Heritage Week 2016 – another success!

 

Midleton in early 1900s

Main Street, Midleton, around 1900.

Heritage Week 2016 has now ended but it started a day late as usual in Midleton. On Sunday 21st August some fifteen to eighteen people joined my early 20th century Midleton walking tour of the town. They were brave souls to ignore the Met Eireann weather warning and venture forth. (Youghal’s Medieval Festival was postponed for a week!)  In fact we only had a few showers of misty rain, some breezes and a grey threatening sky overhead, but we were actually fine! Given that I spoke about some of the bad weather in the period 1896 to 1918, the dull day was appropriate.

On Thursday evening, 25th August, Cal McCarthy spoke in Midleton Library about Spike Island in Cork Harbour as a prison in the 19th century . He was supported by the director of the Spike Island heritage site, Tom O’Neill, who encouraged us all to visit before the season closed at the end of October. We had an audience of about twenty for that event.

Saturday 27th saw my lecture in the same venue on ‘Living in Midleton a Hundred Years Ago’. Given that was a lovely day outside, and the last Saturday before the schools reopened,  we had a final audience of about twenty, which was a very welcome number.

Some twelve  people (and Mollie the Jack Russell!) joined the second walking tour on Sunday 28th August in glorious end of summer sunshine and heat. It was a bit difficult to talk about the great storm of 1903 in Midleton in that sort of weather!

I hope everybody learned something new and got a better understanding of Midleton’s (and Spike Island’s) history during the week!

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Life a hundred years ago – National Heritage Week 2016

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National Heritage Week 2016 will start on Saturday 20th August and run until Sunday 28th August. The theme this year is to celebrate a hundred years of heritage, but this can also mean celebrating life a hundred years ago. One might imagine that it would be entirely devoted to commemorating the 1916 Rising but the options are actually much broader than that.

There are a number of events in the East Cork area, including Cloyne, Castlemartyr and Youghal. Naturally Midleton will celebrate Heritage Week 2016 with FIVE events – two walking tours, two lectures and an intriguing musical recital. The events are free so do go along,. You will never know what you might learn!

Charles Street Midleton

Charles Street, now Connolly Street, Midleton, at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the background is the spire of St John the Baptist’s Church. The Potato Market was located in the yard behind the archway on the right. The granary building on the right was built to serve the former brewery which was only identified as a result of last year’s Heritage Week tour of the town! (Lawrence Collection, NLI)

Midleton Events for Heritage Week 2016 are:

Sunday 21 August, at 2.00 pm: Walking through Midleton in 1916. Meet at Midleton Library for this Walking Tour.

Thursday 28th August, at 7.30 pm: Too beautiful for Thieves and Pick-pockets. A free public lecture about Spike Island by Cal McCarthy. Venue: Midleton Library.

Saturday 27th August, at 12.00 noon. Living in Midleton a hundred years ago. A free public lecture about daily life in Midleton at the beginning of the twentieth century, given by Tony Harpur. Venue: Midleton Library.

Saturday 27th August, at 1.00 pm: What the Wild Geese heard – popular music from the 17th and 18th centuries. A FREE recital by the Hibernian Muse Early Music Ensemble. Venue: St John the Baptist’s Church..

Sunday 28th August, at 2.00 pm. Walking through Midleton in 1916. Meet at Midleton Library for this Walking Tour.

Other events in the Midleton area:-

Castlemartyr: Saturday 20th August, at 8.00 pm: John Saul, Horticulturist, from Castlemartyr to the White House. A public lecture by Conor Neligan, County Heritage Officer. Venue: Castlemartyr National School.

Cloyne: Saturday 20th August, 11.00 am to 4.30 pm: Discover Cloyne Cathedral. Including tours and guided visits. Venue: Cloyne Cathedral, Cloyne.

For further events in East Cork and elsewhere please consult:http://www.heritageweek.ie/whats-on

Cork’s Lifelong Learning Festival 2016 Expands to Midleton

Lifelong Festival

The annual Cork Lifelong Learning Festival has expanded beyond the city in 2016. One of the venues this year is Midleton!

As part of the Festival, on Saturday 16th April, a free historical walking tour will be conducted by yours truly, meeting at the Courthouse at 12.00 noon.

The tour will go from the Courthouse to Distillery Walk, with brief side trips up Chapel Lane and Connolly Street. This tour aims to introduce people to the history of Midleton through its buildings.  The tour will last an hour. So, if you are participating in the festival’s events,  do come along and join us! Open to young and old alike!  This year’s festival runs from Monday 11th April to Sunday 17th April. And yes, the tour is free! And you can join us at any stage!

