The Springtown Camp Play
A few years ago a woman approached me at a dance I organised and said, "Wouldn’t it be great if we could see a play about all the Derry characters, have them all on the one stage; what a show that would make". I agreed with her, but thought no more of it really.
Then one day last year I was in McBride Bookmakers shop in the Buncrana Road,when I was tipped on the shoulder by ex camper John Mc Laughlin – ”What do you think about a play about Springtown Camp". I replied, "That’s a good idea, let’s do it".
So both of us set about writing this play about growing up in Springtown Camp. It’s been 20 years since the re-union dances so it is appropiate that the play will have its premier in Derry’s Millennium Forum on January 23rd 2007. 40 years after the last family to leave the camp, Charlie and Sarah Lynch closed their hut door, the play is set in the late 50s & early 60s and it tells of a coung couple who were reared in the camp getting married and renting a wee room in a hut belonging to a friend – their fight to be recognized as 'legal' tenants, the prejudices, the humour, the poverty, and the closeness of the people, the many characters who lived in the camp and also the many who visited the camp. The Sunday afternoon football down in the Rushi field, between teams like Springtown and Foxy's Corner, the mothers in the camp who battled daily with the conditions and tried to make ends meet, the banter coming off the 20-to-11 bus. The coming of the first television to the camp was a big big affair. You could hear people saying, "What next? A telephone!!"
This play will bring back to life all the old characters of the camp, and the endless humour of the residents. It is in truth, a celebration of the irrepressible Derry spirit, that the people in the camp had in abundance.
The play is dedicated to the memory of our mothers and fathers who had to rear their children in such difficult circumstances in Springtown Camp.
John Mc Laughlin
Radio Foyle interview with with Willie Deery and John Mc Laughlin on the Springtown Camp play featuring an extract from the play itself. Click on player below to listen:
Hugo McConnell and Willie Deery were interviewed on
Here are some words for this interview - CLICK HERE
And another interview - CLICK HERE