Fresh and Salty

Fresh and Salty

I’m sorry there was no Thursday Doors post this week as I was away for a few days, with no access to the internet. However, I did take lots of interesting photos of doors and castles to post over the next few weeks. We rented a lovely cottage by a lake in county Cavan and spent some time there with our children and grandchildren. Ireland is not only surrounded by the sea on its coastline but has an abundance of inland rivers and lakes. Here are some photos of both fresh and salty bodies of water that I have the privilege and good fortune to enjoy on a regular basis.

Youghal Strand, County Cork


Cruising on the River Erne, County Cavan


Hope to see you next week for Thursday Doors, featuring a ruined castle, autumn woodland and some thirsty cattle.

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‘Auf der Walz’ – The Journeymen

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Originally posted on Roaringwater Journal:
I am always happy to find longstanding customs and traditions still going strong, especially when they are as relevant today as they have been over countless generations. This summer we chanced upon two strangers from Germany who…

Gallery | 6 Comments

You gotta know when to fold ’em…

I bet you’ll like this bit of casino history from David Lawlor.


The bald, bearded gent who sat at the gaming table of the renowned Casino de Monte Carlo in the summer of 1891 had a certain austere dignity about him. At 50 years of age, Charles Deville Wells certainly had the gravitas and demeanour of a businessman, not a gambler. Yet, his exploits there on July 28 would see him go down in history, and a popular song would be sung to celebrate his achievement for being ‘The Man Who Broke The Bank at Monte Carlo’.

‘Breaking the bank’ meant wiping out all cash reserves at a particular gaming table. Deville Wells managed to do this not once, not thrice, but ten times during his stint in the casino.

But then Wells had arrived ‘loaded for bear’ so to speak, with £4,000 packed into his suitcases (£400,000 in today’s money). Wells would walk away at the end of the…

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Thursday Doors


Thursday Doors comes from St. Patrick’s street in Cork City this week. This is the main shopping street and boulevard in the heart of the city and is affectionately called ‘Pana’ by older Corkonians. It has twice won an award as Ireland’s best shopping street since its redevelopment in 2004. The man on the pedestal is Theobald Mathew, ordained as a priest into the Capuchin Order in 1814. He set up a school for boys who couldn’t afford the fees to educate themselves and was tireless in his fight against alcoholism. From his pedestal, Theobold Mathew is looking across St. Patrick’s bridge towards St. Patrick’s Hill. The bridge has an unfortunate history in that it was twice rammed by ships that broke free from their moorings in storms and had to be rebuilt each time. The one that spans the River Lee today has held itself together since 1859 with only a bit of reconstruction work done in 1981, so I think its safe enough to cross.


Source: National Library of Ireland St. Patrick’s Bridge, circa 1910 (built 1859)

By 1839, Theobald Mathew’s temperance movement had become so popular that branches were set up in several County Cork towns and the people were calling him the ‘Apostle of Temperance’. Apparently, by the end of 1840 some 200,000 people nationwide had taken a pledge of abstinence from alcohol and the cause had even spread to England. He died in December 1856 and was buried in  St. Joseph’s cemetery, one that he had established for the poor. The statue you saw in the first image was erected in his honour in 1864.

Many of the businesses on St. Patrick’s Street operate from beautiful old buildings.


The Savoy Cinema, with its Art Deco exterior, was opened to the public in 1932. It was the most luxurious of all the cinemas in Cork, with the largest spectator capacity, seating approx 2,250 patrons.


Cork English College was a former bank, back in the day. You can see it in the old black and white photo above.

Tung Sing opened its doors on Patrick Street in 1963 (back then it was called The Cactus) and is the longest established Chinese restaurant in Cork City.

Along with shopping and eating there’s some great entertainment on Patrick St.


Man-e-can sing

The coolest bikes hang out there, too.


Of course, I’ll have to finish with a door – a nice black one to match the bike.


I hope you enjoyed this Thursday Doors from Cork City. Why not pop on over to Norm’s blog and have a look at a wide variety of interesting doors from all corners of the globe.


Posted in Historical buildings, Ireland, photography, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Thursday Doors

A lovely red Thursday Door from Cork City this week . . . 


. . . and a yellow one . . .


. . . and a green one . . .


. . . and a black one . . .


This will take forever so here’s a slideshow🙂

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There are quite a few nice balconies, too.


