Tag Archives: Dublin

An R in the Royal

From the Freeman’s Journal 3 October 1839:

LISSADILL OYSTERS

Having made a contract with Mr Daniel O’Hara, of No 1, French-street, for the entire and exclusive Sale of all my Oysters, known by the name of Cullamore and Lissadill, and having made arrangement with Mr McCann, owner of the Fly Boats, for the speedy transmission of the Oysters from hence to Dublin, no disappointment can take place. The first cargo arrives THIS DAY, and sent per Order Twice a Week.

As to the quality, flavour, and size, these Oysters cannot be surpassed, and one trial will prove the excellence of them.

M W having taken unusual care of these Oysters, he recommends them as far superior to any that has hitherto been sent to Dublin.

MATTHEW WALSH, Glen-House, Sligo.
28th September, 1839.

D O’H begs to return thanks for past favours, and to say that he commences THIS DAY with that delicious dish, so much admired, Cow-heel and Tripe; Beef Steak, and Oyster Sauce, as usual.

All Malt Liquors of the best description.
Private rooms for large or small parties.
1, French-street, and 17, York-street, Sept 30, 1839.

Grand Canal bridge problems [updated]

Read about them here.

That’s not the Irish Grand Canal: it’s the one in Venice, the Monasterevan of the south.

There is a list of Santiago Calatrava’s bridges here, but information about his Irish bridges is lacking. Perhaps someone could send info about the James Joyce bridge and the Samuel Beckett bridge to The Full Calatrava.

Another iconic Calatrava achievement is described here [h/t Don Quijones].

Nothing in this post is intended to be insulting or degrading.

PS here’s a piece about another bridge being built in Foreign Parts, using a floating crane that even Bindon Blood Stoney might have been proud of.

And I’m like wow …

… as the young folk say nowadays. Searching the National Library catalogue for prints and drawings of the Royal Canal before 1900 brought up the usual suspects but also a very interesting map and this stunning view of Dublin in 1853. Viaducts! Railways! Steamers! Barges being propelled by sweeps!

I couldn’t find the Royal Canal, though.

Spring is sprung …

… the grass is riz.
I wonder where the brand new fleet of aircraft is.

I would welcome news of sightings of the fleet of (presumably) floatplanes/seaplanes/amphibians that Harbour Flights is to have operating “early in the new year … from [sic] destinations nationwide”.

There is some discussion on Boards.ie here, by folk who appear to know one end of an aeroplane from the other; the later posts on the second page discuss suitable types of craft.

 

Jetskis, big barges and small fast boats to be registered

As a result of the new provisions, exemptions from the requirement to register will apply in future only to recreational craft less than 24 m in load line length, other than personal watercraft and small fast-powered craft, and to warships.

The saintly Leo Varadkar speaking in the Senate on the second stage of the debate on the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill 2013 on 15 April 2014.

Feargal Quinn said:

[...] I have previously mentioned the lack of a small ships register in this country. Therefore, it is impossible to trace the ownership of most private boats unless they have a current free Shannon licence. [...] Specifically, I note that this Bill will not include recreational craft less than 24 m in load line length, other than personal watercraft and small fast powered craft, which are required to register, and that warships will not be required to register. Can the Minister elaborate on whether we could move towards having a small ships register and not only one for merchant shipping? [...]

Are there any plans by the Government to adopt the UK model in this country, whereby every boat on the waterways must have a boat safety certificate, which includes checks on gas and fuel lines and such matters?

St Leo said (amongt other things):

Senators Quinn and Naughton asked about a small ships register. As far as I understand it, this legislation does not provide for the creation of a small ships register, although it provides for one register with different parts. I see the point being made and will consider it. To the best of my knowledge there is no requirement for mandatory insurance, but I will revert on the issue.

 

More manure

Carthach O’Maonaigh has kindly provided more information about the Dublin [and Wicklow] Manure Company and I have updated my posting to include that.

Guinness

The visit of Her late Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, to Messrs Guinness in Dublin in 1900 [h/t Adrian Padfield]. It is not known whether Her late Majesty was forced to drink a pint of Guinness. And here is a less dramatic day at the Guinness wharf.

Pics of Cong here and here; no date given.

If we had eggs …

… we could cook bacon and eggs, if we had bacon.

What with one thing and another, I haven’t recently been paying much attention to the campaign to keep the decayed former Aran Islands ferry Naomh Éanna from being scrapped. I gather that there is a proposal for spending €1.86 million on the vessel but I found little information online, especially about the proposed sources of capital or the expected return on investment; if the full plan is available anywhere online, I’d welcome a link.

