The Photographic Survey which is to start in Athy on Sunday next, September 7th, prompts me to include this week two more photographs of times past sent to me during the last few days by Francis Corr. They demonstrate the value of the unique photographic project which is being undertaken by the Heritage Centre and the local Photographic Society in an attempt to capture on film a week in the life of the town of Athy. Just imagine if a similar project was carried out say 50 years ago, the huge interest those photographs would now hold for the people of today. The project is open to anyone willing to take photographs in Athy during that week. The pictures can be of events, of people, of buildings, indeed anything of interest which will help to show and explain life in an Irish provincial town in the first decade of the 21st century. The photographs will form the basis of a photographic archive to be held in the Athy Heritage Centre and these will in future years afford social historians a rare and unique insight into the lives of Athy folk. If you would like to participate in the project and require more information on what’s involved, contact the Heritage Centre on Ph: (059) 8633075 or if possible come along to a meeting in the Centre on Thursday, 4th September at 8.00 p.m.
The first photograph featured this week came to me as a result of the recent article on Bradburys Bakery which incidentally was incorrectly headlined as celebrating 80 years in Athy. In that article I referred to Paddy Murphy and the horse Dolly, both of whom were familiar sights on the local streets as Bradbury’s bread delivery van made its rounds. Mick Corr worked for Bradbury’s in the 1950s and occasionally stood in for Paddy Murphy on delivery van duty. The photograph was taken in our around 1950 and shows Mick Corr standing with the horse Dolly and the bread delivery van, while sitting on the horse is his son Francis. The cowboy-hatted youngster with the gun is Joe Nolan, but regrettably his companion has not been recognised. The photograph was taken by Mrs. Corr in James Place where the Corr and Nolan families were then living. James Place is no more, the houses having been demolished sometime in the 1950s and the Kilkenny Road entrance to Tegral factory now runs through what was once one of the last of the old laneways of Athy.
The second photograph was taken in and around 1966 and shows what may have been the first Civil Defence rescue team in Athy. Pictured in front from left are Peadar Doogue, Tony McHugh, Tommy Quinn and Tommy Dalton. At the back from the left are Bertie Dunne, Francis Corr, Liam Reid, Brian McDonnell, Dom Eaton and Jim Kelly. Since the photograph was taken Bertie, Liam and Brian have sadly passed away.
Many thanks to Francis Corr for sharing the photographs with me and thanks to Martin Chanders who phoned me following last week’s photographs to tell me that the Poole family photo was taken in Nelson Street and not Shrewleen Lane as I had written. Shrewleen Lane ran from the corner of Doyles pub to it’s junction with Nelson Street, which street itself extended from Keyes Shop (now Redmonds) back to the Dry Dock.
Do take part in the Photographic Project starting Sunday, 7th September by taking some photographs of whatever aspect of life in Athy grabs your attention. Indeed a good starting point might be a photograph of your own house and the members of your family during that week in September. See the posters and flyers which will be distributed around the town for further information, or alternatively contact by telephone the Heritage Centre on (059) 8633075 or Vincent O’Connor on (086) 255 9542 or this writer on (059) 8638181.