Dublin tenements?

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Holla » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:22 am

sunlight and lifeboy soaps :)and the dreaded finecomb :shock: my granny had this outdoor fridge with sort of a honeycomb interior walls she called it the" safe"anyone remember these what was the proper name of these yokes :?:don't say a fridge :P
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:21 am

We used to call it a "safe" too, so that must have been the name!!!When I think about it, a pot of water with the bottle of milk in it and we had a bit of marble and the butter lived on that, Though, who were we fooling? only ourselves! the butter was running around in the paper and the milk went off - then we made bread with that! We kinda used the cold gas cooker as a fridge- the cooked turkey would live in there after Christmas - no such thing as salmonella then!!(we must have been immune).

Where would you leave the "blue bag" this was used to make the clothes whiter and then rubbed on bee stings to take the pain away. bread soda and a spit for a burn or rubbing you burnt hand in your hair! OUCH. A"big spit" behind your knee for a crampand I wont tell you the cure for warts, suffice to say it had to be your own!!
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby spudseamus » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:41 am

I used the milk from the dandelion to get rid of mine!! :shock:(warts )
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Gulliver » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:29 am

Rocker wrote:Where would you leave the "blue bag" this was used to make the clothes whiter and then rubbed on bee stings to take the pain away. bread soda and a spit for a burn or rubbing you burnt hand in your hair! OUCH. A"big spit" behind your knee for a crampand I wont tell you the cure for warts, suffice to say it had to be your own!!


Reckitts Blue is still on sale. See here
http://www.amazon.com/Reckitts-Blue-Laundry-Bluing-Tablets/dp/B003IWUNJU

and Sunlight Soap here
http://www.lifebuoy.co.uk/sunlight.htm

Lots of ZAMBUK on sale on eBay

Zebo polish to blacken the grate - it's in a tube now http://www.starchsupplies.co.uk/hotspot-black-graphite-grate-polish.html

and Brasso for the candlesticks etc is on sale in many shops
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Sinead » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:45 pm

The Safe was normally kept in the yard and always stood on high legs so vermin couldn't get at the food. Ours was just outside the back door and it
was painted green. On occasions the very fine mesh had to be replaced.

Remember the bread poltice if you had a boil? Another poltice was made up with soap. Vinegar in your hair on Friday nights to kill any nits there might be.

Dun laoghaire had its fair share of tenements, The Farm and Sallynoggin housed people from these houses in Dun Laoghaire.

A couple of years ago I bought Zambuck when in South Africa, I can't remember what we used it for - I felt nostalgic when I saw it.

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby skins » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:25 pm

"I wont tell you the cure for warts, suffice to say it had to be your own"

Was that not the cure for chilblains?
Re cure for boils....remember that awful Antiphilogistene, gray stuff that had to be heated before application?

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Denis Cromie » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Where have all the boils gone,not to mention fleas,though I still get a few of them in me ear from time to time. :lol:
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Holla » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:08 pm

Remember the hot water jar to heat the bed,peas steeping in a net, brawn sambos,beeswax,robins starch,parafin heaters,bicycle clips :) the clothes mangle,the twin tub
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby grammer » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:00 am

:D :D :D
Our safe was up on the wall out back in the shade.
the jelly on a Saturday night sitting in the kitchen in a bowl of water. :D :D

warts
-the old cure was to get two pieces of straw make them into the shape of a cross-place the cross on the wart
then take the straw out to the back garden and bury it under a rock (the straw that is)
there was also a tin or tube of something -cant remember its name that you would put on the wart with a cotton bud.
:D :D :D :D
Saturday night after your scrub in the zinc bath in front of the fire
the dreaded FINE COMB -the ma checking your hair for boo boos. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:25 am

Isn't it gas how one set of remembering stuff starts you off on a tangent. Around our way our local shop was a room in a nearby house, it was called the "Nest". The most remarkable family from the country ran itThey had an extended family of aunts,uncles, etc. All human life went on in the "Nest". Someone in that extended fmily knew the "cure" for everything.

As well as the queue to buy the bits of food there were hoards of people queueing up to get advice on relationships, cooking, wallpapering, ailements, money problems, dogs and cats were brought over with life threatening diseases and were sent home right as rain. The star of the show was the gentle Aunt Dot who would come out from the back room for the "big problems". She looked after our broken arms, listened to our wheezy chests, took out splinters, reassured our mothers that we didn't have the "heeby jeebys or worse"and she was always first port of call to lay out the corpse.

