February has got off to a frosty start in Longford but it’s warm in Herterich’s Artisan Meats Store in Ballymahon Street Longford and I note that work is progressing well on the restoration of St. Mel’s Cathedral. Joining the hard working team on this massive restoration project is young Longford plasterer Tina Brogan who will be able to say in later years that she worked on one “of the biggest restoration projects in Europe”.
When the Longford Arms closed it’s doors rumours were rife that it had closed for good but legendary funny man and popular Dubliner Brendan Grace reopened it (albeit for one night only!) until it opened it’s doors for good a few days later, bringing a little laughter and joy into a community who are just returning to work and school after the festive season.But the biggest news for Longford – and especially for the Nolan family – has been that young Larry turned 100 years of age on Thursday 16th January. Always courteous and fiercely independent, he can be seen strolling down the town every day going down his business, always pausing to have a word or two with his friends and neighbours and having a spot of lunch with his son Paddy. He loves to banter and talk about sport and times gone by. Modest and unassuming, he has taken his birthday celebrations in his stride and all in Longford are delighted to see him in good health and reach his milestone birthday. One of Herterich’s Artisan Meat’s most loyal customers, the atmosphere in Larry’s house in Chapel Street (where he has been resident for almost seventy years) last week was electric and the man himself was revelling in the celebrations. There were cards and presents everywhere and a relaxed and modest birthday boy was lapping up the attention as grandchildren and great grandchildren visited in quick succession to offer their congratulations! “I won’t bother having a drink today,” he told me “and you should give up them ‘oul fags!” he jokingly scolded me. (A cigarette has never passed my lips!) and anyway “I want to live as long as you!” I told the man who has enjoyed a long and chequered career as a builder, a general operative with Longford County Council and fireman. Even the construction workers on St. Mel’s Cathedral got in on the act with a huge billboard on the roof of the iconic building declaring “Happy 100th Larry!”
In other news it reaches us that Carrigglass Manor has been sold to a mystery buyer while Leitrim twins Bridget and Margaret Reynolds, who have made their home in Longford, were challenged by the weird and wonderful ways of magician Keith Barry on his new TV show ‘Brain Hacker’ – an unforgettable and wonderful day says Bridget – though she remains sceptical!
It’s warm and cosy here in Herterich’s Artisan Meats Store and the shop is full of customers. Best of all they’ve just launched their new face book page – be sure to befriend it. There you’ll find everything from step by step videos showing you how to prepare your family meat to treats of the week.
Exciting times are in store too with the looming of a big day – on Sunday February 9thHerterich’s will open it’s doors to the public and hold an inaugural Wholesale Sale, with exceptional value to be had, unrivalled anywhere in town! There will be plenty of treats and the finest locally produced food available - so be sure to pop in.