Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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14th September 2017 - Kilmacthomas Historical Society Talk

Kilmacthomas Historical Society are holding a talk on the life and times of the famous Canadian explorer, John Palliser of Comeragh House.  Guest speaker will be historian Mr. Sean Murphy.

Come and enjoy the evening!


Venue:            Church of Ireland, Comeragh, Mahon Bridge

Date:              14th September 2017

Time:              7pm

Admission:    €5

Object of the Week - Willow Pattern Plate, 19th Century

This pattern became popular in the late 18th century.  The potteries adapted the patterns on blue and white ware which was imported from China.  Transfers were replacing hand painted ware.  Initially there were a number of different patterns but the Willow pattern became the most popular.  The background is always white and the image is blue.

The Spode factory was the first to produce china with the Willow pattern around 1790.  The standard scene contains a garden, trees, a bridge, pavilion and two flying swallows at the top of the scene.  The following is the story behind the scene:

Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se).  She had fallen in love with her father’s humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class).  He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart.  The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke.  The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift.  The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter’s wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed.  As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised.  They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand.  They eventually escaped on the Duke’s ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years.  But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge.  Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers who captured the lovers and put them to death.  The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves. 

25th August 2017 - Visitor from Syria

We had a visit today from Mohammed Al Bashir from Daraa in Syria, accompanied by Finbarr Keohan.  It was a very enjoyable visit for all concerned!

Finbarr Keohan, Staff Member Danny Kiely, Mohammed Al Bashir, Staff Member Kieran Lineen

19th August 2017 - Launch of Exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte'

On Saturday 19th August Waterford County Museum, Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group and Adopt a Monument launched our exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte' as part of National Heritage Week.  This exhibition details the archaeological digs which took place this summer at Gallows Hill and Dungarvan Valley Caves, with artefacts on display from Gallows Hill, beautiful photos from both digs, artwork by local artist Tony Hayes, and descriptions of what took place day by day.

At the launch there were two beautiful films of the digs made by John Foley, with very interesting talks by Róisin Burke of Adopt a Monument/Abarta Heritage, Christina Knight and Eddie Cantwell of Gallows Hill Community Archaeology Group and Waterford County Museum, followed by a viewing of the exhibition.  The launch was well attended and those present found it very interesting.

Our thanks to all of the people whose hard work helped both the digs and the exhibition to take place who are too numerous to mention here.
Enjoying John Foley's Film of the Gallows Hill Dig

Viewing the Exhibition

Róisin Burke Talking with Tony Hayes

A Selection of Artefacts from Gallows Hill Displayed by William Fraher

Artwork by Tony Hayes

Danny Kiely who Organised the Exhibition with Help from Others

Paul McLoughlin who Assisted Danny Kiely and Others with the Exhibition

Object of the Week - Penny Farthing Bicycle Late 19th Century

The first cycling club in Ireland was established in Dungarvan in 1869.  The club was founded by Richard Edward Brenan the postmaster.  The first race for a challenge cup was run in September 1869 and the cup can be seen, along with the penny farthing, in Waterford County Museum. Amongst its members was the photographer Edmond Keohan.

Dungarvan can with good reason claim to be the birthplace of Irish cycling.

This penny farthing was owned and ridden by Canon Burkitt of Stradbally, Co. Waterford and there is a photograph of him cycling the bike in 1936 when he was in his seventies.  Some people may recognise the bicycle as John O'Brien used to cycle it in the Dungarvan St. Patrick's Day Parade.

August 2017 - Visit of Museum Member Jim Shine to Ypres to Commemorate the Death of James O.W. Shine in 1917 in World War One

On a recent visit to Ypres to commemorate the death of Captain James O.W. Shine, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in the battle of Paschendaele in 1917, one of our members, Jim Shine, took the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate Memorial in remembrance of the one thousand and thirty Waterford men and women who died in World War One.

The Menin Gate Memorial has panels on which are inscribed the names of fifty four thousand eight hundred and ninety six allied soldiers who died in the area and have no known grave.  Another thirty five thousand are similarly commemorated at the Tyne Cot cemetery near Paschendaele in which there are twelve thousand graves of those whose bodies could be recovered.

Sunday 3rd September 2017 - History Day at Dromana Titled 'Art, Architecture, Gardens and the Intrepid Traveller: Passage to India'

There will be a history day at Dromana House on Sunday 3rd September 2017 from 10am to 4pm titled 'Art, Architecture, Gardens and the Intrepid Traveller: Passage to India'.

The guest speakers and subjects covered will be Kathleen James-Chakraborty - The gateway at Dromana, Mary Ann Prior - The gardens of the Great Moghuls: the Villiers-Stuart connection, Peter Murray - Changes in British racial attitudes in India in the early nineteenth century: James Achilles Kirkpatrick and his wife Khair-un-Nissa Begum, the East India Company, and the paintings of Thomas Hickey and George Chinnery, Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel - The Maharajah of Gwailor and the Church of the Ascension in Timoleague, Co. Cork.

Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea included, €70 per person or €125 for two.  Email info@dromanahouse.com, booking is essential.

