When I first read of ‘The Red City’ being the nickname for Gurranabraher, it stuck in the grey matter as a little nugget – relatives who had grown up in Mount Nebo had never shared that gem with me.
When I find a nugget, sooner or sometimes much later, other little bits of knowledge cling on as they float by, increasing the extent of information – those dots of knowledge forever connected, in my strange head anyways.
Red City makes an appearance in Cónal Creedon’s Passion Play – ‘This Could be Heaven’ is great to read, brilliant to hear, an experience to see arising from the dark, and well worth few moments yielding to your imagination.
This morning, heading down to Brian at the fish stall on the Coalquay Market for our surprise stash, we spotted that the Red City had yielded to the clouds.
Reason enough to prompt this ramble.
Reason enough to put out there.
Mick D was a census enumerator a few months back in the Red City. The official forms were ‘Gurranebraher’ whereas locals had ‘Gurranabraher’ – another riddle awaiting explanation.
…The main contractors for the project were Messrs Murray and Lane, Builders..Sand and gravel was supplied by John a. Wood Ltd. of Carrigrohane Road. Cooking and lighting facilities were provided by Cork Gas Company. Also involved were Swann’s of Knapp’s Square…..Hickey’s of Maylor Street not only supplied 2,500 tons of Portland Cement, but also 300,000 red roof-tiles. The colour of the tiles soon resulted in some local wag nicknaming the area ‘Red City’!!
My city is a Royal town, dressed up in crimsons and gold. In the distance, through the mists of time and coal smoke I hear the cry of an Echo boy, the sound of men walking and whistling their way home from work to the Red City of Gurranabraher, the chimes of an ice-cream van across on Spangle Hill, the bells of some cathedral or other, the yelps of children from Roches Buildings playing ball along the road.
“Can you imagine
Shortly after this the friars erected a small chapel high in the hills overlooking the city from the northwest in a place which became known as Cilleen na Gurranaigh – The Little Church of The Groves. The chapel itself was known as ‘Teampaill na mBrathair’, many years later, the whole area had become known as ‘Gurradh na mBrathair’ – The Grove of the Brothers, or Friars Grove. The time spent by the Franciscans in Gurranabraher is marked by the naming of a row of houses just below Barrett’s Buildings known as Friars Avenue.”
This morning’s update from Stair na hÉireann advised that on this day in 1975, Seamus Murphy died.
His work has prompted quite a number of blogs here before.
I have yet to upload and create a separate section of the work that I have photographed on my travels.
For now and for today, a slideshow of a selection of his work.
‘I have made a magic study of the good thing that eludes nobody.’ – Arthur Rimbaud
To Find Out More List
The three books have provided little bits of knowledge about so many things that I need to find out more (ever connecting).
I have enjoyed a pint in The Blue Bull in Sneem. It was Éamon Kelly who educated that The Blue Bull was a Synge Play.
I will need to return to Gneeveguilla to photograph the plaque to Mick Sullivan who was shot by Black & Tans while Éamon Kelly was in the adjacent school – the list of Civil War and War of Independence memorials ever growing.
There are many traditions that intrigued, sounded lovely or just demanded further exploring – families joined in butter; overnight fasting prior to receiving Holy Communion; family owning a church pew so those standing at back did not have funds to purchase and pay rent on pew; stopping the clock upon a death, as seen in Jean deFlorette; and the giving of a disease to another similar to leaving cloth on a rag tree at a Holy Well.
It also introduced words to me, many appear derived for Irish. These will keep me going for some time. The list is below but any education as to ‘gripe’; ‘hoult’; ‘fakah’;or, ‘roiseters’ would be welcome.
A Visit To The Theatre
This week I spotted that Jack Healy had a play based upon the stories of Éamon Kelly at The Cork Arts Theatre on Camden Quay.
Yesterday lunchtime was a magnificent hour spent listening, smiling, laughing and remembering.
More than halfway through the show, I was reminded as to one of my flysheet notes in The Journeyman. There had been quite a few different stories. Éamon Kelly in The Journeyman was writing of ‘In My Father’s Time’ – ‘We found that a number of stories told one after the other could sound episodic. There had to be a changing relationship between the pieces, and the links had to be carefully thought out to make seamless the fabric, which we hoped would be colourful and entertaining’.
