Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 6

Back to the Cavan County Museum for this week’s Thursday Doors post. I hope you are all well wherever you are at the moment, particularly if you are self-isolating or under lockdown. At least, thanks to the internet, we can still ‘visit’ family, friends and fellow bloggers.

Having climbed to the top floor of the building, passing a beautiful landing window on the way, I was surprised by the large open space that greeted me

The bikes looked interesting so I took a closer look at them.

I jumped when I saw a nun looking out at me as I passed her door. Well, I suppose, I had to bump into one sooner or later. After all, I was walking around a former convent. Maybe if I’d been using these old binoculars I would have spotted her sooner.

The first door I went through brought me into Percy French’s room, a famous songwriter and painter who was born in Roscommon in 1854. He began writing songs while studying Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin. After graduating as a civil engineer in 1881 he joined the Board of Works in County Cavan as a self-styled ‘Inspector of Drains’. It is said that he wrote his best songs during this period, including the world-famous ‘Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff’. Another of his well known songs is The Mountains of Mourne. This rendition by Don McLean is one of my favourites.

Time to say goodbye to Percy but there are lots more doors to see over on Norm’s blog, from all over the globe. Thanks so much for joining me at the Cavan County Museum for this week’s Thursday Doors post.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, entertainment, Historical buildings, Ireland, Music, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , ,

Thursday Doors – Tino

Today we had to say goodbye to Tino, aka The Gaffer, so I thought it fitting to devote a Thursday Doors post exclusively to him. He was a small dog with a huge personality and we are going to miss him so, so much but he had lived a good life since coming into our family as a very sick, abandoned puppy in Spain. It was thirteen years of loyal love and companionship and the memories I have will always be cherished.

This was his favourite spot while I prepared meals. Knowing how clumsy I am, he choose it well and he loved to munch on raw vegetables.

He loved his comfort.
Back seat driving came easy to him.
A shoe lover – lying on them but never chewing any.
Keeping someone’s seat warm.
Sniffing the air to see if it was worth getting out of the car for a walk.
The perfect Thursday Doors hunting companion.
Tino 2007-2020

Next week’s Thursday Doors will be another one in the series from the Cavan County Museum. Norm has a nice selection over on his blog this week. I’m off to dry my eyes now.

Posted in Blogging, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , ,

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 5

Let’s go back about a hundred years for this week’s Thursday Doors post from the Cavan County Museum. If I was a gentleman waiting on a morning train to work I would probably take a seat on one of those lovely old chairs in this first image. I quite fancy the red one.

For a longer trip, I might pack my clothes in a fine old trunk such as this one.

However, if I had been a young woman in the old days I might have had lodgings in a nice little townhouse. Have a look through this next door.

Judging by the time on that mantle clock, I’m late for work.

Let’s take a closer look at the office I might have worked in.

When I finished secondary school or high school, back in the mid 70’s, I attended an office administration course at Miss Merry’s Secretarial Academy in Dublin. We had a choice of learning Gregg or Pitman shorthand but there was no choosing which typewriter to use. Our classroom contained about a dozen different versions of typewriter, from the one in the photo above to the most up to date electric one. We all took turns using every one of them because in those days we could end up working on ancient models, as they were still in use. I’m showing my age now. Needless to say, the electric one was most popular and much easier on the hands.

Being a writer and booklover, this shelf full of old books definitely caught my eye. I had to downsize my own collection to fit in our tiny house. This next image shows you what I’m left with. I think I have room for one or two more but I’ll be very selective.

Thanks so much for stopping by and if you carry on over to Norm’s blog you’ll see links to lots more doors. Next week I’ll have another in the Thursday Doors series from the Cavan County Museum.

Posted in Blogging, books, Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, society, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 4

I’m starting with a warning on this week’s Thursday Doors post because in this room you’ll find some very sombre exhibits. They really touched my heart and relate to a significant era in Ireland’s history, one that changed the landscape and demographics on a massive scale.

As a gift, friends and neighbours of young married couples often built cabins such as this for them. Usually it only took a day to construct one, with so many helping hands, but they quickly fell into disrepair and needed regular maintenance. They usually consisted of one room with a fireplace and sometimes a chimney but no sanitation whatsoever. During the Great Hunger of the mid 1800’s evictions were rife, sometimes illegally carried out, leading to the demolition of many of these simple homes. Often the aim was to clear the land to turn it from tillage to pasture, for animals rather than crops.

Not all landlords treated their tenants so harshly, my own direct ancestors had fairly decent landlords which may have been the reason they survived those dreadful years and never emigrated. For those less fortunate the workhouse was often their last option after eviction.

In pre famine Ireland potatoes and milk was the staple diet of most poor farmers. They often worked not for money but in exchange for small potato plots from their landlord in order to feed their families. People had little spare cash because of this and when the potato crop failed, due to a fungus that spread throughout Europe, there was no way of purchasing any other type of food. Repeated crop failures from 1845 to 1849 led to the deaths of over a million people and the emigration of over a million more, reducing the country’s population from approximately 8 million to 6 million.

Note the extent of the decline in county Cavan alone. Normally there would be an increase. Even today, Ireland’s population is nowhere near what it was before the years of the Great Hunger.

This dark period of Ireland’s history is often referred to as the Irish Famine or Potato Famine but because there was plenty of food still being grown and exported, famine is not an accurate word. An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) is the expression many now use today but the Irish people of that era often referred to it as An Drochshaol, loosely translated as the Hard Times. During this period the workhouses in Ireland were bursting at the seams.