This is one of four such balconies on the Camden Palace Hotel, which is now a community arts centre. The once derelict old building was taken over by a group of artists some years ago and it’s run as a not-for-profit venture, staffed by volunteers. Here’s what it says on their website: Camden Palace Hotel Community Arts Centre has been providing space and facilities to artists since 2009. Incorporating fields as diverse as painting, theatre, dance, film-making, music and photography, to name but a few, Camden Palace Hotel encourages and facilitates creative experimentation, idea sharing and collaboration amongst artists of all disciplines. We aim to encourage creative partnerships and collaboration between, artists, individuals, business, community groups and other public bodies, as well as to promote social inclusion and diversity through actively encouraging access and participation to all.

This is an older photograph of the building before the artists took it over.



You’d never guess it was an arts centre.


Thanks for visiting Cork City’s Thursday Doors and if you’d like to sample a wide variety of doors from around the globe, have a look at Norm’s blog and follow the’ blue frog’ link.

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Thursday Doors


I’m still in the city of Cork for Thursday Doors this week, with a triple delight for all you lovers of red doors. This image is of the Butter Museum, which is part of the old Butter Exchange, close to St. Anne’s Church and its Shandon Bells Tower (featured in last week’s post). An outdoor butter market started up there in 1730. Due to a thriving trade over the next few decades, a premises was built to house an indoor market, on the grounds where Shandon Castle once stood. The Cork Committee of Merchants was formed in 1769 and established the Cork Butter Market. This became a thriving centre of commerce during the 18th and 19th centuries, exporting butter to four continents and was considered the most important provider of this food in the whole of Britain and Ireland. Apparently, at its peak in the 1880’s it was handling 500,000 casks per year, valued at £1.5 million.


The former Butter Exchange now houses Shandon Craft Centre


This is now the Institute of Choreography and Dance

The circular shaped Firkin Crane opened in August 1855 as part of an extension to the Cork Butter Market premises. This design enabled rainfall from the roof and gutters to be collected by a number of chutes and the water was then used to wash the firkins (small wooden vessels or casks). The Danish word firkin means a quarter barrel. A butter firkin had a capacity of nine gallons or eighty pounds in weight. The barrels were tarred and weighed on a large balance called a crane. Tar was used to seal these casks, as they had to be watertight for their overseas journey.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the buildings near the Butter Museum.

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This is how the Butter Market Exchange looked in the past

Butter Market 1900

Butter Market Exchange with Firkin Crane premises on left, c. 1900 (Photo: National Library of Ireland)

We’ve always loved our butter in Ireland and in times past, when you didn’t have a communal ice-house to store it in, a peat bog was a good alternative. There have been many reports of old casks of butter being dug up during the cutting of turf in a bog (more than 400 ancient balls of butter have been found in Ireland and Scotland in recent years) but one in particular is quite remarkable. Over 100 pounds of what is referred to as bog butter was discovered in Tullamore, County Offaly, in 2013. It’s estimated to be about 5,000 years old, dating from the Iron Age.

A love of butter is not exclusive to this side of the Atlantic, by any means. The first recorded student protest in the United States of America took place at Harvard University in 1766 – over butter! As colonists were preparing for the American Revolution, the spirit of the Sons of Liberty trickled down to their own sons, many of whom were attending the college at the time, where they formed the group The Sons of Harvard. When the university first opened its doors, in 1636, the food dished up was a constant cause for complaint and remained so for over a century. Despite numerous attempts at improving the service, the quality of the butter remained very poor. At one meal with particularly rancid butter, Asa Dunbar (the grandfather of  poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau) stood up on his chair and proclaimed: ‘Behold, our butter stinketh!— give us therefore, butter that stinketh not.’ This incited half of the student body to walk out in protest. When they were suspended for not giving up the name of the instigator of the rebellion, the students put up a good argument for their case and won.

I’m now going to make myself a nice cup of tea and have a bit of homemade fruitcake smothered in butter. (It’s official, butter is good for you, margarine is bad). Thanks for stopping by and while I munch on my favourite treat I’m off to have a look at what delightful Thursday Doors Norm has on his blog. Then I’m going to follow the blue ‘frog’ link at the bottom of his post for even more doors from around the world.🙂

Cork Butter Museum

The Firkin Crane

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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.🙂


Posted in Art, food, Historical buildings, Ireland, photography, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, Writers Resource | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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.

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