The "tick" they extended kept most families from starvation. The gentleness and dignity of the whole operation was a credit to the Williams family. That was the original people before profit!
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Navanman » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:54 am

Remember the wooden scrubbing board - glass if you were posh.

Saw one for sale a few years ago in a shop in Wicklow and was going to buy it.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby grammer » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:29 am

Came across this a while ago
I'm sure it was the same in the 'Boro-
ir Charles Cameron was the Chief Medical Officer for Dublin for over 30 years . Now his comments compare the conditions in hospitals and asylums where the death rate was twice that in Britain and housing etc.

He also notes the lack of work available for women.

His book on line is quirky and anecdoatal .



Quote:

http://www.chaptersofdublin.com/book...n/cameron8.htm
How The Poor Lived In Dublin.
Quote:
During the 32 years that I have been the Chief Health Officer of Dublin, I have seen much of life amongst the poor and the very poor, and I have many remembrances of painful scenes that I have witnessed in their miserable homes.
I have long been of opinion that the proportion of the population belonging to the poorest classes is greater in Dublin than it is in the English and Scotch towns. There are many proofs of the poverty of a considerable proportion of the population of Dublin. For example, in 1911 41.9 per cent of the deaths in the Dublin Metropolitan area occurred in the workhouses, asylums, lunatic asylums, and other institutions. In the English towns the average proportion of the deaths in institutions is about 22 per cent.
Another proof of poverty is the large number of families who reside each in a single room – 33.9 per cent of the total families. [Census of 1911] In Belfast, with few exceptions, each family occupies more than one room. In many of the English towns not more than 10 per cent of the families occupy but one apartment.
Tenements are generally placed under insanitary conditions. Dr. Russell, Medical Officer of Health, has shown that the dwellers in these tenements (or "houses" as they are termed in Scotland), consisting of a single apartment, have a much higher death rate than is the case of those who have two or more rooms. It has also been proved that the one-room denizens suffer more from tuberculosis of the lungs.
Whilst desirous that the artisans and their families should have healthy dwellings, I have been far more anxious about the condition of the labourers and other workers at small wages. I have always maintained that it is only for these workers municipalities should provide dwellings, even at some cost to the ratepayers. The expenditure of public money in the erection of dwellings to be let at from 3/6 to 7/6 per week does not benefit the whole community. The persons who are able to pay such rents should be allowed to deal with the ordinary house owners.
In the case of one-room tenements, the occupants are usually very poor, and unable to pay for more accommodation. The wages of unskilled labourers are rarely more than £1 per week; many earn only from 15/- to 18/- weekly.
Even when the labourer is a sober man, and has a small family, he cannot enjoy much comfort on the higher rate of wages. When he is of the inferior order, has a large family, and precarious employment, it is easy to imagine his deplorable condition. Now, if the Municipality provided for this class of worker a two-apartment dwelling at 2/6, or if possible 2/-, per week, though at some expense to the ratepayers, the general public would at least be benefited from a health point of view.
In the homes of the very poor the seeds of infective disease are nursed as it were in a hothouse. They may spread from the homes of the lowly to the mansions of the rich. Insanitary homes cause illness and consequent poverty, and poverty causes the poors rate to go up.
The poverty of a considerable proportion of the population is shown by the large number of persons who are obliged to resort to the pawnbroker - "the banker of the poor." No inconsiderable number of the poor get out of their beds, or substitutes for them, without knowing when they are to get their breakfast, for the simple reason that they have neither money nor credit. They must starve if they have got nothing which would be taken in pawn. But articles of very small value will be accepted by the pawnbroker, and some item or items of a slender wardrobe are exchanged for the price of one or more meals. So small a sum as sixpence may be obtained in this way. When work is procured the articles are, as a rule, released from pawn.
The number of articles pawned in the City of Dublin is very large. From enquiries which I made some years ago I ascertained that in a single year 2,866,084 tickets were issued, and the loans to which they referred amounted to £547,453, or at the rate of £2 4s per head of the population. By far the larger proportion of the borrowers belonged to the working classes. Some families pawn their clothes regularly every week, thus living a few days in advance of their income.
The ordinary money-lender may charge any amount of interest on his loans - 60 per cent is not uncommon; but the interest charged by the pawnbroker is limited by law to 5d per £ per month for sums under £10. A month's interest may be charged though the article may be redeemed within a shorter period.
The general state of things is the following:- The artizan or labourer is out of employment, perhaps for a week or a few weeks. How is he and his family to live until he regains employment? He may not be able to get credit with the food purveyors, and if he does he will, as a rule, be charged more on credit than he would for ready money. To persons so situated the pawnbroker is often the only "friend in need," failing whose assistance the resource might be the workhouse.
The business of the pawnbroker is one of great antiquity, as may be seen in the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis xxxviii. 18.
Earnings Of The Poor.
Many thousands of families have weekly incomes not exceeding 15s. There are instances where the income is as low as 10s. and even less. Here is an example:- A family, man and wife, resides in Dame Court. His occupation is that of a tailor, but he can only earn 10s. a week. His rent is 2s. 6d., which leaves 7s. 6d. for food, fuel, light, clothes, bedding, etc. Their breakfast consists of dry bread and tea. They have only another meal, dinner and supper combined: it consists of dry bread and tea and herrings, occasionally porridge. It may appear strange that a tradesman could earn only 10s. per week; but such is often the case owing to irregular employment and the poor payment for the making of the cheaper kind of clothes. Shoemakers frequently can only make from 15s. to 20s. a week, owing to the reduced price for hand-made shoes. The use of machinery in the manufacture of boots and shoes has greatly lessened the earnings of the shoemakers who work in their own homes. The great majority are living in very inferior dwellings, and they have but a poor diet. On the whole, they are no better off than the labourers.
