Dublin’s 19th Century Sweep School | Vintage Treasures

Thanks to Sarah for sharing this image. Sadly, many children are still being exploited today.

First Night History

One of the most deplorable uses of child labour in 19th century Ireland was for the sweeping of chimneys. A master sweep would obtain very young boys, some as young as seven, to train as apprentice…

Source: Dublin’s 19th Century Sweep School | Vintage Treasures

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Thursday Doors


Arches and railings, a feisty woman, plus some nice views from the top of a bus, all come to you this week from Thursday Doors in Cork City. The Gaelic word for Cork (Corcaigh) means marshy place and all of Cork’s main thoroughfares were built on covered up river channels. The city itself sits on the banks of the River Lee and the motto on its coat of arms translates to English as A Safe Harbor for Ships. In fact, Cork is said to have the second largest natural harbour in the world, after Sydney Harbour in Australia.

The first photograph on this post (the arches and railings) is of the main entrance to Bishop Lucey Park in the center of the city, which The Workers’ Party (Cork region) symbolically renamed Mother Jones Park, in honour of a woman who was a hero of the working class. Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones) was born in Shandon, Cork City, in 1837. Having survived the starvation years in Ireland of the mid 1800’s she emigrated as a teenager with her family, first to Canada and then to the United States, where she became a teacher. She married and had four children but tragically, all four of them, including their father, succumbed to yellow fever in 1867. Mary Jones also suffered the loss of a dressmaking business she had built up, in the great Chicago fire of 1871. She was involved in the American labour movement and rose to national prominence. Known for her fiery speeches and determination, she became a leading campaigner and organizer for the rights of children and workers.

Mother Jones was a champion of the American mine workers of her day and because of that, and her very outspoken opposition to child labour, in 1902 she was labelled The most dangerous woman in America. This was due to her success in organizing campaigns against the mine owners, which led to the improvement of working conditions. In 1903, protesting the lax enforcement of child labour laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, Mother Jones organized a children’s march from Philadelphia to the home of President Theodore Roosevelt  in New York. She died in 1930 at the age of 93. In 2012, on the 175th anniversary of her birth, a plaque on John Redmond Street was unveiled in her honour, as part of the first Spirit of Mother Jones annual festival.  Mother Jones Festival

Mother Jones 1902-11-04.jpg


The following slideshow contains some nice views of the city that can be seen from the open top deck of a tour bus. This was the first time I had taken this tour and it was well worth it, being able to see Cork city from a very different angle than usual.

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Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon


As it was in this area that Mother Jones was born, I thought I would end my post with this door. St. Anne’s Church is where you’ll find the Shandon Bells. If you have the energy and the legs to climb the steeple you can pick a tune and play it on the bells. If you would like to see more Thursday Doors from around the world you’ll find links to them on Norm’s blog. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

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Thursday Doors


I’m starting off Thursday Doors with a red one this week. No surprise there, if you know my favourite door colour. This charming pub was established in the heart of Cork City in 1793 and since the day it was opened it has been a landmark in the city. Le Chateau is the only pub in Cork to be situated on Patrick’s Street. The red door in the image leads onto a first floor balcony that looks down on the main shopping street in the center of Cork city. The premises stretches around the corner and down a side street, so there’s always plenty of seating available – even on the busiest of days.


There are lots of lovely places to eat and get a great cup of coffee in and around Paul Street, so that’s where we often stop off when we visit the city. This street also leads to the Crawford Gallery, which featured in last week’s blog. If you could see the amount of great eating establishments in the area, you would understand why I keep going back.


This is a 19th century warehouse building on Paul Street. The Woodford has a history stretching back to 1750 in the wine and spirits trade. The building opened as a bar in the 1980’s, with some 6,900 sq ft in all, spread over five levels and with 2,400 sq ft at ground level. The food is good, too.

Here’s a slide show of some lovely doors and buildings around the city.

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We finally decided on a late breakfast and there’s no better place to find a good sausage than at O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausage Company. We sat upstairs looking down at those people on Winthrop Street below, who had not yet made their minds up where or what to eat. It was easy to see by the way they sniffed the air that they were finding it difficult to make a choice.

O’Flynns have been in business since the early 1900’s, when their great-grandfather started making sausages in Cork. Over the years, they have been improving and building on old family recipes, always using the best locally sourced ingredients from the Munster region of Ireland. I’m not sure if this is the man himself, it was screen printed onto a table top, but the van is definitely authentic.


