Donkeys in town centre

DURING the summer evenings in 1975 one youngster was turning back the clock in Lurgan town centre.

Twelve year old Charles Gardiner was taking advantage of the absence of traffic on the main street to exercise his donkeys.

Almost every evening he could be seen riding up and down the street on one of the five donkeys he owned.

His father, Charles Gardiner, said: “It’s like Lurgan 50 years ago. There’s not a motor to be seen, only donkeys.”

Young Charles kept the donkeys in the gardens at the back of his house and was using the good weather to full effect to make hay which would see the donkeys through the winter.

The latest addition was a three week old foal called Barney.

One of his animals, Rose of Tralee, was the winner of many cups in donkey derbies all over Ireland.