it was literally all hands to the pump when a Ballymoney man issued an appeal, through the Times, for parts for the old-style ‘Cow Tail’ pump.
Billy Atkinson had, in his own words, searched high and low for a ‘sucker’ and ‘plunger’ mechamism without success for a pump he had restored and wished to use.
In a last ditch effort, he contacted the Ballymoney and Moyle Times to issue an appeal and it paid handsome dividends.
For Billy subsequently obtained the parts he was looking for after being inundated with calls from far and near including Ballymoney, Armoy, Ballycastle, Dunloy, Rasharkin and Cloughmills.
“I couldn’t believe the response I got. I had travelled all over the country searching for the parts, but to no avail.
“There were certainly plenty of cow pumps, but no inside because the parts I was looking for were made of timber and through time they rotted away.
“I had just about given up when I thought I would try the Times. I was glad I did.
“People were very keen to help and I am very grateful to everyone who either spoke to me face to face or telephoned,” he said.
For anyone interested in restoring pumps, Billy revealed that the wooden plungers and suckers, can be obtained from Eric Turner, Donaghbrook Ballymoney.
Billy also had trouble finding three inch copper sleeves, but he eventually was able to purchase them from Copper Industries, Toomebridge, who he added, went to great lengths to help him out.
Finally, the excellent shop in Castle Street, Ballycastle, trading as Sharpe and McKinley, provided the copper nails.