Many thanks for stopping by. I’ll be posting more Thursday Doors from Cork city next week but in the meantime, why not check out Norm’s blog and see what he’s been getting up to.🙂


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Thursday Doors


Thursday Doors comes from the Crawford Gallery in Cork City, this week. It’s a former art college that was built in 1884,  funded by W. H. Crawford and designed by Arthur and Henry Hill. Part of the building was originally the city’s custom house, erected in 1774. The iron gates and railings are beautifully ornate and the work of a man called Watson.


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The bell in the slide show stands at the main entrance and is the work of Vivienne Roche. Presented to the gallery in 1991 by the Friends of Crawford, it’s called the Viapori Bell and is made from bronze and steel, standing 263 cms (8’3″) high.

There are some very interesting sculptures on the ground floor of the gallery, which I’ve put into a slideshow. My favourite is the one in the blue and white shirt.😉

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‘The Canova Casts on display at the Crawford Gallery represent some of the finest masterpieces from the Vatican Collection. They were made under the supervision of renowned Italian sculptor Antonio Canova and include casts of some of his own works. They came to be in the possession of the Crawford Gallery in something of a circumspect manner, having first arrived at the London Custom’s House at the start of the 19th Century, before later being exhibited at the old Apollo Gallery on Patrick Street, under the care of the Cork Society of Arts. After the Royal Cork Institution took over the Cork School of Art they were moved to the Old Custom house, the building which today comprises most of the Crawford Art Gallery, where they provided students of art a chance to study human form and anatomy.’ *

Thanks for dropping in, I’ll be posting some more images from Cork City next week. There are more Thursday Doors to explore on Norm’s blog, you’ll find the links to them by clicking the ‘blue frog’ at the end of his post.

Source *

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The Man Who Turned Back Time

David Lawlor explains why I’m annoyed with William Willett in the Spring but love him in the Autumn.


They say time waits for no man, and that’s true – unless your name happens to be William Willett. It was because of Willett that I and my wife found ourselves sitting in an empty cinema staring at a blank screen one Sunday afternoon, wondering when the film was going to start. And it was because of Willett that I was once far too early for an appointment I had rushed to attend.

I don’t think I’m the only person to have experienced frustrating episodes in my life due to Willett, there are millions of people around the world who would probably have had similar experiences.

Without him there would be no handy little memory aids like ‘spring forward and fall back’ . . . or is that ‘spring back and fall forward’? You see, a little over a hundred years ago, it was Willett who came up with idea…

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Thursday Doors


A little bit of fun but still lots of colour from Kinsale for this week’s Thursday Doors post.


An old time amusement park adds to the vintage flavour of the town and some of the rides remind me of when I was a child in the seaside village of Blackrock, County Louth. During the summer, when the rides were set up on the beach, my three younger sisters and I would share one of the swinging boats. Sure, we’re descended from a long line of fishermen, why wouldn’t we?🙂


I think it was way before Bart’s time, though.




No historical info this week, just a bit of nostalgia. Thanks for joining me at the funfair and if you would like to have a look at a variety of doors from around the globe, swing by Norm’s blog and check out this week’s offerings for Thursday Doors.🙂


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Thursday Doors


If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you’ll be thinking I’ve moved to Kinsale, as this is about the third week in a row that it features in Thursday Doors. I’ve included the building above in a previous post but this photograph was shot from a much better angle to show off its lovely quirkiness. A friend from America has been staying with us (hi Dana) and I thought it quite appropriate that we were standing at one point just in front of the White House.


I just love the little blue cottage in this slideshow, with its tiny yellow windows and the fact that it has a big name for such a little house. 

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We had a lovely lunch in Jim Edwards, a place we hadn’t eaten in before, but our friend had been there on her last trip to Ireland and recommended it. The Armada Bar looked tempting, too, but we hadn’t time to stop for a Guinness as there were lots more doors to capture, plus a castle at the top of the street that I was itching to explore.

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Desmond Castle was built by the 9th Earl of Desmond (Maurice Bacach Fitzgerald) about 1500. An urban tower house, it’s three stories high with outhouses at the rear. At one time the castle served as a prison but it was originally built as a customs house. It was used as an ordnance store during the Battle of Kinsale (1601) and during the Great Hunger it became a workhouse.

In the 17th century the castle became popularly known as the “French prison” and was used for prisoners of war, most of whom were captured at sea. The majority of the prisoners were French, but many nationalities were ransomed or exchanged for their British counterparts. Some prisoners were housed in nearby huts, and the conditions were grim, with overcrowding, lack of food, starvation and disease. A disastrous fire in 1747 killed 54 prisoners.

