A Young Builder's Story

As recalled by 91 year old Fred Cooke who was 12 when he helped build the 120ft high chimney at The Linen Green Moygashel.

The building of the chimney started in 1946 and it took 9-12 months.

It was built with brick from Coalisland and lime that came in a bag like stones. We had to steep the lime in water to soften it like putty and it had to sit a certain length of time before we could use it. It was know as (salt sand mix) Lime Mortar – David Graham made it up and we used it for building and grouting.

When commencing, a small box with coins was buried at the base.

A special tapered plumb rule was used and leaded plumb balls, which was hard especially on outside walls with the wind - it was really difficult to get the proper plumb.

The brick was all handpicked for facing and the rejects were used for heating. While we were building a brazier was used in the winter and the scaffolding caught fire.

Every course was grouted and lined inside with firebrick.

The last 20ft was built with sand and cement.

When the chimney was done it all had to be re-pointed because the frost destroyed the pointing.

We got a few shillings extra at the finish.

‘When commencing a small box with coins was buried at the base.’

Chimney Team

Architect Mr McDonald

Main Bricklayers James Crooks
  Charlie Wade
Apprentice Bricklayer Fred Cooke
Foreman Tom Wade
Jocmen Herbie Thompson
Labourers Joe Williamson
  Tom Mulgrew
  Ben Beatty
  David Graham
  Bob Best


Other stories:

Moygashel Mills

Stevensons were a Scottish Plantation family who moved to Co. Tyrone in the 1600s. Robert...