Date Published: 12-May-2011
In writing recently about the heyday of the cinema, when visits to ‘the pictures’ were often twice or three times a week, one of my abiding memories is of the huge proportion of the audience who smoked and the all-pervasive air of tobacco smoke.
Of course it was in the days long before it became an offence to smoke in an enclosed public space . . . but I very distinctly recall the fact that when they turned on the projectors at the back of the cinema, you could see the wreaths of cigarette smoke drifting through the rays of light.
Certainly, by the time we were 12, the vast majority of us younger cinemagoers were quite the experts on the various cigarette brands, their taste and how well they were packed, and we had our favourites among the brands. Certain shops sold them at 2d (old pence) each.
The changes which have come about in smoking habits – though I still see what look like disproportionate numbers of young girls and young women smoking – are certainly to be welcomed, but, when we were 10 and upwards, it was regarded as almost part of the ‘rite of passage’ to teenage years, that you smoked. By the way, I have long since given them up.
Perhaps our parents of the time deluded themselves that strictures about not smoking were being followed . . . but, by then, many of us were very firmly hooked on the weed, and my particular taste was for Sweet Afton.
Maybe part of the reason for that was that one of my older brothers smoked the brand, so it’s possible I developed the taste for them because I could filch the odd one from a pack in his pocket.
I found that they might have been slightly milder than Gold Flake, and they were certainly milder than the John Players Navy Cut favoured by my father. The occasional one of those was enough to make your head swim when you first inhaled, but at Christmas when they lay around the house in presentation boxes of fifties and hundreds, the Players were also hard to resist.
Occasionally, other unusual sources of supply came into play. There was a tradition in this country of the ‘parcel from America’, in which relations sent clothes. But they also sent a rarity known as chewing gum, and packs and packs of Chesterfield, Marlboro, Pall Mall and other loosely packed but very welcome cigarettes.
We budding connoisseurs tended to ‘look down our noses’ at the Woodbine . . . quite a bit cheaper than other brands, though my father swore by them during the ‘war years’. Personally, I always found the Woodbine was just too loosely packed and you spent too much time trying to get rid of the bitter pieces of tobacco off the tip of your tongue.
Of course, there were other much more exotic brands which we encountered. Don’t ask me how we managed to get hold of the occasional Churchman – now there was a cigarette! It was thicker than any other brands I had encountered, was packed as firmly as a pencil, and one puff could make your toenails curl.
All of this meant that, when we went to the cinema, within minutes of the film starting, we all lit-up and puffed away madly. John Wayne would be battling his way through the dugouts and foxholes of Iwo Jima, and we sat rapt and puffed.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.