"Only here for the Post Office......." Strabane by leics
Strabane Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 13 photos
I'm not going to lie about this; I only came into Strabane ('straban') because I knew a town of its size would have a proper Post Office (I needed more than just a stamp), and Strabane was the first place I came to on my way to Omagh via the Sperrin mountains.
Strabane reminded me very much of the small town near where I live. Its town centre is hanging on by its teeth whilst trade is leached away by the out-of-town shopping developments. There were empty shops, and 50% off sales signs. Although fairly busy on a Tuesday morning, it didn't feel like a place where there was plenty of money to spend.
Strabane is largely Catholic, and surrounded by Protestant-owned land. It suffered a lot in the Troubles, and in consequence had a very high unemployment rate. I wondered if it was much better now, with the present economic situation. I noticed several drop-in and other centres for the unemployed and those on benefits.
But there are one or two interesting buildings, including Grays' Printing Shop which dates from the 1700s (Strabane was an important printing centre at that time). It's owned by the National Trust now, and is a small (very small) museum.
And I found the Strabane pig (Ambrose), a large metal beast which is covered with 'Celtic' swirls. It's named after a character in the books of Flann O'Brien, born in Strabane.
They say that those who stroke Ambrose will get some of O'Brien's wittiness...or maybe he's just a wishing pig?
- Pros:Basic services and a bit of interesting architecture
- Cons:Economic difficulties very evident
- In a nutshell:A town going through a difficult time
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