The above is a photo of Grandfathers salmon and trout reels. Both manufactured by Farlows circa 1930. I still use the trout reel which is in perfect order.
Having been persuaded by my web designer to become involved with blogging I have now been asked to blog about amusing incidents which have taken place here over the years. So taking the above heading as a starter here goes.
What on earth have salmon clergy and death got in common?
The year is 1935. The venue is the river here at Kilcoleman, and the characters are The Rev Canon Lamb (my Grandfather a Church of Ireland clergyman) and Canon Cochrane the local Roman Catholic PP. For those not familiar with Ireland in those days it must be said that for a Protestant and a Roman Catholic priest to be such good friends was far from common. Indeed both churches treated each other with suspicion, and regretfully at times disrespect. In the case of these two clergy, what brought them together was the love of salmon and trout fishing. From information passed down through the family the two spent many happy hours on the river and the following incident I think worth recording.
It was a Monday. The river was falling after a good flood and plenty of salmon were running. News arrived at Kilcoleman Rectory that a member of Grandfather’s flock had died. The relatives in question were informed that ‘The Canon’ was down at the river with ‘that priest his pal’ fishing. On hearing this they trekked to the river to find them. After some time and searching they came upon the anglers who were in deep conversation sitting on the river bank drinking tea and smoking their pipes. Having announced the death to my Grandfather, he in turn offered his deepest condolences and assured them that he would look after the funeral and not to worry about anything. However he asked “that as there is an excellent run of salmon running up the river which might only last another day, would they mind if the funeral was put back by a day? It makes no odds to the corpse who is now at rest.” They all agreed and went their various ways! It is said that after they had left my Grandfather said to his friend Canon Cochrane “Liam do you think I was disrespectful by asking that favour? Not at all Andrews I would have done exactly the same. After all we must protect our priorities”
A sequel to all this is that Grandfather died a few years later. At his funeral Canon Cochrane shouldered his coffin into our little Protestant church down the road and was in fact the first Roman Catholic to ever step foot in it. You can imagine the gossip that created! Ecumenicism was born that day in our small community.
On immediate matters. July was a mixed month with excellent trout angling throughout especially at dusk. A small spate in the middle of the month produced six salmon and one sea trout for guests from the UK plus myself.