taking our culture forward

Sylvia Murray (nee Kennish), was born at her grandparents’ home, Tanyard Cottage St Marks in 1936; weighing just 2lb and very premature she was the eldest child and thought of as a ‘miracle baby’. Her father, Charles Kennish, worked as a farm labourer moving from farm to farm, Sylvia spent her early years at Ballavitchel before moving up to a cottage at Ellerslie where she remembers Internees working on the farm, she later returned to live in the cottage there when she had children of her own.

Sylvia talks of her years in service to Mr Harley Cunningham living in at ‘Ballacotch’ and her memories of the ‘fishing girls’ when they came from Scotland to work seasonally on the herring. Sylvia met Harold Murray, an engineer from the Cooill, when he came to fix her bike, she talks of his working at West Marine on the first P50 cars and after over four years of courting, their life together. Sylvia moved to Clybane Cottage at the Cooill to look after her in-laws and has many memories of a hamlet that was very changed to how you find it today, also of almost twenty years working at Ballamona as a nurse and her experience of working in mental health.

Sylvia’s life could be described as one of care and service to others and is very much filled with happy memories.


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  • Interview with Sylvia Murray