None of the proposed onboard activities seem to require a floating home, none seems to have anything much to add to the heritage or historic value (if any) of the vessel and the only purpose of the heritage tag seems to be to enable the proposed tourism complex to get a berth from Galway Port Company. There is a cheaper floating hotel available elsewhere, which might require less expense; it could be renamed Naomh Éanna II.

I see that the fans of the existing vessel are trying to raise €15000 to have it surveyed. As far as I can gather from a Facebook page, the total raised so far is €1965: €1835 by 16 April and €139 at a beer-tasting. There seems to have been an update on 23 April but, as far as I can see, access is confined to Facebook subscribers.

Of the €1835, €500 came from the Dublin Branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. I do hope that such a donation is not ultra vires: the preservation of old seagoing vessels does not seem to be within the objectives set out in IWAI’s Memorandum of Association, at least as described under “Goals of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland” on the IWAI website. Perhaps the page needs updating?

I note that folk have been sending in photos of and other information about the vessel. Now, my interest in this vessel is not in possible uses as a floating brewery or as a tourist attraction in Galway.

First, I want this albatross to be lifted from Waterways Ireland’s neck and, if Galway Port wants to house it, that’s fine by me, as long as they get it out of the inland waterways (and the taxpayer doesn’t have to pay for it).

Second, I want to counter the notion that, because the vessel is old, it is worth preserving. As I wrote here:

Yes, it had some interesting (if minor) historical associations, but the best way of recording them would be to write a book, or create a website, or even make a movie, about the ship’s history. Money spent that way would be a far better investment than money spent on keeping the Naomh Éanna afloat. Its heritage or historical value lies in the associated information, not in the steel.

National Historic Ships UK says:

As with all man-made structures, ships and boats were not built to last forever. However, the issue of dilapidation is especially acute for vessels. Unlike buildings, the accepted working life for most vessels is only some 30 years: they were not and still are not built for the long term. For many vessels of intrinsic historical importance, there will come a time when the cost of conserving or even simply repairing them becomes unaffordable. Unless the burden can be passed to another willing organisation, such vessels have no sustainable future.

That’s from one of the three volumes of its series Understanding Historic Vessels. The first two volumes are published as free PDF downloads from this page:

  • Recording Historic Vessels
  • Deconstructing Historic Vessels [from which I quoted].

Both are well worth reading and the first, in particular, might guide anyone who is actually interested in the heritage or historic value of the Naomh Éanna; it suggests that recording should be done before deconstruction [aka scrapping] but further information can be recorded during the latter process.

The authors suggest drawing up, for each vessel, a two-page Statement of Significance. I note that I have not seen such a statement, or any equivalent, for the Naomh Éanna, which makes me sceptical about the vessel’s value. And, using the National Historic Ships Criteria and Scoring System (which is included in both documents), I fear that the Naomh Éanna would not score highly.

I accept, though, that I do not have complete information about the vessel. It may be that some of the Naomh Éanna enthusiasts are engaged in a structured recording of information about the vessel and that they are building a case — the equivalent of a Statement of Significance — for its preservation on heritage or historic grounds. However, I haven’t yet come across their work; if it exists, I would welcome a link. As it is, though, the preservation campaign seems to me to be based more on sentiment rather than on fact or logic.

Finally, the third volume of Understanding Historic Vessels, called Conserving Historic Vessels, has now been published on dead trees and can be bought through the Royal Museums Greenwich online shop at STG £30; P&P to Ireland is STG £15. Other reference sources are listed here. And here is information about the Dunleary lifeboat.

 

 

Effin Bridge: a modest proposal

Effin Bridge, the railway lift-bridge over the Royal Canal on the seaward side of Newcomen Bridge in Dublin, has caused some little annoyance to boating folk. It is raised on a small number of days each year to allow boats through; many staff must attend and Waterways Ireland must pay Iarnród Éireann, the railway company, for each lift, as well as paying its own staff for attending.

Perhaps a more modest structure might work. Something like this.

Description of a new Lift Bridge for the Midland Great Western Railway, over the Royal Canal at Newcomen Bridge, Dublin. By Bindon B Stoney, MA, MInstCE

This bridge carries a short branch of the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland across the Royal Canal immediately below Newcomen Bridge, at the very oblique angle of 25 degrees and, though the canal is only 15 feet wide, the bridge carrying the railway requires to be nearly 40 feet long on the skew.

