Monday, March 26, 2018

The folk aboot Hame

I’m happy - and relieved - at the response to Hame. I am so very much an amateur at all of this, but trusting the experience and skill of professionals who have proven themselves over and over again with the highest quality work. Friends and neighbours are talking to me, Portavogie folk are very happy with how the village was portrayed, and the early word on the Raphoe programme is full of the same positive ‘happy vibes’. I can’t list them all here. But here is just one.

On Saturday, a now-elderly gentleman, with flowing white beard, came up to me in Donaghadee. At first I didn’t recognise him. He’s 81 now but I remember him from when I was wee, as he was a builder by day but also a frequent, very powerful, preacher in the halls around here. In later years when I saw pictures of John Caldwell Calhoun, he reminded me of this man.

‘Are you that Thompson fellow?’ he said to me, introduced himself and then flowed into a few minutes of fond warm reminiscence. 

He spoke at my grandmother’s funeral, both up at the wee house at Ballyfrench and down at the graveside in Ballyhalbert after we had cairryt her doon tha brae. He also spoke at my aunt Doris’s funeral service at the People’s Hall in Portavogie. He was thrilled by the programme.

I am reassured that television professionals and culturally-minded people are happy with the series. I am humbled when local folk whose place and story we all sought to tell are happy with the end result.

But when a man like this, whose voice I sat under frequently on Sunday evenings for maybe 20 years, tells me with excitement how he sang along with Pull For The Shore, with a twinkle in his eyes and a big beaming smile on his elderly bearded face, I know we’ve done a good job.