The Sun's goin' down on my town

The Town and its People past and present...

The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:45 pm

I was recently loaned a book written by Manning Robertson, the Town Planning Adviser on the attributes of Kings…. Oops Dun Laoghaire, amongst other things, as a tourist destination. It was written in 1936, 14 short years after the name change and I swear the pain in the authors writing was palpable (in my opinion) as each time the word Dun Laoghaire was written it was preceded by Kingst … with a strike through. The ‘Honours’ lists must have been coming up or something.
Comparisons were made between various British towns including Greenwich, Bath, Harrogate, Scarborough, Leamington Spa etc. Average sunshine, rainfall etc. between the towns are all listed and to be honest given a choice I think I would prefer to stay in D/L immaterial of any slight variation in the British destinations, I mean who in their right mind would want to go to any of those places. Honestly though, would you be seen dead in the likes of Harrogate.
Anyway, the book also deals with ‘facilities’ and I was amazed at some of the things that were NOT there when the book was written but I always had thought as institutions for example in paragraph 19, page 53 the subject of cinemas is raised and the two in existence at the time are listed namely The Pavilion, referred to as a structure of a temporary nature on the sea-front and the Picture House on George’s Street. Mr Robertson goes on to say that there is scope for further development in that area. We had two, lost one went up to three and lost them all and are now back to one, ah progress, sure where would you be without it.
Boxcar had posted an article in this Forum on the cinemas in the area and it listed four at that time which was 1922 so picture houses came and went throughout the history of the Borough.
The author also reminds us when talking of the railway, of Mr Gresham of hotel celebrity who was awarded with an address and the princely sum of 500 guineas for his valiant efforts in keeping “this rude mode of transport” outside the town’s precincts, a town which derived its name from the Majesty of England. I swear, it must have something to do with those lists!!!
On the Atmospheric Railway I love the author’s analogy between ‘it’ and a Heath Robinson contrivance. I looked up Heath Robinson, as you would do in a situation like this and he was an English cartoonist and illustrator best known for his drawings of eccentric machines, But then I bet you all knew that and with the benefit of 100 years of hindsight Mr Robertson would have known that the Atmospheric Railway was not a success so he could make the comparison.
What’s next? Oh yeah, Drainage or to be more precise SEWAGE!!! Yuk. Anyway, a big problem for Killiney as the book states that there is no main sewer in Killiney. The village itself is drained into a septic tank, the effluent flowing to sea. In the remainder of the area all the houses are drained to a number of septic tanks, the effluent from which discharges into surface water drains and streams. I wonder how the tourist trade fared that and successive years out there after this became common knowledge?
Here are some population stats for the area:


1911 1926

Dun Laoghaire 17219 18087

Blackrock 9080 9934

Dalkey 3536 4129

Killiney and Ballybrack 2721 2061

(musta heard about the sewage problems!!! Whatcha think?)


On Housing the book states that the situation in Dun Laoghaire is unusually satisfactory and as an observation states and I quote “that no flats have been built in the Borough since 1914 and the Corporation has wisely concentrated on the self contained house thus keeping abreast with the policy elsewhere adopted except where circumstances make flats an unfortunate necessity. Such circumstances DO NOT exist in Dun Laoghaire” end quote.

Allotments are dealt with and at the time 51 employed and 56 unemployed men were holding allotments at nominal rents of one shilling per annum. For this each man gets £2/0/0 worth of seeds, free implements and some loads of manure. Good ol’ Killiney to the rescue again I presume.

Something else that surprised me was a claim that the rate struck for services had steadily decreased since the formation of the Boro in 1930 from 9/7 down to 9 shillings. That and the no flats rule would nearly make ye want the West Brits back wouldn’t it?

Sport was dealt with at great length, and all the swimming, tennis and badminton clubs are listed as are the two golf clubs and three sailing clubs.
I was shocked to hear of the following swimming races being held;
The Evening Mail race which was around the harbour. It starts at the boat house on the East Pier and crosses the mouth of the Harbour continuing along the West Pier and back via the Traders Wharf and the Mail Boat bridge to the starting point a distance of 2 and a 1/4 miles. The second race mentioned starts at the Boyd Memorial and finishes at the Forth-Foot, a distance of 1 mile. Another one that is mentioned is the swim from Howth to Dublin a distance of 5 +1/2 miles but it doesn’t say that it starts in Kingst ….. Dun Laoghaire.

