On Tuesday 9th May Ballymoney U3A Photographers visited Rosie's Cottage, lovingly restored by Pearl and Creighton Hutchinson.
Rosie was a servant to the Hutchinson family in Kilrea. She had a little house rent free on the Upperlands Road and was allowed to take some eggs and other food home with her. She acted as a housekeeper to the then bachelor Tom Hutchinson. She baked breads fresh every morning in a ‘pot oven’, that is with coals on the top of a pot. On top of housework, Rosie worked in the yard too, milking cows and feeding pigs and chickens. She was also expected to take food to workers in the fields, including the times when they were threshing and neighbours came to help. They also grew flax. Apparently she once had to feed 78 people who had come to help. A treat in those days was to go to Kilrea Fair Day where there were ballad singers, maybe an escapologist, stalls and second hand clothes. Rosie was also a handywoman who helped to deliver babies, all of fourteen in one family. She lived until 1967. In 2003 Pearl and Creighton Hutchinson decided to do up Rosie’s old cottage, which had become derelict. The porch was taken off and a half door added, along with curtains, a lit fire, electricity and chairs.
It is open occasionally to groups and school children in order to share what Rosie’s life and what it was like living in those times. Lots of visitors to the cottage have their own memories of life in the countryside in similar cottages.
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