Peter Boyle from Kincasslagh began work in The Cope on October 1, 1962, aged 15
His first post was in the Meenbanad Branch working with groceries and serving customers.
Peter then moved to the Kincasslagh Branch, two years later, working behind the counter. He started on the delivery van with Patrick Ward, locally known as Panda delivering items such as groceries, corn, layers mash and paraffin oil. One of the largest deliveries was to Owey Island on a Tuesday, when the people would travel out from the island. From the van, families would buy up to 12 dozen loaves of bread at one time as they had to stock up for three weeks ahead.
As years passed, Peter took on deliveries by himself and later got his own helper, the one and only Daniel O’Donnell who worked in The Cope after school and on the holidays. Peter also delivered to Annagry, Burtonport and Maghery and delivered from these Cope Branches.
Peter later moved to the Dungloe branch of The Cope where John Neil John was manager. Peter made all local Dungloe deliveries and also to Leiter & Portnoo. In the early years of his Dungloe deliveries, Peter carried out deliveries from The Cope’s own bakery on the Quay Road, when Neilie Sweeney (father of Fred Sweeney) was on leave or unavailable. Bread deliveries went from Glenties, Mountcharles, Killybegs and onto Glencolmcille.
Peter then upgraded to lorries. During his time as a lorry driver, Peter had a Ford A series, a Bedford, a Hino (which had 400,000 miles on the clock when Peter was done with it!), a Scania and finally an ERF.
Today Peter drives a Volkswagen Crafter and takes pride in the van which is washed and polished daily - it’s possibly the cleanest van in the Rosses -though Peter says the old Hino was his favourite!
Peter says that although technology has changed everything, he found the biggest change occurred with the introduction offForklifts. These took away the need to handball deliveries into the warehouse – timber lengths would have to be carried by numerous men and coal had to be shovelled into bags to make lifting easier.
Peter has been a wonderful employee of The Cope’s and more importantly a great friend to all his colleagues and to those to whom he delivered goods. He is still going strong, with no intention of retiring. Congratulations Peter!