The soccer clubs in the area who were affiliated to the AUL at the time were:

Amiens Celtic
Blue Star United
Monkstown Rovers
Bradmola
Parkville Celtic
Blackrock Hosiery Company
St Begnet’s
Congress Boys
Monkstown Rovers
St Michaels
Edenville
Edenville Boys
Rock Rovers
Hillside United

Gawd, before I’m shot. There were also rowing clubs in the Town, the Postmen’s whose club room was the Lifeboat House on the East Pier and the Workman’s Club.
At the time the harbour was a ‘free’ harbour with no payment having to be made for vessels entering for shelter, repairs or bunkering, my how things have changed. The only imports through the Harbour for the year 1934 was 34,904 tons of coal with no exports and those using the Harbour on a regular basis are listed as follows:

3 Mail Steamers
2 Pilot Steamers
3 Irish Lights Steamers
1 Fisheries Vessel
100 small vessels.

One thing that I always associate with the sea front form Blackrock out to Dalkey was the shrub which covered every square inch of the arable public land and in most gardens which fronted onto the sea. I know it was fairly abundant out in Greystones as well and whether it is native or not I don’t know but I always thought that it must have a very high saline tolerance and that is why it was planted in all the parks.
I only found out its name when reading this book but had photographed it before. It is called Veronica Shrub.

Image




If I find anything else of interest I will post it here, there are some good photos and will try scan them although we have seen most if not all of them here before.
Last edited by jordo on Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby grammer » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:59 pm

jordo excellent research and topic as usual
its an awful pity that you havent mentioned the words -dogs -cats or birds --
then you would be assured of peoples attention here -
sometimes I wonder why you bput the effort and research into your posts

well from me anyway thank you jordo
sent from my PC and typed on a keyboard (old fashioned black colour) using three fingers
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby farmboy » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:28 am

Yeah, and thanks from me too, great work. 8-)
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Lar » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:04 am

Just found this, really interesting.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Sinead » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:29 pm

Jordo:

Great, interesting post, as always. Isn't it amazing the number of clubs which were in existence in the 1930's compared to to-day. When I was growing up in Dun Laoghaire it was a great place to be, there was always something going on. Sadly 'Deadsville' is how I would describe it nowadays.

Thank you again.

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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:51 pm

Sinéad, Thank God for you, we are back on Topic :)

You are so right and can we really blame TV for what has happened. I know we got our first one in 1958 and as I posted here it cut my playing time in Johnny Carr’s Park because I used to rush home to watch Champion The Wonder Horse at 5 o’clock. I think the problem is more the number of hours that it is on now, in those days it was only six hours or so, so the rest of the day was spent playing and indeed it wasn’t until 1960 that a gang of us from the Villas and the Streets got into the pigeons.

Here is a further list of clubs’ in the area from the same book.

Lawn Tennis Clubs;

Blackrock
Clarinda
De Vesci (I have a funny story about this one, must try find the photos and post it)
Glenageary
Longford Gardens
Monkstown
Sandycove
Technical School L T C !!!!!!!
Killiney

Badminton Clubs;

York
Silchester
Crescent
St John’s Monkstown
Monkstown
Seapoint
Glenageary
Dalkey
Clarinda
St Joseph’s.

There was also at least one Athletics club in the area, down in Blackrock as far as I can remember but that is not mentioned. Maybe it came later?

Great stuff about the quarry on Ulverton Road, anyone remember that? Have to find out about the famous Latomie Gardens at Syracuse and if you wouldn't be minding, a sub Tropical Garden in Blackrock where they had built houses :shock:
Be back later.
Last edited by jordo on Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Harjoe » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:25 pm

great stuff Jordo
interesting stuff about the soccer clubs but mr robinston didnt do his research Amiens Celtic were not from Dun laoghaire they were from Amiens Street the only conection with D/L was they played their home matches in Newtownpark.
The only club afillated to the A U L was Blackrock Hosery Company because the A U L was a Saturday league other teams played in the Sunday Alliance league while other teams played in the Counties and Minor Leagues.
The top teams at that time was Rock Rovers , Edenville and St Kevins
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:26 am

Sorry Harjoe, it does say the Leinster Football Assocition and not the Athletic Union League but did you see the other claim a 7d reduction in the rates!!! Yeah right with Fianna Fáil in charge now who would believe that :)
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Harjoe » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:52 am

Hi Jordo
I was'nt correcting you just Mr Robinson and I only knew the facts as I wrote the history of the Leinster Football Association as well.
Great to see how the other half thought about the town back then .
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby spudseamus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:05 am

what would we do without you jordo!! :D
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Sinead » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:08 am

