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16 October 2014
Ulster Scots Voices

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- Mark Thompson
- Sally Young
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- Iain McAfee
- Kenny Blair
- Margaret Taylor

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Margaret Taylor - transcript of interview

Margaret Taylor

He's (husband Ivan) actually on the committee of the Drumaheglis Flute Band, so he is, in the town here. He's a committee man on that, so he is. They take the decision where the band's going, where they're playing and things like that. If they're going to Scotland, how many of the band is going and how many, like, as they call them, outsiders, that would be the likes of me, you know, being able to go.

They organise the ferry and things like that and organise where everybody's going to stay. That all falls on the likes of them. They communicate then with the other band committee, so they do, and they do all that.

Interviewer: This year, how many bands are going over from Ballymoney?

Margaret: As far as I know there's two bands, the Drumaheglis going over and Dunaghy flute band are going over. But Dunaghy flute band are going to Glasgow because the Glasgow walk is the same time as the Western Scotland walk so that's going to West Calder this year.

Interviewer: So would you say there's a very strong tradition between Northern Ireland and Scotland when it comes for example to the 12th July?

Margaret: Yes, very strong connections between them. Like, if you go to, if you go like to the parade over here on the Twelfth, you'll see a lot of Scottish bands but they're from all over Scotland. As far as I know in Coatbridge, there's actually a band coming over from Liverpool this year as well as the bands from Northern Ireland going over.

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I work part time in the local Glebeside Spar, which is run by David Smyth. He's been here 25 years. The shop's just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

I like working in the shop. I'm a shop assistant, mainly working on the checkouts, so it's really nice to be in to meet people, get to know everybody, get to know the familiar faces. You might not know their names but you know them coming in and out of the shop, and you see them walk past you in the street and that. And you say hello and you ask ‘Oh, who's that?' and you remember you've obviously served them in the shop.

Interviewer: What's unusual about working in this Spar shop in Glebe?

Margaret: There's a lot of Scottish people that come into it. It really surprised me when I started to work, because I knew there was some Scottish people that did live locally in Ballymoney but not as many as I thought, working in the shop. There's a girl that comes in from Inverness who told me she'd been here 20 years. There's a woman who comes in who's originally from Hollytown, which is not far from where my Gran grew up in Bellshill, and there's another girl that comes in from Glasgow.

Interviewer: And whenever you've spoken to them, what have you found out about how they came over here?

Margaret: They usually came over because they've married somebody from this area, or they've met somebody from this area and that's how they're here. Or they've maybe had family that have lived here and they've moved over from Scotland, like grandparents and things.

Interviewer: Does it make you feel more at home then?

Margaret: Oh aye. It does. It makes you feel more, and when you're talking to them. The girl from Inverness actually worked in our local hospital so she did, back in Airdrie, which is just next to Coatbridge, in the Monklands Hospital, and we were talking about that. It just goes to show how small the world really is when you meet somebody.

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Well, as far as I know, what my Gran, on my Mum's side always used to say was that her father was originally from Ballymena, but we know it as Balla-mena on her side of the family. But to know the history or anything, I don't know anything about that.

Interviewer: So your grandmother called it...

Margaret: Balla-meeny. And it's actually Ballymena. It's something to do with the name, that originally came from Ballymena.

Interviewer: So there's definitely been a link for generations?

Margaret: Uh-huh. As far as I know from what my Gran told me.

Interviewer: And do you know what the link was?

Margaret: I don't know if it was to do with working, how to get over to Coatbridge. I don't know nothing about it, so I'd need to go into the history of the family to do the likes of that.

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When I'm not working, I'm usually looking after Morgan and our house and Ivan. If we're not doing that, we go out; go shopping, out to the pub, or out for a meal or out with our friends who live just across the road from us.

Interviewer: Tell me about Morgan.

Margaret: She's 15 months. We had her last April. Into everything. She's walking now, climbing stairs and is full of beans!

Interviewer: And do you think Morgan will end up marrying a man from Ballymoney?

Margaret: I don't know. She'll maybe marry somebody from Coatbridge and move back there!

Interviewer: So would Morgan be an Ulster-Scot, would you say, or is she Scottish?

Margaret: No, she's an Ulster-Scot. She was born in the Causeway at Coleraine so she's definitely an Ulster-Scot but there'll always be a bit of her that would be part of Scotland.

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