Monkstown : Requiem for a village

51UmRxkW6RL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ I found this very interesting book (Ref Roddie Andrews) in the Linen Hall Library.  It is a very personal look back at life in the village of Monkstown before and after the ‘American factories’ arrived in 1962.

The building of the Monkstown Industrial Estate was in the large meadow, owned by Nursery Owner Robert Kirkpatrick in the town land of Cloughfern.

It is a environmental change that I have read in a number of places but, in this book, the author Roddie Andrews comments on how the new factories “required lots of women with small hands” for the intricate work and how the women of the families in some cases “gained their independence” within the family due to the good wages paid.

Roddie Andrews mentions that the progress forced on the local area with employment contracts which required that employees “must work overtime as and when required” added huge strains to family life. “Another dehumanisation” was the introduction of Time and Motion on the work practices and incentive payments.

In my own memories even I can contrast the peaceful Boy Scout walks through the area when I was young to the queues of cars coming up the Doagh Road and trying to turn right onto the site across the daily commuter traffic jams. Living locally I always felt that the factories sat well within the community with a well understood co-dependence.

I guess STC and Spaldings were just two more causes for an influx of new people into the area following in the history of the Mill, Print Works and the garrison families from Carrickfergus.

As Roddie Andrews says the “1964 devastating news of the Housing Trust’s vesting orders” in preparation for the building of the Monkstown Estate was really the end of the Village structure.

With a population now over 85,000 in the wider Newtownabbey area, we can only look back with fond memories of the old Monkstown area where everyone knew everyone … .. and their mother.

Ref: Roddie Andrews:  Requiem for a village

Advertisements

One thought on “Monkstown : Requiem for a village

  1. Interesting to read about the background of the village. Having spent only short periods there, I never really saw much of the area.
    I think that the author’s comment “”Another dehumanisation” was the introduction of Time and Motion” does not reflect the reality of factory life! Time and Motion (otherwise known as Work Study) was used to help, not hinder. Some of the old practices in the English factories reduced the effectiveness of the employees so much that their ability to earn suffered. Health could also suffer.
    By studying how work was done gave opportunities for better conditions with less effort for more output. Coupled with improved management, that was to the good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s