During the American War of Independence, the crews of many American vessels were held prisoner in Kinsale in poor conditions. Help came from Rev. William Hazlett, a Presbyterian Minister in nearby Bandon, and from Reuben Harvey, a Quaker merchant in Cork. Through their influence conditions were improved. In 1783, George Washington thanked Harvey for “his exertions in relieving the distresses of such of our fellow citizens as were prisoners in Ireland”. *

Nowadays, the castle hosts an International Museum of Wine Exhibition that documents the history of Ireland’s wine links with Europe and the rest of the world. You might have heard tell of The Wild Geese. Originally, these were approximately 30,000 Irish soldiers who left Ireland  in 1691 with their leader, Patrick Sarsfield. They had fought the army of William of Orange to a standstill and were given the option of sailing to France. Having negotiated a treaty guaranteeing the rights of their people, Patrick Sarsfield and his soldiers submitted to exile in France. Once they were gone, the Treaty was torn up and replaced by the Penal Laws, stripping Irish Catholics of their land and denying them any right of citizenship.

Because of this injustice, young Irishmen made their way to France to join its army and for almost a hundred years there was an Irish Brigade in the French forces. It is thought at least half a million Irishmen died serving France in the century after the violation of the Treaty of Limerick. French ships smuggled brandy and wine to the west coast of Ireland, then departed with recruits for the Irish Brigade. In the ships’ paperwork these passengers were listed as Wild Geese and this is how the name came about. In time, some of them entered the wine trade and are often referred to as the Irish Wine Geese. Their descendants today can be found all over the world.

Robinson Crusoe is also linked to Kinsale, as Don and Barry’s beautiful short video explains. Once you’ve seen the aerial footage of the town, you’ll understand why I visit so often.

I hope you enjoyed yet another trip to Kinsale. Next week, I’ll be posting a nostalgic Thursday Doors from the town. If you would like to explore some more doors from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s Blog and follow the link at the end of his post.


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Thursday Doors



Still in Kinsale this week for Thursday Doors and it was very tempting to pop into Bruno’s for a Carbonara, only it wasn’t lunchtime.


It’s a really quirky building (you can just see the end of it where the ‘Main Street’ sign is placed) and I had planned on taking a shot of it from another angle but was distracted by the amusing slate plaques on the wall opposite the restaurant.

I wonder who put them there?


Only an Italian restaurant would have a Vespa in it’s window. We used to have one of these, many moons ago – a blue and white one.


No, it wasn’t the red half-door that drew me up this street, but I do like that, too. It was the lovely old church, now used as either a private residence or holiday accommodation.



It had three fabulous doors – can you spot the third one?

Some more colourful buildings to finish off with. We eventually ate lunch in The Milk Market and I’ve included some of its interior shots in the slide show.

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Thanks for stopping by and joining me on the streets of Kinsale. Norm has some more Thursday Doors for your enjoyment over on his Blog and it’s always well worth a visit.

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Interview with a Holocaust Survivor

Frank Grunwald, holocaust survivor, interviewed by David Lawlor, with some very thought provoking questions.


Frank - Auschwitz Young prisoners in Auschwitz

Frank Grunwald was just 12 years old when he and his family entered the concentration camps. Terezinstadt, Auschwitz, Melk, Mauthausen . . . he was in them all. Unfortunately, neither his brother nor his mother would leave Auschwitz alive.

Frank was born in Czechoslovakia in 1932. His father was a doctor, as well as being a very talented photographer. Both of his parents, Kurt and Vilma, were musicians and instilled a love of music into Frank and his brother, John, who was four years his senior.

The family lived a comfortable life in Prague. Growing up, Frank liked art – he focused on it, as he did playing the accordion. For him, the instrument’s melancholy sound was both personal and human.

The notion of being Jewish never really entered Frank’s head. He was just a Czech, like his fellow citizens – but not in the eyes…

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Thursday Doors


This is where the inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania was held.

As promised, Thursday Doors this week comes from Kinsale in county Cork. The photo above is of the Courthouse and Regional Museum. It was originally built around 1600, with a further addition in 1706, and deserves a post all to itself. Unfortunately, as some of you might already know, I have a habit of spending so much time taking photographs that I usually miss the last tour of any historic building I am visiting. The Courthouse tour ends at 2pm, which is pretty early, so I had lunch instead. Next time I’ll make sure to get there well before the last tour🙂

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The images in these two slideshows are mostly of street scenes and some very colourful properties, with a couple of shots of the marina included – and a red door (or two).

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Image from Kinsale.ie website, you can read about the battle here.

Interesting video on Youtube about Charles Fort and the Battle of Kinsale.

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll be continuing my tour of Kinsale next week, with another batch of colourful buildings. Thanks for your visit to my blog and if you head on over to Norm’s, there are lots of interesting Thursday Doors waiting for you there.

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