Old Creamery & Co-operative Society

Typical Creamery in the 1920s

Typical Creamery in the 1920s

A   number of modern townhouses (called Loughgall Mews) now occupy the site of   the old creamery. Lennon & Wylie record in 1901 that a very promising   co-operative creamery had recently been started in Loughgall. The   establishment of a co-operative creamery represented a significant   development as dairying technology became available to farmers, and   creameries quickly became a site of social interaction, an area where local   news and gossip were exchanged. Rev. Moeran, the rector of the time, recalls   fondly the gift of £60 which farmers from all sides of the community gave to   him as a thank you for the tremendous part he played in getting the creamery   up and running. They knew that he had a great desire to go to the Holy Land   and wanted the money to go towards his trip. The end of the 1920s saw a   disastrous slump in Ireland, with co-op societies badly affected. Stocks were   devalued to almost a third of their cost. In the prosperous years some coops   extended almost unlimited credit and now found they had difficulty in   recovering their debts. Loughgall seems to have survived until the late   1920s. The buildings eventually housed a workshop for Alfred Briggs, one of   eight children, who set up what was, by 2013, the longest established kitchen   manufacturer in Ireland. Around 1933, Alfred took time off from his job as a   Cabinet Maker in a furniture factory in Burnley to attend his sister’s   wedding in his home village, Loughgall. When he arrived home to the Creamery   House, he set about making some bedroom furniture as a wedding gift for the   happy couple. Proud of his handy work, he showed the completed furniture to a   buyer in Lennox’s department store in Armagh who promptly ordered a supply of   bedside tables. Alfred never returned 12 to Burnley, but established a   furniture workshop here near his home. By 1944, the business had expanded to   such an extent that a move was made to Lurgan, closer to the railway station   and with better access to customers So began the Briggs family firm, humble   beginnings for a business which was to develop into a group of companies, the   best known of which is Alwood Kitchens. When the new church hall was built   during the 1960s ‘Alfie’ donated a distinct blue kitchen which was not   replaced until 2010.
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