Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Where & What Were The Laireys?

Where & What Were The Laireys?
A better question...Where did the name come from?
This is a pic of what remains of The Laireys. Drive down Carlisle Street and hang a right at The Malting House pub and there is the bit of The Laireys that remains..the rest has factories on it. It was suggested on Facebook that perhaps this was once a farm but I doubt it. If it was a farm it would be shown as such on the Ordnance Survey map. On the O.S. map of 1897 it is shown as a rifle range. .

My thoughts were that to be leery is to be suspicious or cautious, which you would be if you were walking in the area of a rifle range. Over time that could morph into lairy.
To be lairy means to be aggressive and anti-social, so perhaps parents named it The Laireys to discourage school children from using it as a short cut. We do know, anecdotally, that parents did discourage children from using it, but that was probably to do with it being a place where a nonce might lurk.
Anyway, perseverance has prevailed. I was aware that this was a route from the Pattinson school that became the Catholic school largely used by Irish emigrants so I sought an Irish derivation
'As lairy as a wolf' is Irish meaning 'afraid' but in the positive sense of 'alert, watchful and cautious' rather than the negative sense of 'cowardly'

Dogged perseverance got me there.. that's why I'm a local historian

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