John Surlis
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John Surlis


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John Surlis is from Monasteraden. His father was a woodworker who was invited to appear on the ‘Hands’ programme for RTÉ. He had a workshop where he made chairs, stools, ass carts and wheelbarrows. John recalls his own first job with the ESB which he started in 1954. He remembers when electricity arrived to the area and that some people were afraid it would burn the house down. He also recalls how the electricity was charged. John wired houses from the poles to the meters and he remembers other jobs like digging holes for the poles with a shovel and pick which was very hard work. He has other memories of the time, including the tinkers of long ago, nice people who repaired and made cans. He retired from the ESB in 1994 due to ill health.

Additional information



Audio series:

Sligo Heritage Collection, First Series


160 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

17.08 MB, 32.78 MB, 29.62 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Woodwork and Furniture

Recorded by:

Joe McGowan