The trains run over this bridge at about two feet above ordinary water level, and whenever a boat is passing along the canal the bridge is lifted from 8 to 13 feet, according to the height of the deck load, so as to permit the boat to pass beneath. The bridge is formed of two strong single-plate girders of the usual type, which lie underneath the rails, with cross girders and side brackets over which the platform is laid. This bridge is lifted by means of a lever 40 feet long, formed of two plate girders braced together horizontally, and attached rigidly at right angles to the centre of the bridge, and this lever is itself balanced at its centre on blunt steel knife edges like the beam of a pair of scales. The weight of the bridge at one end of the lever is counterpoised by an equal weight of metal attached to the other end, so that the whole structure turns freely on the knife edges, which work in steel pillow blocks on the top of metal standards, one on either side of the lever. The opening and closing motions are regulated by a small crab-winch and chain worked by hand; the ends of this chain are attached to the lever at several feet on either side of the knife edges, and its centre is wound on or off from the barrel of the winch, which is itself bolted down to a mass of concrete extending beneath the metal standards.

The man in charge works this arrangement with the greatest ease, and it is so regulated that the bridge is opened or closed in about one minute. It might be moved much faster than this, as the friction is reduced to a mere trifle by the knife edges, but it is not convenient to put so large a mass in rapid motion when there is nothing to be gained by so doing. It was essential that the bridge should be erected speedily and so as to interrupt the traffic as little as possible, and the first engine passed over it in about twelve weeks after the contractors, Messrs Courtney, Stephens and Bailey, of Dublin, got instructions to proceed with the work and the traffic was interrupted for only about one week during erection. The lever sloping upwards has a somewhat singular appearance when the bridge is in position for trains to pass over and, on the other hand, the bridge itself has a singular effect when it is tilted up into the air for canal boats to pass beneath; but the author has successfully obtained what he aimed at — namely, simplicity of design, strength, ease of working, little aptitude to go out of order and last, but not least, very moderate cost.

Report of the Forty-eighth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at Dublin in August 1878 John Murray, London 1879

 

The Dublin Manure Company [updated]

Consulting Chemist:
Professor CAMERON, MD, MRIA
Secretary:
J G DAWSON
Offices:
20 USHER’S QUAY
Works — SEVENTH LOCK, ROYAL CANAL

The Company manufacture Superphosphate, Urate, Corn, Grass, Potato, and Blood Manure. These Manures are made from the best materials (which are purchased in the cheapest markets), and sold at the lowest remunerative price.

BRAZILIAN GUANO, sold only by the Company, at £9 15s per ton, is the best Guano for general purposes offered to the Public.

That is from the Freeman’s Journal of 12 June 1861. In a Comment [see below], Ewan Duffy asked:

Any idea where this was located? Neither of the historic OS maps online show anything in the vicinity of the 7th Lock/Liffey Junction.

I replied:

No, but perhaps Liffey Junction abolished it. It’s right in the middle of the period spanned by the two online maps, alas.

Later, I searched the Freeman’s Journal at the British Newspaper Archive for 1860 to 1880. The only ads for the Dublin Manure Company were in 1861. In December of that year the National Manure Company was being set up in Ringsend and featured someone who was “late of” the London and Dublin Manure Companies. After that there was just a single mention, in Shipping Intelligence in 1868, of the Dublin Manure Company; that could be an error, and I suspected that the company didn’t last into 1862.

However, Thom’s for 1868 listed the company offices at Usher’s Quay and the Chemical Works still at 7th Lock on the Royal [I wonder how it fitted in amongst the railway lines]. Slater’s 1870 had the Dublin and Wicklow Manure Company, offices 4 College St, works Dublin and Wicklow; later it said that the works were at Ballybough Bridge. There were no manure works listed at 7th Lock in that year.

Carthach O.Maonaigh very kindly pointed me to an article on the website of the Marino Historical Society, “Ref: 62 – Vitriol and Manure Works Fire – Ballybough Bridge – March 3rd 1890″, about a fire at the Dublin and Wicklow Manure Company’s works at Ballybough Bridge. I don’t think there is a direct link to the article but you’ll find it by searching the page for “manure”. The site is shown on the OSI Historic 25″ map here.

Carthach writes:

From what I recall hearing from my grand-parents, who lived in  the Ballybough area, this firm moved from the Royal Canal site when it joined with a similar business, The Wicklow Manure Company, located on the Murrough, Wicklow Town, to a site between Ballybough Bridge and Annesley Bridge sometime in the 1880s. Whilst jobs in the business was welcomed by the local community you can visualise their reaction to the strong smell that arose from the manufacturing end. The business closed in the early 1900s. The site was derelict for years before the Dublin Corporation bought it to build flats. An article was also published in the Journal of the Wicklow Historical Society in 2012 or 2013 about the firm in Wicklow Town.

I can’t find a site for the Wicklow Historical Society, its journal or the article in question, alas, but if anyone knows of one I’ll add a link.

We still don’t know exactly where the 7th Lock works were or how they fitted in with Liffey Junction; more information welcome.