The Old Mill is closing this Saturday and the former site of the Dartmouth Rope Works, a 144-year-old landmark building on Wyse Road, will be demolished to make way for a new grocery store.
My only visit to The Old Mill was after a hockey game at the Dartmouth Sportsplex. The Daily News had a team in the Metro Media Gentlemen’s Hockey League and a few of us went there on a Saturday afternoon for some grub and a few pops.
The food was good, but not memorable, and the beer was cold and relatively cheap, so it flowed a little more freely. Most of all, I remember the people I went with that day.
The guys on The Daily News hockey team were a great bunch of guys. In the newsroom, there was a fair bit of turnover, but the hockey team didn’t have as much. To fill out the roster, a few guys were recruited to fill out the team and they played with the team for years. They were the mainstays on the team; sort of like the beams at The Old Mill.
Chizzy, Jimmy Dunn, David Earle, Dave Clarke, Wilson Beaton, Terry Spicer and Kevin Lapierre, were among that crew. So too were Daily Newsers Stephen Barnes, Lindsay Woodin, Bruce Chisholm, Craig Meister and our coach/beer manager was John McLeod.
I’ll never forget the support and camaraderie. It meant a lot to me at a time when things weren’t going so well at home. My marriage was breaking up and the guys on the team helped me get through a rough patch.
So, on my only visit to The Old Mill, I don’t remember the beams and I never realized that I was in an old rope factory.
I do remember the laughs and the smiles — and I surely realized that I was among friends.