I have rarely met a poor man of mature age who was a celibate. A man's desire for matrimony appears to be inversely to his means for maintaining a family. It is rich men who remain in so-called "single blessedness."
Dublin is not much of a manufacturing city. Its importance is due to being the centre of the Local Government of Ireland, the seat of the Superior Courts of Law, the headquarters of the Medical Profession, and the Banking and Insurance business, the seat of two Universities, and its large business as a port. There is comparatively less work for females in Dublin than in most English towns.
The disadvantage of want of employment for women is the smaller average earnings of families, with consequent lower standard of diet, lodging and clothing.
Amongst the labouring population the children are worst off for proper clothing. They rarely get new articles to wear, and are frequently clothed in the worn-out garments of their parents, ill-adjusted to the size of their new wearers.
Thousands of children go with naked feet even in winter. The want of warm clothing in winter often lays the foundation of future delicacy, and renders them less liable to resist the attacks of disease. The want of good food and warm clothing often causes the fatal sequelae to attacks of measles. Amongst the rich this disease is rarely fatal; but the children of the poor offer up many victims to it - not so much during the attack, but in bronchial and other affections which supervene as consequences of neglect, insufficient clothing and nourishment. The Police-Aided Society for Providing Clothes for Poor Children performs good work in Dublin, and deserves more support than it receives from the general public.
A humorist once said that half the population of Dublin are clothed in the cast-off clothes of the other half. This is true to a large extent.
The diet of the labourers, hawkers, and persons of the same social position is generally very poor and insufficient. The constant items are bread and tea. Butter is not always obtainable. Cocoa is largely used; coffee, never. Very little home-made bread is used. The bakers' bread is of good quality, for even the very poor will not purchase inferior bread. Oatmeal porridge is not so generally used as it ought to be.
Indian corn, formerly much employed in the dietary of the poor, now rarely enters into their cuisine.
Beef and mutton are not often found on the tables of the poor. When they are it is generally for the breadwinner of the family. They are fried or boiled, for there is no way of roasting them. Pork is not much in demand, except in the form of "crubeens," or feet of the pig. Bacon is largely used, sometimes as rashers, but more frequently it is boiled with cabbage. The inferior American kind is, owing to its cheapness (5d. or 6d. per lb.), mostly in use.
Puddings, pies, and tarts are practically unknown. There are no ovens to bake them in, nor, as a rule, any knowledge of how they should be made. In very few of the primary schools for girls is cooking taught.
As regards vegetables, few kinds, except potatoes and cabbage, are used. Peas and beans are rarely seen on the table of a labourer's family.
The milk frequently used is condensed skim milk, which is purchased at 1d. to 3d. per tin. There is no fat (the most valuable constituent of milk) in separated milk, and it is, of course, quite unsuitable for infants. The proportion of condensed whole milk to condensed separated milk is very small. The women have been cautioned not to feed infants with the separated milk.
Owing to the scarcity of employment for women, the vast majority of them remain at home, and can, therefore, unlike factory women, nurse their children. The proportion of bottle-fed to "nursed" children is not large in Dublin, and greatly accounts for the comparatively low infantile mortality in a city where the adult death-rate is so high.
Milk is much used in the diet of children of all ages, and it is largely the condensed separated milk which the elder children use. This article, of course, is very inferior to the condensed whole milk, and although the former costs much less, the whole milk is the proper kind for children.
Not much fruit appears on the tables of the poor. Oranges and apples are sometimes given as a treat to their children. They also get inferior kinds of sweetmeat. Amongst the very poor fruit and sweets are practically unknown.
As is well known, there is a large consumption of whisky and porter amongst the labouring classes. In many instances an undue proportion of their earnings is spent on these beverages, with consequent deprivation of home comforts and even necessaries.
The workman is blamed for visiting the public-house, but it is to him what the club is to the rich man. His home is rarely a comfortable one, and in winter the bright light, the warm fire, and the gaiety of the public-house are attractions which he finds it difficult to resist. If he spends a reasonable proportion of his earnings in the public-house, is he more to be condemned than the prosperous shopkeeper or professional man who drinks expensive wines at the club or the restaurant, spends hours playing billiards or cards, and amuses himself in other expensive ways?
At the same time, it cannot be denied that there is,too much intemperance amongst the working classes, and that the women, who formerly were rarely seen intoxicated, are now frequently to be observed in that state. The publicans themselves dislike drunkards. Their best customers are the men who spend a moderate proportion of their wages in drink, for the drunkards lose their situations, or, if tradesmen, neglect their work, and thereby reduce their incomes.
I give a few examples of the diet of the poor. They are not exceptional ones:- Click here for Table.
It is not in the power of the Sanitary Authorities to remove many of the evils from which the poor suffer. They cannot augment their deficient earnings: they can only employ a very small proportion of them as labourers in the various civic departments. They can, however, soften the hard conditions under which the poor, especially the very poor, exist. How? By providing them with homes superior to those they now have, without increasing their rents. The most urgent want of the labourers and the poorer tradesmen is better dwellings. This is a measure that should be carried out liberally.
Consumptives are not kept for any length of time in the general hospitals, and but very few gain admission to the Consumption Hospital at Newcastle. They are, therefore, obliged to live with their families, sleeping in the same room with other persons, and infecting them. The operation of the Insurance Act now provides treatment for the poor consumptives.
If it were possible to provide the very poor children, who are now obliged to go to school, with a meal, much good would result. There is little doubt that many of the school-children have to learn their lessons on empty stomachs.
Madame Gonne has recently organised a society with the object of providing a daily meal for poor children.
I would like to bear testimony to the wonderful kindness which the poor show to those who are still poorer and more helpless than themselves.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby bugrock » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:43 am

