School: Gortermone

Gortermone, Co. Leitrim
Mrs A. O' Reilly

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Gortermone | The Schools’ Collection

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0229, Page 197

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In this district still, soap is made. When pigs etc are killed the the intestines, as waste guts, stomach etc. are kept boiled cooled & fat taken off the top of the liquid. Then fat later on dissolved and mixed with melted caustic soda. Proportion 6 1/2 lbs of fat to 1 lb of caustic soda dissolved in three pints of cold water. Both fat & caustic soda should be mixed when luke warm. Poured into a vessel -- as a trough -- allowed to cool & cut in squares.

Many local nailors still exist in this district -- Some 10 or 12 years ago they earned their living by making nails. Now they are not required as few people get home made boots from local shoe-makers. I remember being sent for nails & to watch the operation. The nailor put the rod of iron in a hole on something like an anvil beat a head on it pulled it out again & cut off the nail, required length. We called them Mick & John the Nailor. I never knew any sir name for them & the cross-roads they lived at is still known as the Nailor's Cross-roads.

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Annie O Reilly