Thursday 16 August 2018

East London link to South Sligo

Jessica Farry

When Bunninadden native Elaine Scanlon started refurbishing her East London home, she and her family wondered if there might be a time capsule of some description hidden away in the house.

This idea was presented to Elaine and her partner, Owen, by their six-year-old son Louis.

And when refurbishment work started, they discovered that their son Louis was right, in some ways.

Because when the floorboards, that have been in place in the house since 1910 were lifted up, they came across old copies of The Sligo Champion, used to pad out the skirting boards.

But what's more, is that the house was also once occupied by an O'Rourke family from Sligo.

The couple moved into Woodville Road in Leytonstone, East London in 2009. They had heard stories about a Sligo family that once lived there.

As time progressed they learned that the family in question was the O'Rourke family, and Elaine had actually gone to school with a niece of the family.

In the years that followed they also learned that one of the O'Rourke boys made a nostalgic visit to the home, but decided against knocking on the door.

It's understood that the O'Rourke family still have relatives living in Sligo, residing close to the Gurteen area.

One particular copy of The Sligo Champion that was found during the house's refurbishment dates back to 1975 and was addressed to the O'Rourke family, which indicates that the Champion was perhaps being posted to the family from Ireland.

Elaine Scanlon told The Sligo Champion: "It's just a crazy coincidence.

"When we bought the house in 2009 my mother told someone about it and they then said they knew someone who had lived there before. I think they lived there two tenants before us."

Although Elaine may not be living in the region any more, her family still live here.

And indeed, her family are still avid readers of The Sligo Champion, and always have been.

"My parents still buy it all the time. It was always in our house growing up," she said.

Sligo Champion