Poignant last letter of a ‘Journal’ man

I have some news of the Dillons following the recent query in your letters page from Carol Dillon from Birmingham.

Carol, the interest I have is that my mother Annie (born 1892) was Dillon. In fact, the Top-O-the-Hill on the Waterside was full of Dillons with my family, the Campbells, trailing along behind! We were a close-knit community.

Recently I came down with a virus but thankfully it passed and I’ll be writing about the Dillons now I have recovered.

My grandfather was Patrick Dillon. He worked in a brewery at Distillery Brae in Derry and was a very good carpenter. My grandmother Catherine McCready lived in a little cottage facing the brewery. They married and moved to 5 Herbert Street, and thus began the Dillon dynasty. Not only was my grandather a brilliant carpenter, he was also a brilliant teacher of music and was the best pipe band teacher in and around Derry. God, there is so much more to write about! I have included some cuttings from the ‘Derry Journal’ with this letter and will write again. I have to hurry now, as everybody’s waiting to go downtown.

John Campbell


(Note: Johnny Campbell, who was 93, sadly died last Friday in England. He was a prolific writer and for decades faithfully subscribed to his Friday ‘Journal’ every week. This arrived at the Derry Journal offices yesterday - just days after he passed away. See Page 22)