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I am posting this for your enjoyment with permission from Viola Wiggins of
My Grandmother lived 19 miles away in Ballinamallard so the week before
Christmas the pony would be taken to the Blacksmith in Blacklion to have her
Shoes "Removed" which meant they were taken off all four feet and her Hooves
pared before the hot shoe glowing red from the Forge Fire, a spike placed in
one of the nail holes enabled Myles Flynn, the Blacksmith to place it upon the
hoof to seat it firmly and evenly on the hoof. I can still smell the smoke of
the procedure which only took seconds, before the shoe was cooled quickly in a
tub of cold water, and refitted to the hoof with seven nails, four on the
outside and three on the inside. There were holes at the heels of the shoe
where Frost Cogs would be hammered into. They stopped the pony slipping on
The evening of Christmas Eve Daddy and I would check and polish the Carriage
Lamps and put new Candles in both of them. They fitted into brackets on the
shafts of the Trap.
Then next morning we would leave home around 05-30am with hot water bottles and
hot bricks wrapped in pieces of blanket to keep us warm under a thick woolen
Rug placed over out knees.
We'd trot along for a short distance then let the pony walk for a while before
jogging along again, to arrive at Granny's front door around 08-45am to be
welcomed by my Aunt Gerty, Granny, and our two cousins. Daddy would take the
pony and Trap round to "Crozier's Yard" where there was a stable. The Oats were
decanted fron the hessian bag and the Hay we'd brought spread before Daisy the
Her harness would be taken off her and placed on a Harness Rack. A halter
placed on her and her blanked fastened around her again.
Then Daddy came in through the yard and Granny would have a Hot Toddy (Whiskey)
ready for him, "to warm the cockles of his heart".
Daddy always cooked the Turkey, Goose and Ham that fed the 28 of us assembled
together. Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.
Mum had 12 siblings and by that time two boys had died, another two boys and
two girls had gone to USA. Can you just imagine if had had been there with all
The house would bulge out at the sidewalls!
I have so many happy memories of Christmas Days and Holidays in Ballinamallard
they would fill that book everyone wants me to write.
Happy Holidays and Christmas wishes to all our Fermanagh Families where ever