Bygone Days: Fifteen Landrace pigs land at Nutt's Corner from Sweden (1954)

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Fifteen Landrace pigs had arrived in a special charter aircraft at Nutt’s Corner airport during this week in 1954 from Malmo, Sweden, reported the News Letter.

They were the first to be imported here direct from the Continent. The News Letter that “a few Landraces have already arrived in Ulster from England”.

Representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Mr E T Green, president of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, who was one of the group of breeders who were taking part in an experiment with the Landraces, were at the airport.

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Mr J Pollock, chairman of the Ulster branch of the National Pig Breeders’ Association, and Mr Green had been studying the progress of the breed England.

Pictured in April 20908 is Des Wright (right), who is seen presenting cups to Andrew and Thomas Nevin during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuleyPictured in April 20908 is Des Wright (right), who is seen presenting cups to Andrew and Thomas Nevin during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuley
Pictured in April 20908 is Des Wright (right), who is seen presenting cups to Andrew and Thomas Nevin during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuley

They believed that the Landrace, “with its long body, providing plenty of lean bacon”, was better suited to modern market requirements than the present breeds raised in Northern Ireland.

The News Letter commented: “After four weeks in the quarantine station at Twin Islands, Belfast, the pigs will be divided among three farms – Mr Green’s at Hillsborough, Mr McGuckian’s at Cloughmills, and Mr W Gillespie’s, at Coleraine – where their development will be studied closely.” The pigs had travelled to Northern Ireland in separate crates, and the aircraft came by way of Hamburg.

The News Letter added: “The pilot reported that his passengers were ‘very good’ throughout the long journey, and suffered no ill effects.”

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River Faughan drainage: Derry Rural Council, at its meeting, were informed that a scheme for the drainage of the upper reaches of the River Faughan and its tributaries was at present being prepared, and the work would probably begin in about six months, reported the News Letter.

Pictured in April 20908 is Des Wright who is seen presenting Bertie Faulkner with his cup during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuleyPictured in April 20908 is Des Wright who is seen presenting Bertie Faulkner with his cup during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuley
Pictured in April 20908 is Des Wright who is seen presenting Bertie Faulkner with his cup during the Garvagh Ploughing Society match awards dinner in the Imperial Hotel, Garvagh. Picture: Farming Life archives/Kevin McAuley

The matter had been raised at the previous meeting, when Mr W J Eakin spoke of the need for a cleansing and drainage scheme, and it was decided that the clerk,

Mr W A McCahon, should communicate with the Ministry of Agriculture.

The ministry, in letter read at the meeting, stated that a modified scheme for the drainage of the Faughan River was being prepared.

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A letter was received from Derry Port and Harbour Commissioners in which it was stated that the Commissioners were in favour the larger scheme for the proposed sewer and reclamation at Pennyburn, the estimated cost of which is £7,600.

Charlotte and Victoria Wall enjoy the dinner. Pic Kevin McAuleyCharlotte and Victoria Wall enjoy the dinner. Pic Kevin McAuley
Charlotte and Victoria Wall enjoy the dinner. Pic Kevin McAuley

The clerk said that the Harbour Commissioners favoured taking the sewer out to deep water.

Derry Corporation’s decision was still awaited.

The chairman, Mr J Hatrick, said that the Rural Council had agreed to pay one-third of the cost of the smaller scheme.

He added: “If we go ahead with the larger scheme he thought the Harbour Board should contribute a little more.

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Pictured in April 2008 are Betty Faulkner, Robert Walls and Bertie Faulkner pictured at the Garvagh Ploughing match dinner held in the Imperial Hotel Garvagh on Friday evening. Pic Kevin McAuleyPictured in April 2008 are Betty Faulkner, Robert Walls and Bertie Faulkner pictured at the Garvagh Ploughing match dinner held in the Imperial Hotel Garvagh on Friday evening. Pic Kevin McAuley
Pictured in April 2008 are Betty Faulkner, Robert Walls and Bertie Faulkner pictured at the Garvagh Ploughing match dinner held in the Imperial Hotel Garvagh on Friday evening. Pic Kevin McAuley

“The Harbour Board is going to get the most benefit from it. The reclamation will give them some valuable building ground for sites for industries.”

More cattle in Ulster: For the first time for a number of years the number of cattle in Northern Ireland had shown a small increase, according to the agricultural census returns complied in January 1954.

There were also substantial increases in the number of pigs and sheep, “but most classes of poultry continued to decline”.

The total number of cattle on January 1 was 856,200 compared with 839,100 in 1953 – an increase of 17,100. Heifers in calf, at 45,000, fell by 3,600, but there were Increases in cows in calf but not in milk, the total being 92,700, or 2.900 more, and there were also 900 more cows and heifers in milk at 172,000. Younger animals showed increase. The number of sheep, at 292,600, was well above the figure for 1939, and represented an increase 61,000 on the year. Pigs numbered 736,400, an increase of 43,100. The decline in poultry totalled 1,862,700 at 9,422,200. Ordinary fowl dropped by 1,787,300 to 9,097,800, turkeys by 8,300 to 32.000, and ducks by 68,200 to 260,600. Geese on the other hand, increased by 1,100 to 31,000.

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Butter-making: The Minister Agriculture (the Reverend R Moore), replying to Mr Diamond (Rep Lab, Falls), at Stormont during this week in 1954, said that in 1953 the total production of butter in Northern Ireland was 3,537 tons and the total consumption 7,493 tons.

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