LAST week I recalled some interesting recollections of Lisburn as it was over 100 years ago. The accounts of the various streets were recorded in 1900 by Mrs. George Wilson.
Her vivid descriptions covered several of the streets in the town, a few of which were recorded on this page last week. The story ended with an account of Bachelor's Walk and this week I will conclude with Mrs. Wilson's very interesting account of Railway Street.
The site where the present library stands was Armstrong's Hotel in 1893 and in 1900 served the purpose of the old post office.
Wardsborough Road held the fountain where all the people out of the entries and small houses had to send for water.
Between hard frosts and dry summers there were frequent water famines, and then cans of water had to be bought from carriers who brought it from the 'Fairy Well' and the 'Boiling Well'.
Milk carts with their bright cans, were a new institution in 1853, and many of the town shopkeepers kept their own cows. They sold milk but customers had to send for it.
Paraffin oil was almost unknown, and very few had lamps. Mound and wax candles were burned, unless where there was gas, and common 'dips' were generally used in the kitchen.
Continuing up Railway Street, there was Mrs. Handcock's sewing school, the Friends' Meeting House and at the upper corner the 'Hertford Arms' kept by Mr. and Mrs. Lennon. There was lots of posting in those days and the hotel was a lively place.
CLEVER LITTLE MAN
Mrs. Wilson in her reminiscences, remembered people. in Market Square best of all, as they all kept shops.
"Mr. John McIntyre, a clever little man full of fun, had his cabinet maker's shop next to the 'Hertford Arms' and Miss McIntyre, his sister, a well known draper, lived next to him.
"She had a very nice shop and kept everything of the very best of quality.
Mr. Hugh Seeds had his office and dwelling house next door and Adam McClure his bakery and spirit store adjoining", wrote Mrs. Wilson.
The best known establishment was that of Miss Eliza Chapman's book and toy shop which came next in the row.
The shop did duty with the young people as a newsroom or club, and Miss Chapman knew everyone and everyone knew her.
Next door was Mr. Thomas Mussen's spirit store called 'The Pillars' then two chandlers' shops, and John Millers' bakery and dwelling house.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Wilson's accounts of Lisburn in the mid 19th century end at this point but they certainly provide a very descriptive insight into the past and of how our Lisburn ancestors lived.