Friday, 31 August 2018

Old Tralee, Old Market Poster, Queen Victoria in Kerry and statues in St. Mary's

Chris Grayson in Killarney National Park


Old Postcard of Listowel Bridge


Old Pictures of Tralee Railway Station

These photos were shared on Facebook by Tralee and District Historical Society


Listowel Market

Paul Murphy sent me a photo of this poster from 1916. That was when one hundred really meant one hundred and twenty.


Queen Victoria in Killarney

A page from Patrick O'Sullivan's great book; A Year in Kerry


St. Joseph in his new niche

A statue of St. Joseph has been erected on a shelf in St. Mary's

St. Mark is on the pillar close by

Mizen to Malin Cycle

These Pedalllers were in Listowel this week. They are cycling from one end of Ireland to the other to raise funds for cancer care.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Moss Scanlon R.I.P., Wash Day supplies and Listowel Shopfronts

Chris Grayson in Corran tuathail


Moss Scanlon R.I.P.

This is the photograph from Brendan of Ireland of Moss Scanlon at the door of his harness maker's shop greeting Paud Carey and Michael Greaney.

David O'Sullivan found  an obituary in The Kerryman of January 4 1969

David also found this account of the book Brendan of Ireland in The Independent  of 1961 


Vision Centre, North Main St. Cork

On Heritage Day 2018 I visited the Cork Vision Centre with my daughter. They had lots of "vintage' stuff on display. Nowadays anything old is vintage.

 Cliona McKenna outside the Vision Centre

 An old barber's chair and some other old artefacts


 A man's grooming set

OMO was washing powder and Sunlight was soap from Port Sunlight outside Liverpool

This was a mangle that went over the wash tub. You squeezed the water out of the garment by rolling it between two rollers.


Speaking of Washing.....

A helpful blog follower found this old postcard.

Was washing day really like this do you think?


A Very Stylish shop in the old Galvin's off licence

Aoife Hannon, Milliner


Correction re Altered Images Shopfront

A few weeks ago I featured this lovely shopfront which has been beautifully painted by Chute Family Painting Contractors.

I assumed that the plasterwork was the work of Pat MacAulliffe.  I was wrong.

I met Tom Relihan  by chance last week and he told me that the plasterwork on this shop front was done by Paddy Fitzell. He did this and two other shopfronts in town.
I'm delighted to correct this and to give credit where credit is due.


Listowel Races 2018, The Earliest Ever Harvest Festival

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Knockanure, John B. on Coaxiorum, A Fan Letter and Milk Stands

Corran Tuathail by Chris Grayson


Knockanure 2006


Coaxiorum by John B. Keane

SONNY CANAVAN assures me that the love potion known as Coaxiorum exists and is still in use not far from where he lives. Others have told me that same thing. Willie Finucane and Jack McElligott were offered doses of it but declined to take it on the grounds that natural love was better than artificial. I asked Canavan if he knew what the formula was. He had a rough idea but could not come up with the identity of one ingredient.
“All I know,” said Canavan, “is that it grows in the bog and it’s like a water leaf but it isn’t a water leaf.”
He told me that Coaxiorum was very common when he was a boy but that its use had declined altogether since the Second World War.
“I seen a man to cycle from Carlow on a false account,” Canavan told myself and Professor Phil Deane, who came to see Canavan about bodhráns. Apparently it was 1940 and one evening a man on a bicycle appeared in Dirha West. He asked the whereabouts of a certain woman and he was taken to her. He produced a five pound note, a lot of money in those days, and offered it to her for a dose of Coaxiorum but when she learned he wanted to use it on his master’s wife, she cleared him from the place. So much for Coaxiorum. Maybe some of my readers will have a word or two to say about love potions.
John B. Keane

Warming the Cockles of my Heart

This is the Braden family of Chicago.

I have been overwhelmed recently by the supportive mail and personal approaches I received from people far and near who read the blog. I'm printing one representative one but I am deeply grateful for them all.

Brigid Braden gets the accolade for the best email. I'm posting it here with a big thank you to Brigid for making my day.

Dearest Mary,
Almost every night before I go to bed in Chicago, your email from Listowel Connection pops up in my in-box, and I get the biggest smile on my face. I love to happily check in on Listowel before I go to bed.  Tonight after reading your post with “Unwelcome Letters” I could not go to bed before sending you off a note. 

You bring such joy, to so many.  And the ones with joy sure don’t let you know it enough I’m sure because I should be writing to you every other day to tell you about how a story touched me and made me dwell for quite a time in a happy place.  Not to mention how many times a sister or brother would contact me the next day and say “Did you see (insert story) on Listowel Connection” and want to talk more about it.  

Mary, you are doing wonderful work!  I love the John B. response you put up there.  And don’t you know, I’m sure my siblings will be calling me tomorrow to talk about it.  I will be talking to my young kids as well about it, because it is the world around us we are living in.  Don’t we know about it in the USA for sure now.  The crazies almost feel to outnumber the sane, but in truth they are just shouting the loudest for a time. 

Just know, you are a shining light to many and bringing out the best of us and in us.  Thanks a million.  We love you!! And keep up the fantastic work!  
Brigid Braden
Ps.   I owe you a lunch next time I’m in Listowel. We were coming in with a big family group in July 2016 to Allos and you fell ill.  I’m sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, but have a feeling our paths are sure to cross. Three Cheers!!
A few of your Chicago fans::


Milk Stands

Last week I posted this photo of the milk stand at my old family home in Kanturk, little suspecting what fond memories it would evoke for so many blog followers.

