Tag Archives: Ross Chapman

Bellaghy Historical Society – March 2007

The last meeting of the Bellaghy Historical Society for the 2006-2007 season started with a brief A.G.M.when the election of Office bearers resulted as follows: Chairperson Mrs Mary Breslin, Vice Chairperson Mr. Seamus McErlean, Hon. Secretary Mrs Patricia Lowry, Hon. Treasurer Mrs Pat Henry,Committee members Mrs. Margaret Evans,  Mrs Ena Hammond, Mr. Dermot Keenan,  Mr. Pat Brennan and Mr. Sam Overend.   Thanking the speaker Mr. Ross Chapman from Newry for conducting the election Mrs Breslin told members that he was a retired Veterinary Surgeon and had come to speak to them on “Stable, Byre and Sty” – a nostaglic look at the Ulster farmyard.   Mr. Chapman recalled the close relationship which the farmer of the 1930s and 1940s had with his animals which in many cases were housed in stables and byres adjoining the house providing heat for the animals and the human inhabitants as well.   Nowadays the farm buildings are at some distance from the main dwelling and the relationship is quite different from the days when people sat on a milking stool with actual physical contact with the cow. Animals were vital to farm life then with the horse being the most important, providing transport with a trap for the family, moving heavy loads of materials for farm maintenance, labouring in the fields ploughing, reaping and bringing in the harvest.   An injured horse was a catastrophe for the farmer and veterinary medicines were much more primitive and less effective than in present times. He recalled the anxiety of administering some doses and demonstrated with some of the instruments he had brought with him.   Mr. Chapman’s reminiscences proved of great interest to his audience and the Chairperson thanked him for coming so far to share them. Mrs. Breslin also reminded members of the proposed outing on 14th June to Derry, L/derry, when a tour of  buildings and places of great historic interest has been planned.   Members who were not present at the meeting but who would like to go are advised to ring either 7938 6225 or 7938 6413.