I found the shoes to be the most heartwrenching exhibit for me in the whole of the museum and stood before them for a long time before taking these photographs. They are so well worn, I wondered if they had been passed on to a new owner when the wearer died and if so, how many untold life stories are connected to them.

Even the lighting in the next room looks more cheerful so we’ll have a look in there next week.

There are more doors to view over on Norm’s blog, links to them are in the comments at the end of his post. Thanks so much for joining me on this week’s Thursday Doors tour of the Cavan County Museum.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, social issues, Thursday Doors, Travel, victorian ireland | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 3

Welcome to yet another Thursday Doors post from the Cavan County Museum. I know I’m posting this one on a Saturday but as it’s the 29th of February it will be four years until that date comes round again. However, the real reason for the delay is I have a rotten cold and cough. I’m so glad I had a stockpile of photos from the museum on hand for times like this so let’s get on with the tour.

As you can see from the opening image, there are lots of doors to venture through on this floor. This first room shows us how most Irish farmers lived and the tools they used.

If we follow the path to the replica cottage we pass a lot of interesting pieces of equipment, like this cereal grinder.

When government grants became available for galvanized iron it allowed small farmers to re-roof their homes and construct large hay barns. This resulted in the eventual decline of the picturesque thatched and it’s craft.

The interior of this cottage displays many of the items a farming family would have possessed.

Usually you would find a door to a bedroom on each side of the parlour.

In another room on the first floor I found a wonderful display of clothing the gentry would have worn. Notice the difference in the fireplace compared to the farmers cottage.

Have a look at the shoes and the old record player.

Thanks for your company this week, Norm has a great selection of doors over on his blog. Next week we can explore a couple more rooms of the Cavan County Museum but get your tissues out for that particular Thursday Doors post.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 3

For this week’s Thursday Doors post we are still in the Cavan Coumty Museum. Climbing the stairs opposite the main entrance we come to a landing with a large window through which you can see some of the outdoor exhibits. 
The glass display cabinet holds an array of interesting items from the past.
The white clay pipe was very popular in the 1900’s even with women.
I’m sure some women enjoyed snuff, too. 
Hearing aids have definitely shrunk in size over the years.
I remember a feeder cup like this in our house when I was a child.
This tile was taken from the Titanic’s first class smoking room before her maiden voyage. There was so much to see and we hadn’t even reached the first floor. I don’t want to tire you out before we get there so  I’ll save that for next week. Thanks for coming along this week. Norm has an interesting collection of Thursday Doors over on his blog.
Posted in Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 2

Welcome to part two of Thursday Doors from the Cavan County Museum. We’re still on the ground floor. This room is a lovely mix of old and new, with children’s art from various schools adorning the walls. You can also see a replica of a Celtic cross in the first image.

I love how they decorated the pillars with colourful handprints. Reminds me of ancient cave art.

The ancient artifacts aren’t quite as colourful but just as interesting

The following artifact is a cist grave, something I had never heard of before.

This enormous rock had an interesting story, too.

Thanks for coming along and watch out for part 3 next week, which will feature the first floor. For a great selection of Thursday Doors, pop on over to Norm’s blog.

Posted in Art, boats, Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , ,

Thursday Doors – Cavan County Museum 1

The Cavan County Museum will be the setting for a series of Thursday Doors posts over the next few weeks. There is so much to see and learn about in this converted convent building that it could go on for months but I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible.

Rear exit leading to the outdoor exhibits.

Now that you’ve seen the outside let’s go through the main entrance.

Once inside we were greeted by a couple of old bikes and a 3D map of county Cavan.

I love the original floor tiles and wood.

There are two corridors off the main entrance so for this week’s post we’ll explore just one of them.

Beautiful shutters
A grandfather clock
A pianolo
This door leads to Gaelic sports – hurling, camogie and Gaelic football – and the history of some of Cavan’s champion teams, men’s and women’s.
Women’s camogie outfits over the decades

In 1947 Cavan beat Kerry in the men’s senior Gaelic football all Ireland final, which was held at the Polo Grounds in New York, of all places. It was the first and only time the all Ireland final was held outside the country, for the benefit of the large Irish-American community there. It also coincided with the centenary of the Great Hunger (Great Irish Famine) which was responsible for over a million people emigrating from Ireland to the United States and other countries from 1845 to 1850.

The Cavan uniform of the 1947 New York game.

In next week’s Thursday Doors we’ll explore a second corridor of the Cavan County Museum but for now, Norm has quite a few doors waiting for you over on his blog.

Posted in Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Thursday Doors – Puzzle

What do you do on a chilly winter’s evening when you’re trying to work but suffering from writer’s block?
You could cosy up to a warm stove or open that book you’ve been meaning to read.
Or turn to what I did over this cold, damp spell – a jigsaw puzzle.
What could be more appropriate than this one for a Thursday Doors post?
I had a bit of help from an interested party.
So it was completed in no time at all.
I let The Gaffer put in the last few pieces. At least this puzzle didn’t end up in the same place as the last one I tried. It was a thousand piece desert scene, nothing but sand dunes.

If you would like to view a variety of Thursday Doors that are not quite so puzzling, head on over to Norm’s blog and click the links in the comments.

Posted in Cottage Renovation, Humour, photo challenges, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , | 38 Comments

Thursday Doors – Random

Just a few random Thursday Doors this week. This one is my favourite, I love the windows and stonework, too.

One that should appeal to Rod Stewart fans.
Bright and cheerful.

End of terrace but not small.

Love this shade of blue. Thanks so much for viewing this random selection of Thursday Doors and if you’d like to see more, have a look at Norm’s post this week.

Posted in Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments