The poem below written by Finn Valley poet Ivan Knox. There is not enough poetry in the world today, we need more. This is a fine example of Ivan's style. It is a good read about fine times that were and need to be again.
Have you ever been to Stranorlar,
Or to Stranorlar monthly Fair.
Have you ever seen the livestock,
Or the Crowds of people there.
It’s a day out for the family,
A day without a care.
Where everyone enjoys themselves,
At the Stranorlar monthly Fair.
You will see the great old bargain King,
With his fine wares for to sell.
You will see the shooting gallery,
Put there by Bumby Bell.
You will hear Old Simmie Doherty,
On his home made Violin.
Playing lots of dancing music,
On his magic piece of Tin.
You will hear all kinds of tales been told,
By men in the Pubs,
You will meet all kind of people there,
Including people seeking subs.*
You can have a lovely dinner,
At a cost of half a crown.
And when the evening comes along,
Every one is homeward bound.
The farmers they are busy,
Selling of their stock.
The hawkers and the dealers,
Are busy checking what they bought.
But down in the big horse market,
Held in the street behind McKanes,
Where many a deal was settled up,
With fists, and sticks and reins.
There was three holding pens in town,
For cattle when they’re sold.
The owners of these holding pens,
Charged a Bob a head to hold.
The yards were owned by Bonnar,
McMenamins and John Horn.
The cattle were allowed to stay all day,
But not from night till morn.
Dealers came here from all around,
Like Strabane and Letterkenny,
Others came from Castlederg,
Donegal and Ballyshanny.
Others came from Ballintra,
And dear old Sligo town.
They were all made very welcome,
At the Fair in Stranorlar Town.
Ivan Knox © 2003
*(I was not familiar with the term 'sub' and had to ask Ivan what that meant, he explains it thus, ' When one of these men spend too much cash on drink and the want another one for the road, they would come over to you and shake your hand and say sub me a few dollars or euros, as the case may be, old timer and I will pay you back next week, but the uncanny thing about that is , you will never see your money again. '