Very sobering, Grammer. Some of my work in the 60's was in tenements, and the situation was not much better. But, I suppose we will go on gasbagging about "The Good Old Days". 52 and 48 hour weeks. No power tools and bosses that thought they owned us etc. etc.

The people still laughed and smiled and were good to their neighbours, all the same. ONE IN, ALL IN. scry :lol: scry :lol:
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:09 am

Very sobering...like reading about India today. I never knew they only had condensed milk...it could have been a bit better in Blackrock a fellow went around with a cart every day and churns of milk and you could buy a jug full.

My mother told us stories of their time in 12 Georges Avenue..one room on the middle floor..parents and seven children..she lived there from 1916 to 1928..the little relief in the cramping came when her father joined the British Army and her two older brothers joined the irish Army...that had it's own problems. She told us of soup kitchens, pawnbrokers, no shoes, no clothes..but, she also told us of incredible kindness' fishermen who would call with fish on their way past (in later years my Da always gave out fish to anyone who needed it after a good catch). Her big break was getting a job in Arnotts ...through a local benefactor and it opened a world of glamour and fashion to her and her two sisters who worked there also. Tenements reared tough people but also big hearted ones who would give you the coat off their back or the bit out of their mouth. Even In the fifties I saw great acts of kindness from decent humble people who had come up the hard way.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Denis Cromie » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:49 pm

Great post grammer. Is it any wonder that the strike in 1913 took place,the conditions that people lived 100 years ago were anything but humane.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:33 pm

Had a great chat with Sallyb today. Talking about the tenements in Blackrock brought back memories of all the great people I knew in Blackrock.The children today would not believe the utter hardship of living in the early 1900's. What memories do you have of stories of tenenments.??
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Gulliver » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:04 pm

Interesting to read the Cameron document. The situation in Kingstown/DunLaoghaire had many of the same characteristics, but also many differences.

