Tag Archives: Ringsend

GCC inspection launch

Under the heading

GRAND CANAL COMPANY’S ENTERPRISE

the Irish Times reported, on 21 December 1909, on the trials of a launch newly built by the Grand Canal Company in their own docks at James’s Street Harbour.

The launch was 40′ long and 6½’ wide, screw propelled and driven by a Daimler 12-15 hp petrol engine. This engine was placed in the forward part of the launch

… and is worked in the manner which is usual with road motor cars: the driver or steersman sitting at the wheel having a clear view ahead.

That part of the launch was open; in the centre was a “deck-house or saloon, constructed principally of teak wood”. Aft of that was another open area. The launch could carry 20 people.

The saloon had “a sliding weatherproof door at the fore end, and two removable swing doors in the aft end”. It was lit by electric lamps and had cushioned seats at each side, with storage lockers underneath. A “table of novel design” was lowered from the ceiling when required, then pushed back up to leave a clear passage through the saloon. The launch, which was fitted up very tastefully, and

… the creditable manner in which the work of turning out the launch as a whole has been accomplished reflects great credit on the company’s workmen, and promises well for the future of local industries.

The trials were attended by the GCC General Manager George Tough and its Engineer Harry Wayte. The launch left James’s Street at 10.30am for Ringsend, travelled up the Liffey to Kingsbridge and back down again, before going out into Dublin Bay two miles beyond the Poolbeg lighthouse. On a measured mile in the Liffey, between the Pigeon House and the lighthouse, she managed 12 mph against the tide. She returned to James’s Street Harbour after arousing “considerable interest amongst spectators along the route”.

The launch was intended as “an officers’ inspection boat, to travel all over the company’s extensive system” of waterways routes.

The boat in every respect worked very satisfactorily, and reflected great credit on its designers. […] The success which has attended this experiment may lead to the establishment of fast or express goods boats all over the system.

I had not been aware of the existence of a GCC inspection launch later than the gondola of 1795. I would be glad of information from anyone who knows more about it: please leave a Comment below if you can help.

From the BNA

Baffled

According to a story in the dead-tree version of today’s Sunday Business Post [and regarded as Premium Content, and thus gated, in the online version],

A €22 million bridge is needed to allow for the construction of 2000 homes on the derelict Irish Glass Bottle site [in Ringsend, Dublin]. […] The necessary bridge over the River Dodder needed to make the site viable will have a lifting mechanism to enable ship traffic into the Grand Canal basin and the Liffey.

The Department of the Environment etc thinks €22 million is too much and would make the houses too dear; Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD thinks the state should pay for it, presumably to facilitate all the motorists who might want to live on the site.

The site is here. There’s an aerial photo here. Here’s the Google version.

I can’t see why a lifting bridge over the Dodder is needed, unless the plan is to run traffic along a new route from Britain Quay to York Road, which would simply jam up the city centre. Can anyone explain what this is about?

Non-recreation

A new workboat in Grand Canal Docks.

Steam, the Shannon and the Great British Breakfast

That is the title of the Railway and Canal Historical Society‘s 2014 Clinker Memorial Lecture, to be held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS, at 1415 on Saturday 18 October 2014.

The lecture will concentrate on the period before 1850 with such interesting topics as

  • Shannon steamers
  • the Grand and Royal Canals
  • the first Irish turf (peat) to reach the USA (possibly)
  • port developments in Dublin, Limerick and Kingstonw
  • the Dublin and Kingstown Ship Canal
  • the Midland Great Western Railway
  • what “cattle class” really means
  • bacon and eggs.

Admission is free and booking is not required. However, if you plan to attend, it would be helpful if you could e-mail […] to this effect.

The Clinker Memorial Lecture is named for Charles R Clinker, an eminent railway authoe and one-time historian of the Great Western Railway, who died in 1983.

If you would like the contact email address, leave a Comment below and I’ll get in touch with you direct.

 

 

WI and the canals

Three important documents [all PDFs] available for download from WI’s site:

  • Action Plan for Grand Canal Dock and Spencer Dock​ here
  • Grand Canal (rural) Product Development Study here
  • Royal Canal (rural) Product Development Study here.

These are lengthy documents [50, 177 and 175 pages respectively] and it will be some time before I can comment on them, but I welcome their publication. I also hope to be able to comment on the presentation Ireland’s Inland Waterways – Building a Tourism Destination which WI made to the recent meeting of the NSMC; I’m told it’s on its way to me but it hasn’t arrived yet.

 

Splendid chaps, these arty types

I take it all back: I’ll never say another rude word about art gallery folk.

Well, not many, anyway.

The splendid folk at the National Gallery of Ireland have an online searchable archive that allows you to look at pics, download small watermarked versions and buy larger versions if you would like to do so. And “searchable” doesn’t just mean searchable by artist or type of paint or whatever it is: you can put in important terms like “steamer” and “shannon” and “canal”.

Admittedly you don’t get much back: two steamers, none of interest on this site, nothing about the Shannon and twelve canal scenes, only two of which are in Ireland. One of them, though, is very interesting indeed, and you can see it if you use

P4457

as your search term.

You should get an 1809 pic by one John Henry Campbell entitled “Ringsend and Irishtown from the Grand Canal, Dublin”, showing three wooden canal-boats, not particularly well moored, with their crews settling in (it appears) for the evening with fires lit and some with shelters rigged.

