Date Published: 05-May-2011
From reading Hugh Leonard’s marvellous book Home Before Night it becomes obvious that a whole generation in the days before the advent of television, based a substantial part of what might be termed their ‘social lives’ around going to the pictures.
Leonard recalls that on at least one afternoon in the week, he and his mother would head off to the local cinema.
As youngsters, we tended to go in large groups on a Friday night and again to the matinee on a Sunday afternoon, though we may have been unusual for a smallish town like Tuam that we had the choice of two cinemas, The Mall and The Odeon.
In those days money was not plentiful. Many families depended on having ‘a book’ in the local shop where they could buy items liked bread, cheese, sugar, tea, butter during the week ‘on tick’ and the entire amount was reckoned-up on a Friday evening with the shopkeeper.
In latter days of youth, I frequently got this job on reckoning-up evening when my father had been paid his few pounds on a Friday for the working week. Not a penny went astray, I can assure you, and my father went through the columns in ‘the book’ with all the acuity of the IMF.
The money for ‘the pictures’ came from what little was left over after a family of five kids was fed – perhaps my dad could not resist the pressure of other kids calling ‘are ye going?’ and those beseeching looks from his own.
And we had one stop he did not know of. There was a tiny shop on the way where you could buy cigarettes at an exorbitant price of 2d (that’s old pence) each! It was an extraordinary establishment.
In the window were melting bars such as Gifties, Cough No More, Black Jacks, Peggy’s Legs . . . and dozens of dead bluebottles and wasps lying on their backs. They had given up the ghost having sated themselves on sugar and simply lay down and died after the gorge.
It’s hardly any wonder then that when I turn on Turner Classic Movies and see John Wayne, Sterling Hayden, Richard Widmark, Alan Ladd, Jane Russell, or tune-in at Easter to major epics like The Robe, Quo Vadis, Spartacus, that the days of ‘the pictures’ come flooding back.
I also have an unusual link to the movies . . . over the Easter they showed that great old musical High Society on Turner Classic Movies and can I say that I saw it for the first time in The Children’s Home in Tuam on one of the rare special social occasions when they showed a film for the women who were resident of The Home.
Many of the women were unmarried mothers, others I think simply ‘put away’ by families in times when anyone ‘a bit wild’ was dangerously non-conformist.
My connection to The Children’s Home had begun in the 1940s when my mother died a month after I was born. A month old premature baby would have been an impossible burden for my father, with four other young children.
My father worked as the head maintenance man in The Home, it was a hundred yards from my ‘real’ home, and must have seemed like the most natural thing in the world to place me there. I spent a number of years in The Home in the extraordinary care of a woman called Mary.
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.