Freedom Books and Plays


In Banagher, the Maltings were running steadily. On her visits, Margaret was popular with his many sporting friends. She could ride a horse over the fences as well as the Irish. She learnt to shoot and fish, and she was a vivacious addition to the gatherings of his friends and family.

In London, they had a car that she drove to visit her family in Kent and Surrey. Everything was fun; including the time that Otway chose to go through Marble Arch rather than round it to avoid other cars. He used all his Blarney in a broad Irish brogue to explain to a bewildered policeman who had stopped them that he was completely ignorant of the confusing traffic in London, as in Ireland there were no cars on the roads at all.

In June tragedy struck. The Offaly Chronicle, 25th June 1931, reported that:
In the early hours of Thursday morning, 18th inst., “Inverisk”, the beautiful mansion of Capt. Otway Waller, was almost completely destroyed by fire.

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On September 5th 1931, Margaret became Mrs. Waller at Kensington Registry Office. They left immediately for Banagher, to their home on the Shannon. The Wayfarer was 64ft long with a Thames Measurement of 43 tons. On the stern were two parallel rails onto which a car could be driven and parked. Inside everything was mahogany and quilt; a romantic abode for a new bride.

“Are you going to carry me over the threshold?” asked Margaret.

“Of course,” Otway grinned and then searched for the keys to the Wayfarer. “Oh my God, I’ve mislaid the keys.”

“So what do we do?”

“I’m afraid you are going to go in through a porthole and then open the door from the inside.”

In she went, head first, into the “heads”. So started an exciting life for the newly-weds.

* * * * *

The battle then sank to a lower depth. A leaflet ‘A Warning to Potato Growers’ started to circulate throughout the country.  The organization behind the distribution of the leaflet has never been proven, but Margaret heard that in their sermons the Catholic priests damned the ‘Devil’s Poison’ sold by a divorced man.

In December 1933, Otway, resigned from the family firm and set up Farm Requisites Co. to sell Bouisol and Ceresan.

On January 28th, 1935, with Margaret six months pregnant with their first child, Otway sold Farm Requisites to Horace Hammond, Wholesale Product Agent and Importer, of Dublin. He had decided to move to England.

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