Let’s hope the weather gods are kind on that day!

http://www.corkcity.ie/services/corporateandexternalaffairs/learningfestival2016/

A funeral, culture, history and football…a busy weekend in September.

Thomas (left) and David Kent under escort to Fermoy Military Barracks in 1916. Thomas was executed in Cork on 9th May, but David was taken to Dublin and tried there. He was sentenced to five years of penal servitude.

Thomas (left) and David (right) Kent crossing Fermoy Bridge under miltiary and police escort to Fermoy Military Barracks in 1916. Thomas was executed in Cork on 9th May, but David was taken to Dublin and tried there. He was sentenced to five years of penal servitude. Thomas will finally be buried in the family grave in Castlelyons on 18th September 2015.

Tomorrow, Friday 18 September, sees the State Funeral of the ‘forgotten man’ of 1916. Thomas Kent of Bawnard, Castlelyons, County Cork, was executed a few days after his violent arrest, following a court marital in Victoria Barracks, Cork.This happened in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising when the authorities were nervous that there might be further disturbances. Ninety-nine years after his execution, Kent’s remains were exhumed from the yard of Cork Prison, the former military prison, where he had been buried in accordance with British law. The government offered his family a State Funeral to honour him, but also, one suspects, to make up for decades of official refusal to exhume his remains. The funeral, in a way, will mark the beginning of the official commemoration of the 1916 Rebellion.

Midleton Endowed School was founded by Elizabeth Villiers Countess of Orkney in 1696. However the main building (on the right) wasn't completed until 1717 under the direction of Thomas Brodrick of Midleton. The wing on the left was added in the 19th century.

Midleton Endowed School was founded by Elizabeth Villiers Countess of Orkney in 1696. However the main building (on the right) wasn’t completed until 1717 under the direction of Thomas Brodrick of Midleton. The wing on the left was added in the 19th century.

Later that evening, Ireland celebrates Culture Night. In Midleton, we will have traditional music in the Library from 6.30pm,  followed at 7.15pm by an illustrated lecture on the Architects and Architecture of Midleton 1717-1908 presented by myself.The aim of the lecture is to encourage people to LOOK at the buildings around them, and to dismiss erroneous attributions or claims made for some buildings.

The Australian Gunner Ambrose Haley died of wounds received on the Western Front and was buried by his relatives in the family plot in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton.

The Australian Gunner Ambrose Haley died of wounds received on the Western Front and was buried by his relatives in the family plot in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Midleton. (Australian National War Memorial)

The weekend sees a busy schedule. In my last post I wondered if anyone had got around to cloning a human being. This could prove useful! Firstly, Midleton sees the official opening of MY Place, the converted former fire station, now splendidly transformed into a community and yought facility (from 12.00 noon on Saturday 19 September). Then, on Sunday 20 September, the same venue hosts a World War I exhibition and lectures by the Western Front Association (Cork Branch).

With Cork, Youghal was the most important town in the county in 1600. It was the center of commerce in the eastern part of County Cork.

Youghal, as we know it, was founded by the Fitzgeralds. This weekend celebrates their influence in Munster and especially East Corka and West Waterford, especially the foundation of the Dromana estate 800 years ago.

However, the same days see the annual Youghal Celebrates History Conference at the Mall Arts Center in Youghal and at Dromana House in County Waterford. This year’s theme is the FitzGeralds of Desmond which links into 800 years of Dromana. Now you know why I wondered in my last post if someone had figured out how to cone a human being.

Sunday's prize - capturing the Sam Maguire Trophy is the goal of Kerry and Dublin on Sunday.

Sunday’s prize – capturing the Sam Maguire Trophy is the goal of Kerry and Dublin on Sunday.

And just to top it all off – Sunday also sees the All-Ireland Football Final between Kerry and Dublin, a contest that promises much excitement. Hopefully Kerry will do Munster proud again!

Links:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/castlelyons-village-prepares-for-thomas-kent-funeral-354029.html

http://culturenightcorkcounty.ie/events/324/midleton-library/

https://www.facebook.com/MY-Place-Midleton-219145221590464/timeline/

http://youghalcelebrateshistory.com/

http://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/2015/0916/728318-column/

Heritage Week 2015 ends successfully in Midleton.