I can’t work out where they are, though. To get Ringsend lined up with Howth in quite that way, you’d have to be pretty close to the Grand Canal Docks, I’d have thought. Any guesses or deductions?

 

The (re)invention of heritage

From Google’s Ngram viewer (more here):

ngram[Sorry, Google: couldn’t get the embedding to work properly. WordPress’s whitelist omits Google, though maps seem to work OK. Here’s the original.]

The growth in the use of “Heritage” with an initial capital is particularly interesting. I can think of three possible reasons:

  • that more organisations, eg The Heritage Council, use the word in their titles
  • that the word is increasingly used as an abstract noun at the start of sentences like “Heritage is important”
  • that the word is increasingly used as an attributive adjective at the start of sentences like “Heritage apples should be preserved”.

Traditional, personal uses (like “My heritage from my ancestors …”) are, I think, less likely to require initial capital letters. That in turn might suggest that Google’s Ngram viewer is reflecting a new(ish) set of meanings for the word and might lead us to ask what that new(ish) usage is (or was) intended to achieve.

It might also lead us to ask whether an even newer concept might now be more useful: one that would dissuade well-meaning folk from preserving and displaying context-free old tat and persuade them to find and record information instead.

Heritage nonsense and the Naomh Éanna

There was a Dáil debate last week about the scrapping of the Naomh Éanna; nobody gave any good reason for keeping the vessel. Preservation proponents decided not to ask for money: instead they wanted the thing left hanging around while they worked out an “investment plan“, something that they could have done at any time over the last twenty-five years.

The funniest part was the final paragraph of the third contribution by Éamon Ó Cuív [FF, Galway West], who said:

Agus muid ag caint faoi stair, is fiú a lua gur úsáid RTÉ an bád seo le haghaidh scannán an-mhaith a rinne siad, “The Treaty”. Nuair a bhí Collins ag dul go Sasana sa scannán, is ar an mbád seo, seachas bád amuigh i nDún Laoghaire, a bhí sé. Tá ceangal stairiúil le hócáidí thar a bheith stairiúil ag an mbád sin. Níl ag teastáil ach cúpla mí ionas go mbeadh deis ag daoine rud éigin a eagrú. Beidh beagáinín slándáil i gceist. B’fhéidir go mbeidh costas beag ar Uiscebhealaí Éireann. Ní dóigh liom go mbeidh sé suntasach i gcomhthéacs an maitheas a d’fhéadfadh sé seo a dhéanamh dá gcoinneofaí an bád. Má táimid ag lord eiseamláir don rud a bhféadfadh a bheith i gcest, níl le déanamh againn ach cuairt a thabhairt ar Faing agus dul isteach ar an flying boat ansin.

Learned readers will recognise that Google Translate’s version needs improvement:

And we are talking about history, it is worth mentioning that RTÉ use the boat for a very good film they made, “The Treaty “. When Collins was going to England in the film, most of the boats, except boat out in Dun Laoghaire, it was. There are historical connections with historical events particularly at this boat. All you need is a few months so that people have the opportunity to organize something. The security bit concerned. There may be a small cost of Waterways Ireland. I do not think it will be significant in the context of the good it could do this if the boat is kept. If we lord model for what could be gcest, we do not just visit Foynes and go flying into the boat then.

So the Naomh Éanna is valuable because it was used as a film set. And Foynes flying-boat museum shows what could be done.

Foynes flying-boat

Foynes flying-boat

Up to a point, Lord Copper. You see — and I know this may come as a shock — the flying-boat on display at Foynes is not actually a real flying-boat. It’s not even a portion of a real flying-boat. It’s a reproduction of a portion of a flying-boat and it was built by a film-set designer.

If anyone really needs to be able to see around a small mid-twentieth-century ship, I suspect that the Foynes folk could provide a replica that would cost less to keep than the real thing.

Alternatively, if Dublin needs another example of a locally built vessel, and one different in form from the Cill Áirne, it could take over the Curraghgour II or the Coill an Eo, both also built in Dublin. Maybe the preservationists should start now on their investment planning.

Coill an Eo

Coill an Eo

Limerick Port old dredger Curraghgour II 6_resize

Curraghgour II

An investment plan for the Naomh Éanna?

In a debate about the Naomh Éanna in the Dáil on 13 February 2014, Joan Collins TD [People Before Profit Alliance, Dublin South Central] said:

I understand the National Asset Management Agency and the Irish Ship & Barge Fabrication Company have expressed an interest in stepping in with an investment plan to restore her to her former beauty.

I see nothing about the ship on NAMA’s website, so I cannot provide any information about its views.

According to the most recent modified accounts for the Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company Ltd, on file at the Companies Registration Office, its total assets at 28 February 2013 were €286 in cash.

The company had no fixed assets.

Its called-up share capital was shown as €100000 and the balance on its profit & loss account was -€99714.

According to its Annual Return (B1), made up to 30 November 2013, its authorised share capital was €200000, made up of 100000 €1.00 ordinary shares and 100000 €1.00 Non Cum Red Pref shares. Only 100 of the ordinary shares were issued: 1 was owned by Saul Casey and 99 were owned by Sam Field-Corbett. All 100000 Non Cum Red Pref shares were issued and were held by Printation Limited.

 

 

More Pathé

A train ferry, claimed to be in service on the Liffey

Fishing at Ringsend the hard way

Turf by canal

Launching the Irish Elm in Cork

A Boyne regatta

Making and using a Boyne currach in 1921 (you can learn the art yourself here)

A non-watery film: Irish Aviation Day 1936