Winnie’s keeps town up with the news

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Keen amateur photographer Brian Dynes this week gave the Old Page a photo which reflects part of the history of the newsagents business in the centre of Portadown.

At the back of the picture (peeping out) out is none other than ‘Winnie’ of the popular newsagents in Woodhouse Street, the remaining one of a series that once served the centre of Portadown. The photo dates back to the days when Winnie was one of the Mulholland sisters of Dungannon Road.

Left to right –Michael Marley (deceased), Vera Turley (deceased) and then come the Mulhollands – Eileen (now Walsh and living in Aghagallon where the family has a market; Willie (now Donnelly and still serving at her beloved shop); Anne Megarity (deceased who had married in the bookmaker family). And Jim Maginness (deceased).

Winnie believes the picture was taken at a whist drive which was all the rage of the time, but doesn’t remember where or when.

She recalled that she and her husband Willie set up the business back in 1957, the premises having been owned by Frank and Felix Murphy who ran butchery and confectionary businesses. Winnie had worked for Billy McConville in Woodhouse Street before then, but the premises were demolished to make way for a car park.

‘Winnie’s’ has remained in the family ever since, with son Liam and daughter Marion joining mum. They recall a plethora of newsagents that one serve central Portadown – among them Jeffers, McGaffins, Clements and the legendary ‘Ma’ Courtney.

Of course, newspapers aren’t the only fare sold in ‘Winnie’s’, with greetings cards, tobacco, magazines and the full range on sale.

Liam opens up the shop at around 6.30am and they have five delivery boys to do the rounds – starting at 7am – keeping up a proud tradition. We thank Brian Dynes, who pointed out the strong family likeness among the Sisters Mulholland!