These photos are in memory of my dad, Hugh Dale, a professional watch maker and jeweller; who could repair any clock no matter how small or large. He maintained the Ballymena Townhall clock for many years even when the German company that installed it could not fix it. When he died, the clock was replaced and no one could repair it.
However, my dad's real passionate was music and singing. He played many instruments with his Dulcimer being his main love. That said, he was good on the mouth organ, spoons, accordion, stylophone, piano and he loved to tell the odd joke. He sang in several choirs and loved a good male voice choir above all. He had a concertina which he dabbled at and when he was a young single man and living with his brother and his wife, he tried to learn the bag pipes, often walking through the field of Kenbally, his home land, to practice. His brother told him to either stop playing the pipes or move out as it was driving everyone crazy.
Dad played around the country for most of his life entertaining 1000's of people across the province. Among his other fellow entertainers was his brother John Dale, an accomplished fiddler. There were others who played the fiddle, banjo, tin whistle, guitar, piano and those who sang and recited poetry. I myself was on the stage singing for a short while but my main stardom was the dancing man. It encouraged many a laugh especially when his leg stuck, I would say it was his arthritis; really it was the rivet was too tight. When i got older I fixed that problem. I still have that old fellow and unlike me, he is as fit as ever. I will load up some photos of him soon and I am currently making a new wooden one. Stay tuned as I may make a video of them, as a tribute to my dad. It will be a wee historical treat not to miss.