Janette McKendry has witnessed the transformation of Ballyclare from a sleepy market town to a busy commuter centre.
As many people have lost touch with the traditional way of life in the Six Mile Valley, Janette has succeeded in capturing the emotions from the past in her books.
Janette has lived in Ballyclare all of her life, and through her love of conversation and canny observational skills, she has been able to gather a number of tales and memories from a bygone age.
“I was brought up in a home where there was always plenty of conversation, and what I learnt as a child has stuck with me,” Janette said.
Through the three books which are now on sale, a larger audience has been able to learn what life was like in Ballyclare in years gone by, as she stirs up images through her tales and poems, which are accompanied by her sketches.
She focuses on the lives of ordinary people from the area, which helps to provide a unique history of the town.
“The reason I write about ordinary people is that the big things have been reported and are recorded in history. It is as if local people’s lives aren’t important, but they are very important because they are the ones who keep the wheels going round,” Janette explained.
Now with three books published, what started out as a hobby has become a way for people to find out about a gentler, slower way of life.
“I only did it as a bit of a hobby to start off with, but then people kept asking if I was doing another one, when’s the next one? So it was nice that the books were appealing to people,” she said.
The publications combine a mixture of short stories, poetry and Janette’s unique take on Ballyclare life.
The books, ‘Ballyclare Remembered’, ‘More Tales to Tell’ and ‘Snippets of Life’ are on sale now in the East Antrim area in the Book Nook in Larne, Browns Coffee Shop in Ballyclare and The Paper Shop in Ballyclare.