"Love the milk-stand-and building- all nicely cared for and painted. Where I come from, milk-stands were often located at crossroads and the farmers would bring their tanks there. The lorry would travel a main route and collect all the tanks at junctions with minor roads."

When I travel the Nadd road from my home in Kanturk to Cork I pass such a crossroads. It has a sign saying Welcome to Donoughmore beside a piece of roadside art depicting two milk churns on a milk stand. I searched the internet for a photograph of this. I didn't find it but I did find another piece of roadside art along the same theme.

This photo by a lady who blogs as Irish American Mom is in Kildorrery in Co. Cork


Boyeens No More

My beloved grandsons all grown up and off to secondary school.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Ballylongford, The Price of a Bodhrán, Crubeens, Phone Boxes and Memories of Two Papal Visits

Ballylongford by Ita Hannon


Lyreacrompane Honours Kay

Pat McCarthy, Duagh and Dublin, makes a surprise presentation to Kay O’Leary, who initiated the Dan Paddy Andy Festival twenty-one years ago, for her role in the community, especially for her work in building the Festival over the years.

Photo and caption from the Lyreacrompane website


The Price of a Bodhrán

The late, great John B Keane was a Limerick Leader columnist for more than 30 years. This column first appeared in the edition of November 24, 1973

Awful price
“SEVENTEEN pounds is an awful price for a bodhrán,” writes Drummer of Sirand, who does not want his name mentioned but is a familiar face at wrenboy competitions all over Limerick and Kerry.
The remark was prompted by Sonny Canavan’s statement in last week’s Leader that he was charging £17 apiece for homemade bodhráns.
“I can walk into any shop,” Drummer continues, “and buy a span new drum for twelve pounds, a drum that will last.”
I showed his letter to Canavan and asked him to reply.
“Tell him buy the drum,” Canavan countered, “and let them that wants bodhráns buy bodhráns.


Cork Heritage

Cork is doing its best to hang on to its distinctive vocabulary.
On August 18 2018 I had a langerload of Cork heritage.

This is a statue to the shawlies in The Coal Quay. The Coal Quay is the Moore Street or Covent Garden of Cork. It's nice to see the tradition of outdoor stalls continuing although most of them were not selling foodstuffs or, if they were, they weren't native Cork food stuffs.

One tradition The Cornstore revived for Heritage Day was the eating of crubeens.

They were serving them to us with a dollop of mustard sauce.

I did try one but there was nothing to eat, just skin, fat, gristle and bone.


In Cork, A Spire and Phone Boxes

I spotted this along the quay before the Clayton Hotel. It looks like a kind of a crooked spire.

There is an old fashioned phone box on the pavement outside the mobile phone shop on Patrick Street.

The streets were very quiet. It was early in the morning but I think this no traffic lark is biting a bit.

Knock Apparition

P. J. Lynch painted the mural depicting the apparition at Knock. Pope Francis visited and prayed there on August 26 2018.


Just a Thought

Here is the link to my most recent set of Thoughts for Radio Kerry.

Just a Thought


Listowel People who saw the Pope in Ireland

Lots of Listowel people went to Dublin to attend  the pope's mass. Members of the Listowel Folk group went to sing.

Eileen, Catherine, Mary, Tina and Mike were in The Phoenix Park in August 2018
But Junior Griffin was in Limerick in 1979. He took these photos as the pope landed by helicopter at Limerick Racecourse and took a jaunt in his popemobile before saying mass.

Monday, 27 August 2018

A Glimpse of Heritage Day in Cork and a few other odds and ends

Christopher Grayson on Carrantuathail


A Shady seat in Childers' Park, Listowel in August 2018


St. Patrick

On a pillar in St. Mary's Listowel


Heritage Day, August 18th 2018

In my youth the Echo boy was a strong symbol of Cork. Everyone bought the two local papers, The Cork Examiner and The Evening Echo. I can hear the distinctive cry of the paper sellers in my head as I remember them. 'Twas far from Tommy Hilfiger gear the Echo boy was reared.

Cork puts on a great programme for Heritage Day and I was lucky enough to enjoy lots of it this year.

One of the happenings was a talk at the Carpenter's Hall.

This was a kind of olde worlde guild hall but nowadays it's home to other trades was well.

The trade manuals look well used.

This is an example of a dry stone wall, built without cement or mortar.

This man was the main attraction. He is an expert on stoves and he frightened the bejesus out of half those present. He told us that he takes out more stoves nowadays than he puts in.

He explained the plumbers and other stove fitters are not lining the chimneys properly. They put the flue liner directly into the outlet of the stove. There should be a length of pipe between the outlet and the liner and this pipe should have a cooling section in it. Smoke going into a flue liner should be cold he told us.


A St. Michael's Old Boys reunion

Below is the email I received from Ned O'Sullivan.

Hi Mary

The Class of ‘68 Re-union is all set for the weekend 7th to 9th September. We have a nice mix of events for participants with a banquet on Sat 8th in Listowel Arms Hotel. 

We are still trying to contact a few elusive colleagues who may not be aware of it. 

We’d be grateful if you would include it in listowelconnection blog which is a must read for exiles all over the world. 
Many thanks Mary,
Ned O Sullivan - on behalf of organizing committee. 
Organizing Committee. 


Boxing for Pope Francis

Saol Ó Dheas on Twitter shared this great picture of two of the Beglley family getting ready to play for Pope Francis on Saturday August 25 2018