My flysheet note was that the book, unlike The Apprentice which I found much more interesting, was failing to flow. Fair play to Jack Healy. With the benefit of reflection on my hour or so in the auditorium, the different aspects and stories flowed; and, the knitting of the stories was brilliant and of a manner that brought the occasion up to date.
I had heard or read of a few of the stories but the delivery, verbally and with actions, made them a new experience – I laughed even when I knew the punchline.
It is in the Cork Arts Theatre only until tomorrow night but is intended to travel later in the year.
I do recommend.
I have long liked the idea of incorporating salvage material into new work.
Building materials from times past regularly were strong enough to last many lifetimes and had individual details that we do not get with current standardisation. I have managed to source one of the hoopers than I sought but I passed on the spiral stairs. The telephone box as a feature in the garden remains a dream.
A few weeks back, with the train departure a while away, I walked to Hueston and was very happy to spot this commemorative piece to Dave Conway.
Trying to find out about it did involve a few internet dead ends before I learned that Dave Conway was Demolition Manager involved in the LUAS project and the Railway Procurement Agency commissioned James Gannon to create a sculpted piece at Smithfield.
Does it not scream out to be caressed? Or is that just my sense of admiration?
We spotted this outside Lime Street Station in Liverpool.
There were a good number of paving slabs with similar engravings.
I assume that they are computerised/automated engravings from original sketches.
I do like the image as well as the inclusion of co-ordinates. Anything that makes a streetscape, building or place unique is good in my opinion.
Compliance with regulations and need to meet CE, or I.S./B.S standards are such that I believe they are encouraging a small number of manufacturers and a smaller range of products in all construction materials.
It could be argued that shopping centres and main streets are similarly affected with stores from the same chains occupying the centres of cities - each city turning into a version of the other.
I am definitely fed up with standardisation. I have long since determined to support to support the local independent over the branch of the chain.
These paving slabs are just another reminder as to the value of difference and being unique.
I read of proposals for art on the pavings in The Liberties in Dublin, and smiled. Well done, The Liberties.
Last Wednesday, the daily update from Stair na hÉireann advised that on 27 April, 1911 the ‘first ever Irish musical comedy, The Irish Girl, written by Percy French and Dr. W. Houston Collisson, is staged at the Queen’s Theatre, Dublin’.
It reminded me of this plaque in Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick that I had only seen days previously.
I hadn’t heard of either ‘The Irish Girl’or ‘have yez been to Dromcolliher’ previously – still learning from the signs
I cycled past this house last night. This morning the name appeared on my computer screen. More than enough reason for a blog – even just to add to what was mentioned before.
I was reading today’s update from Stair na hÉireann as to what happened on this day in history and they mentioned that Katherine Cecil Thurston (née Madden) was born in Cork on this day, in 1875.
This name was new to me and I wondered as to whether there was a plaque to her somewhere.
My web searching treated me like a nail, hitting me straight with the comment that ‘often forgotten today, was a highly popular and successful writer of short stories and novels at the beginning of the twentieth century’. She ‘had two books simultaneously on the New York Times best seller list in 1905, the first time any author had achieved such a feat’.
It revealed that she was born at Woods Gift in 1875. She died of asphyxia in her hotel room at 13 Morrisons Island, also in Cork city, in 1911, one month before she was due to remarry.
I suspect that I will be requesting a book from the City Library – to find out more. Even a walk through St Joseph’s Cemetery might be prompted.
A few years ago this would just have been another statue on display in St. Stephen’s Green.
Having learnt from signs about the sculptor Jerome Connor from Annascaul, Co. Kerry and a small bit about Robert Emmet, I did appreciate the sculpture a small bit more.
It was made 100 years ago – obviously the Easter Rising was not the only thing that happened that year.
The few minutes in St Stephen’s Green yesterday looking and touching did allow the centenary overload to be forgotten for just a while.
Blogs I Read & Links
Thought & Comment
For the Fainthearted
Bock The Robber
140 characters is usually enough
That’s How The Light Gets In
Tea and a Peach
Buildings & Things Past
Come Here To Me
Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland
The Irish Aesthete
Ireland in History Day By Day
Buildings of Ireland
Irish War Memorials
The Standing Stone
Time Travel Ireland
Stair na hÉireann
Wide & Convenient Streets
The Irish Story
Our City, Our Town
West Cork History
Cork’s War of Independence
Cork Historical Records
Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story
40 Shades of Life in Cork