School: Clochar na Trócaire, Carn Domhnaigh (roll number 16821)

Ballylosky, Co. Donegal
An tSr. M. Beirín Ní Bhaoighill

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Clochar na Trócaire, Carn Domhnaigh | The Schools’ Collection

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 1114, Page 262

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Long ago blacking was not known in our district. Soot from the houses and pots was carefully scraped off and mixed with cream to soften it. The mixture was rubbed with a brush and then left to dry. Then a soft cloth was used to polish. Straw was sometimes burned and mixed with cream or oil and then applied to leggings or boots.

Boot laces - which were locally called "whangs" are still in use among labourers. It is not uncommon to see a man take a piece of leather, cut it round in shape and carefully mark concentric circles. These he cuts out and when the whole piece is stretched he has produced a strong lace.