Jordo:

Does the book contain any information on who was eligible for membership of the various clubs? In this day and age this question will be considered 'sectarian' but in the 30's we were still in the era of 'Catholics need not apply'.
We cannot blame TV on the demise of clubs, it is the lack of interest on the part of individuals. Children are put in front of the TV, to watch videos or any crap that is showing, and are not encouraged to entertain themselves. How many times do kids knock on doors and ask 'is Jack coming out?' reply 'no he's having his tea' response ' is 'his ball coming out?' How many young boys now play cowboys and indians or any form of game. Girls just want to dress up in what is considered te latest fashion and you never see a skipping rope or beds.
Rant over for the moment. (Sorry, maybe I should have put this on Moan of the Month)

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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:48 pm

No Sinéad, the only thing the writer mentions is that these clubs did not cater for the visitor/tourist to the town.

I am going mad trying to locate that quarry on Ulverton Road. When I was a kid there was a huge outcrop of granite just to the right before the last bus stop, I think there's a garage there now and I'm nearly sure I was in a quarry on the left hand side. I know there is another quarry down beside St Patricks Protestent church where we used to pick Blackberries but I doubt if it was this one as it must have been some place if he can liken it to this one, The Latomie Gardens Syracuse

Image
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Sinead » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:57 pm

In the 1950's I was a visitor to a house in St. Begnet's Villas, I always have a memory of the entry being a rugged sort of place but in later life when I went to look it was nothing like my memory.

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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Denis Cromie » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:50 pm

I've just come across this post and it's a fantastic piece of research,again well done Jordo.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Denis Cromie » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:16 pm

I was down the Town today and got a good feeling. I had a coffee and scone in Insomnia for 3.50 which I thought was fair enough,though I wish they'd serve the coffee a little hotter. I bought fish from The Coal Quay,ray, and it was beautiful. I then moseyed up through Bentley Villas, taking a shortcut through Callaghan's Lane and onto Georges St. I stood for nearly an hour with the Connolly shoe shop workers, who have been on strike for more than 5 months, and listened to their plight. It's really hard to believe that in this day an age a group of workers could be treated in such a disgraceful way,4 of them were sacked without notice or compensation and between them they have a total of 110 years working for Connolly's Shoes. Their efforts over the years greatly contributed to the wealth of the Connolly family and the son of the founder of this shop decides to treat them in such an arrogant and illegal manner. It just beggars believ. The workers are confident that they will get their just awards and I must say I admired their spirit. Of course I also went to Hick's and got the Sausages alongwith some pork steaks, rashers and ham, sure is there a better way to spend an afternoon. :D
Last edited by Denis Cromie on Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby brandy » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:31 pm

Can't think of a better way, and Hick's as well, what i woulden't do for some of them :frown: :frown:
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby spudseamus » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:47 am

Harjoe wrote:great stuff Jordo
interesting stuff about the soccer clubs but mr robinston didnt do his research Amiens Celtic were not from Dun laoghaire they were from Amiens Street the only conection with D/L was they played their home matches in Newtownpark.
The only club afillated to the A U L was Blackrock Hosery Company because the A U L was a Saturday league other teams played in the Sunday Alliance league while other teams played in the Counties and Minor Leagues.
The top teams at that time was Rock Rovers , Edenville and St Kevins



would they have played on the ground that was at the end of Orchard lane in Newtown Park?
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Strum » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:13 pm

Sounds like you had a great day Denis. :D
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby cambria49 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:18 am

I have a copy of this book - pride of place in my collection. Great maps in it.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby peggy » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:31 pm

spudseamus wrote:what would we do without you jordo!! :D
This is very interesting, as I lived in the village and never even heard of some of the stuff!! Well done
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:59 pm

Thank you so much Peggy and welome to the Site which has proved a gold mine of information for all of us.

Enjoy, and please post any memories or photos you have of the area.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Strum » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:24 pm

Welcome to the site Peggy. :D
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Denis Cromie » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:13 am

Welcome Peggy.
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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby Sinead » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:46 pm

Hello Peggy, welcome aboard. Come on and give us some of your memories and stories.

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Re: The Sun's goin' down on my town

Postby jordo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:08 am

I was on Dalkey Hill lst night waiting for the Eclipse, I arrived at 9:00 and left around 11 ish plenty of Sun but no Moon because of the heavy cloud cover out to the E/SE.

Image

It was nearer to mid-night and back home before the cloud cover broke up sufficently. Pity with the size of the Moon it would have been a spectcular sight.

Image
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