Jul 03 2019

‘Two trupenny wafers please…’

Published by at 3:09 pm under News

‘I was at a family funeral there recently and my older brother from England was over for it. He’s been living in England for over fifty years now. I was rattling my brain trying to think what I could give him to take back on the boat. So, I came up with the bright idea of giving him an old Irish Sixpenny Bit, to remind him of years ago and that. As I handed it to him I said “Here, get yourself a Sixpenny Wafer with that”. Now, when he saw what I had placed in his hand, his eyes lit up like a Christmas Tree. Some of the younger generation standing nearby wanted to know what I had given him. “A sixpenny bit…” says the brother, “…I’m going to buy two thrupenny wafers and put one in my pocket for later”. At that, him and I laughed out loud and especially at the expressions on the faces of the younger ones standing around us. My brother then looked at them and said “There’s two of them in a Shilling, five in a Half a Dollar and forty in a Pound and that’s worth two trupenny bits”. That stunned the younger ones altogether, they hadn’t a clue what the brother was on about.

   To make things worse he says “And there’s twelve inches in a foot and ten noughts are nothing”. They didn’t know what to say to that, I can tell you. It was almost as though he was back in school again. Some of them wanted to know what the Greyhound was for so the brother said “He’s there to catch the Rabbit on the back”. So they turned the coin over and seeing the Harp said “There’s no Rabbit on this”. With that, the brother says, “Ah, he must have caught it already so”. Again, him and I and several others of our generation broke our hearts laughing. My brother turned to me and said “Do you ever remember going into Boland’s Bread Shop with the oul Hal’penny and they giving you back a piece of cardboard for money”? Then he turned to the younger audience and said “I’ve changed my mind, I’m only getting one thrupenny wafer and then I can get a penny’s worth of Bull’s Eyes and twopence worth of Broken Biscuits and I’ll keep them for on the boat back to England”. I can tell you here and now, the brother and myself may as well have been talking in a foreign language where the younger ones were concerned. They just shook their heads because, accordance to them, we were only going from bad to worse. Now, imagine that all the same, in less than one generation a lot of our ways are gone and almost forgotten. What would our Teachers in school think of that?…’

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