taking our culture forward

John Curphey was born at ‘Mrs Crebbin’s’ in Colby, his mother sadly dying when he was born, as his father was working on the Steam Packet boats he was brought up with his grandparents in the Ballabeg Post Office. Noel and John have been friends since those early days and they chat about their memories including the headmaster at Arbory School who was a disciplinarian, of racing empty shoe polish tins down a ‘TT’ course on the river (John still has a list of the timings for the tins at each ‘place’ on the course), of village life, a description of the post office and some of the people who regularly used it, the delivery round, a love of football and playing for Rushen, the ‘charmer’ in the village who was able to stop blood flow and cure warts, playing knock and run at houses and idyllic days in the Parville orchard. John and Noel recall who lived in each of the forty eight houses in Ballabeg from their childhood days with some reminiscing on various local characters, a wonderful snapshot of mid twentieth century Ballabeg before development changed the village irreversibly.


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  • Interview with John Curphey & Noel Cringle