In Dublin city, there was a pattern which was that as more fashionable roads were built, and/or as the wealthy moved out to the suburbs, the older housing (much of it well over 100 years old at the time) was subdivided to create ghettos of tenaments where the poor lived. If you look at the 1901 census, you can see massive numbers sharing a house, and whole streets of tenaments of this type.
In Dun Laoghaire, there were a small number of areas like that also. But mostly, the accomodation of the very poor was in "courts". Because Dun Laoghaire only developed from the 1820s onwards, there was never a large stock of 100-year-old houses.
The Courts were the back yards of the merchants and other richer folk. Even the most modest of merchants along the streets seems to have had such a back-yard, and they had huts, sheds, barns, stables, which could accomodate a family who would pay a rent. So the situation was one in which rich and poor lived cheek by jowl.
In passing, it is interesting to note that every one of those merchants and wealthy folk had servants in their houses.... but if you look at the census, none of the servants were local. Local servants would spread gossip around the town... better to employ country girls.. strong, used to hard work!!!!
In 1901, a report was commissioned by the British government into conditions like this in Irish towns. The Kingstown report was completed by a Dr Browne and can be found hidden in online British parliamentary papers for 1902. It focuses on the sanitary conditions and makes grim reading. I have extracted it and posted it on the Annals of Dun Laoghaire at http://localwiki.net/dl/Browne%27s_report
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:01 am

That is a great report Gulliver. Thank you for posting. I knew things were difficult in those day but, not just how difficult. It is impossible to conceive just how many people lived in the streets off Georges Street..the place must have been teeming...oh and the stench. I am constantly surprised about the poor mortality rate among the poverty stricken people but, what chance would a sickly baby have in those conditions??God bless the resilient people who kept going.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Micheál » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:17 am

Great document Gulliver,

What I find remarkable is how none of these many names have survived to present day - even as nicknames for localities. Proof, if any were needed that they were such a source of shame and embarrasement.

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby grammer » Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:41 am

Great post Gulliver.
Some news ones for me among them
using the old brickfields as a dump ---
would that have been up the Pottery road area -the top of Sallynoggin and part of the old D/L golf course-

Sallynoggin cottages 50 cottages -20 privvies and ashpits -any more info ??????

Thomastown Courts
were they opp. where the Noggin Inn is now?



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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Gulliver » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:53 am

Micheál wrote:Great document Gulliver,

What I find remarkable is how none of these many names have survived to present day - even as nicknames for localities. Proof, if any were needed that they were such a source of shame and embarrasement.

M.


Micheál
Using a combination of documents (Griffiths Valuation, Thom's directories, the very detailed 1870 town plan done by the Ordnance Survey, etc) it is possible to locate most of the courts - just needs lots of time and patience. It would be great if it were possible to get a team together to do this.
By the way, there is one location where an old name has been re-instated in a modern development, and that is Rogan's Court on Patrick St.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:05 am

Micheál wrote:Great document Gulliver,

What I find remarkable is how none of these many names have survived to present day - even as nicknames for localities. Proof, if any were needed that they were such a source of shame and embarrasement.

M.

You are right Micheál,

I never heard any of those Court's names eitherThere must have been huge ups and downs in the poor man's life. My Granny would have been reared in the little cottages at Avondale then when she married things went down hill rapidly and when they came back from England in 1904 they seem to live in one court after another ending up at 42 a widow with seven children in one room in a falling down tenement in Blackrock.Pride and shame in equal measures seemed to have been instilled into the children. They were too proud to ask for help and rarely spoke about the hunger and deprivation....but, education and reading and writing and "gettin on" was beaten into them. By 1928 they had moved into a four roomed newly built cottage in Stradbrook...with water!!...that same old backbone kept my Ma going when she was a widow at 42 in the day's before widow's pensions!
I'm proud that my family came from the tenements...I always admired the guts it took to face each day.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:08 am

grammer wrote:Great post Gulliver.
Some news ones for me among them
using the old brickfields as a dump ---
would that have been up the Pottery road area -the top of Sallynoggin and part of the old D/L golf course-



I think that is the Brick works referred to on this old 25 OSI map

http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,723085,726698,7,9

about opposite Lidl on the Pottery Road.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:11 am

Gulliver,

I would be up for looking up the locations of those old courts. I know where some of them are from looking up family histories...I probably know the same ones as everyone else...but, if you are getting a team together include me in. The Summer I spend in the garden but, in the Winter I love a project.
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
William Allen White
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