Midleton in early 1900s

Main Street Midleton about 1900. The Market House (1789) is on the left with the town clock in the cupola on the roof.

Today at 2.30 pm a group of us set off from the Library (formerly the Market House) to view some sites associated with aspects of Midleton’s commercial and industrial heritage. I suspect a few eyes were opened – but I must say one or tow knew their stuff. And why not – they were dyed-in-the-wool natives of Midleton. I hope they enjoyed the tour!

I wish to put on record my gratitude to all those who helped organize the various events, especially the staff at Midleton Library and at MYPlace, as well as the shopkeepers who displayed the posters and last, but not least, all the members of the public who attended the two lectures and who came along for the two tours of the town.  Well done to everybody – and clearly someone was smiling on us – the tours enjoyed lovely warm and dry weather!

It was nice to see other places celebrate Heritage Week too – Youghal, Cloyne Cathedral, Carrigtwohill and Ladysbridge in particular,

Now I wonder what the Heritage Council will propose as the theme for Heritage Week 2016? Check out this blog for details of next year’s Heritage Week – when the details are available.

‘A good market for flesh…..and fish.’ Heritage Week 2015 in Midleton.

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I thought the opening words of the title would get your attention!  This year’s Heritage Week is almost upon us. Starting on Saturday 22 August and running to Sunday 30 August, Heritage Week 2015 has our industrial heritage as its theme. I’ve expanded this slightly to include Midleton’s commercial history as well as its industrial history. It should be noted that I’m including Ballinacorra in this – because we simply cannot talk about the industrial and commericial heritage of Midleton without reference to the port at Ballinacorra. I hope people will take the time to attend something during the week or, at least, visit a heritage site.

In co-operation with Midleton Public Library and MyPlace the following events have been organized in Midleton:

Sunday 23 August: Walking Tour – Discover Midleton’s Commercial and Industrial Heritage. Meet at Midleton Library, starting at 2.30 pm. Guide: Tony Harpur.

Wednesday 26 August: A good market for flesh….and fish.’ The commercial and industrial history of Midleton and Ballinacorra. 1608-1948. Public lecture in Midleton Public Library. Time: 2.00 pm. Speaker: Tony Harpur.

Thursday 27 August: A Heritage Week Extra! From Mainistir na Corann to Midleton. 1177-1670. Public lecture at MyPlace Midleton. Time: 8.00 pm sharp. Speaker: Tony Harpur.

Sunday 30 August: Walking Tour – Discover Midleton’s Commercial and Industrial Heritage. Meet at Midleton Library, starting at 2.30 pm. Guide: Tony Harpur.

Main Street, Midleton, around 1900.

The parking on Main Street, Midleton hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years!

Other events in the East Cork area worth visiting:

Saturday 22 August: Discover Cloyne Cathedral. The cathedral is open from 11.00 am to 4.00  pm. Tours: 11.30 am and 2.30 pm..Free event.

Saturday 22 August and Sunday 23 August: Mrs Kevin’s Cat! A family living history event – join the search for Mrs Kevin’s lost cat in Fota House. Time: 12.00 noon to 14.00 pm.

Sunday 23 August: Youghal Medieval Festival. Family event. Venue: St Mary’s College gardens. Time: 12.00 noon to 6.00 pm.

Wednesday 26 August: Why can’t I find my ancestors? Genealogy event in Cork County Library HQ, Carrigrohane Road, Cork. Time: 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm.   Note: one to one genealogy sessions are also available that week in the same venue. Times: Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. & (NB) Wednesday 9.30 pm to 12.00.*

Sunday 30 August: History Hunt in Cloyne Cathedral. Family event. Time: 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm.

Other events for National Heritage Week 2015 can be found on http://www.heritageweek.ie or on the County Heritage Service webpage: http://www.corkcoco.ie/co/pdf/609621658.pdf. You can also pick up a booklet or leaflet in any local library branch.

Great turnout for Mainistir na Corann lecture

There was clearly considerable interest in Midleton’s history of monasteries, mad monks and its medieval origins last Friday 20 March, for over thirty people turned out to hear the lunchtime lecture that I gave. This was an excellent turnout given the lovely bright sunny spring day outside and the fact that it was lunchtime. Some excellent feedback followed. The number attending was limited to about thirty by the capacity regulations governing the town library and also the limited amount of seating that was available without upsetting other library users.

My thanks to everyone who turned up and to the library staff for facilitating the event.