Thursday, January 30, 2003


I have been aware for sometime of my neglect of the great musical shows which graced the stage of the Town Hall in the mid 1940’s.  May Bachelor has been my informant in relation to this part of the musical history of Athy with which I have been unfamiliar.  Over the years I have come across photos taken on the occasion of one or other of those shows.  Whenever I did I always tried to get the names of those, sometimes now forgotten, troubadours who provided entertainment for their neighbours and community over 50 years ago. 

The first musical was I believe put on in 1945.  It was “White Bread and Apple Sauce” and was followed in succeeding years by “Easter Parade”, “Dick Whittington” and “Orchids and Onions” .  I have not seen a programme for any of these shows and indeed cannot be sure that programmes were printed, although it would be unusual if such was the case.

I intend to include as part of the Eye on the Past series over the next few weeks, photographs of the different musicals put on in the Town Hall in the 1940’s.  This is being done so that I can get your help in identifying the people involved in those shows, many of whom, have sadly gone to their external reward.

The photograph to accompany this weeks article is I believe of the cast of “Dick Whittington” in which I’m told was performed in 1947.  I’m open to correction on that date, but in any event I would welcome hearing from anyone who can help identify some or all of those happy people of 55 years ago or so. 

Over the Christmas holidays I received a number of e-mails and postal queries from abroad seeking to trace past links with Athy.  Just two of these queries I will mention this week.

A Southport based lady whose father Robert Foster emigrated from Athy is seeking to trace and make contact with surviving members of his family.  Can you help?

The other query relates to Stephen Leonard who emigrated from Athy in 1955 and who died in London in 1969.  His son is anxious to make contact with any of Stephen’s relations still living in Athy.  Contact me please if you can help in any way with these inquiries and also with the identification of those who appeared in the 1947 photograph of the cast of the musical “Dick Whittington”.

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