Tommy Mac's band started to play there was a rush of boys across the floor to ask a girl to dance. The dance consisted of three parts, and if the next dance was ladies choice she returned to that boy. Then if he came back to dance with her again and take her for a mineral chances were he would have asked to walk her home.

In the early 60's Rock and Roll became phenomenal with Elvis Presley singing 'Jail House Rock', 'Blue Suede Shoes' and Bill Haley singing 'Rock around the Clock' Cliff Richards singing 'Living Doll' and of course the Beatles.

Style of dress also changed to the can-can skirt and hair in a pony style and flat shoes were best for jiving in. Some boys wore Teddy Boys suits which were narrow leg trousers with a long jacket, thick soled shoes and a Tony Curtis hair style.

Television was another phenomenon bringing us news from around the world. 'Top of the Pops' was a great favourite. - Maureen Hegarty

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