History of a 20th Century Grocery
I was born in New Well Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Ireland on 4th July 1908. My father John was a partner in the grocery and animal feed business of Watson & Bell. When I was two years old we moved to a house called Coreen and I grew up there. My father rented Coreen until 1916 when he was able to buy it for 275. Coreen is in Thomas Street about 150 yards from the Market Square.
An early recollection is of my father, John, at the door of the shop in Irish Street measuring out grass seed on a Thursday, the market day. At the time the seed was measured in bushels and pecks, four pecks to a bushel
and the seed was delivered to the shop in bags containing eight bushels. There were two grades of grass seed, one weighing 28 lbs each bushel and a lower grade 26 lbs each bushel. There was also Italian grass seed weighing 22 lbs each bushel. There were peck and bushel measures and they were filled to overflowing and then a flat stick was drawn across the top to skim off the surplus. This method invited arguments from some crafty customers with the more blatant standing beside the person measuring, and as the measures was being filled they would give it an odd kick.
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Market Square
New Well Road
Market Square