Full Details of Our Annual Museum Fundraising Book Sale October 26th, 27th & 28th 2017

The Museum's annual fundraising book sale will be held on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October in the former Mill Restaurant by Garvey’s Supervalu carpark.  There will be a great selection of books for sale!  

Our book sale gives a much needed financial boost to help with the running costs of the Museum, so please do consider coming along to buy lots of books!  

Donations of books towards the sale can be made by dropping them in to us at the Museum in Friary Street, and they should be in good condition, with no magazines or encyclopaedias please.  

Our thanks to Liam Power and Garveys Supervalu for allowing us to use the restaurant for our sale.   

Object of the Week - 'Any Time is Urney Time' Clock from the Ormonde Cinema, Dungarvan, 1940s

Urney Chocolates was established in 1919 by Eileen and Harry Gallagher at Urney, Co. Tyrone.

Mrs Gallagher set up a sweet making factory in her back garden in an effort to provide employment for locals who were emigrating due to lack of employment.

In 1924 the factory was destroyed by fire and it was moved to Tallaght in Dublin.  By the 1960s Urney Chocolates was employing one thousand workers and was then one of the largest chocolate factories in Europe.  In 1963 W & R Grace, New York, purchased the company.  In 1970 they sold it to Unilever who changed the name to HB Chocolates.

The company ceased production in 1980.

20th September 2017 Illustrated Lecture - Curraghmore: A Hidden Treasure on Our Doorstep by Julian Walton

We are delighted to have Julian Walton kick off our 2017/18 lecture season with an illustrated lecture titled 'Curraghmore: A Hidden Treasure on Our Doorstep'.

For many years one of the most fascinating country houses in Ireland has remained hidden from the national media, and forgotten by many in the Déise.  Curraghmore House is now beginning to receive the attention it deserves.  For at least six hundred years the house and demesne have been the home of the same family, the name changing only once through marriage.  For the last three centuries it has been the seat of the Beresfords, Marquesses of Waterford, who played a leading role in the evolution of Georgian Ireland, and in Victorian times produced some famous churchmen and soldiers.  For three centuries before that it was the principal castle of the Power clan who ruled East Waterford until the coming of Cromwell.  Every generation has left its mark on Curraghmore.

The magnificent demesne of some two and a half thousand acres is open to the public subject to common sense restrictions.  The gardens (leave €5 in the honesty box), in a stunning setting along the River Clodiagh with a medieval bridge, hills, forests, avenues and splendid vistas, are open from Easter to the end of September.  During the same period there are guided tours of the house, with its huge courtyard, fifteenth century entrance hall, décor by Wyatt and others, historic furniture, paintings including family portraits.  The fine eighteenth century Shell House in the grounds is included in the tour.  The former parish church on Clonegam Hill serves as the family mausoleum.

Julian Walton is currently working on the archives at Curraghmore, with the assistance of Marianna Lorenc, and our Museum Curator William Fraher.  Julian's immense treasure of knowledge and his humorous observations on historical events will ensure a very interesting and entertaining lecture which will be well worth attending.

We are also breaking new ground with this talk because it takes place at the Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club on Davitts Quay, which is itself a very historic location which is where the famed 'Linny' used to stand, as they have very kindly allowed us to use their clubhouse for the talk.

There is a lift at the clubhouse to take people to the top floor.  All are very welcome!


Venue:            Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club, Davitts Quay, Dungarvan

Date:               Wednesday 20th September 2017

Time:              8pm

Admission:    €5

National Heritage Week 19th to 27th August 2017 - Exhibition 'Neolithic Caves to Medieval Motte'

For National Heritage Week 19th to 27th August 2017 Gallows Hill Archaeology Group will exhibit their 2017 excavation work at Gallows Hill, and supporting excavation work with the Dungarvan Valley Caves Project, here in the Museum.

This looks like being a very interesting exhibition and will be well worth a visit!

Venue:            Waterford County Museum, Friary Street, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

Date/Time:      Official Opening Saturday 19th August 2017 12pm to 1pm  
                        Then Normal Museum Opening Hours 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday                          
Admission:     Free

Object of the Week - Metal Ladle for Molten Glass from Waterford Crystal Factory, Dungarvan, 1970s

The Waterford Crystal factory opened in Dungarvan in July 1972.  The official opening was performed by Jack Lynch.  It was reported in newspapers at the time that the factory cost one million to construct and would employ two hundred and forty workers, thirty of whom were from An Rinn.

In 2002 the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the factory was celebrated with a publication and a special service at the factory.  A number of pieces of glass and other archival material were donated to Waterford County Museum.

The factory finally closed in 2005.

10th August 2017 Visitors from Bilbao and San Sebastián in the Basque Country Region of Spain

On 10th August 2017 we had a visit from a group of students from Bilbao and San Sebastián in the Basque Country region of Spain.  They were given a tour of the Museum by our multi lingual staff member Kieran Lineen and they thoroughly enjoyed their visit.
Staff Member Kieran Lineen with Students from the Basque Region of Spain

International Visitors Summer 2017

We are delighted to welcome groups of international students in connection with Maud Cunningham of The Language People in Dungarvan who regularly visit the Museum.  We have had groups of students from Spain and various other countries, and many other visitors to the Museum this year from all over the world including places as far away as Africa and Arizona!

Our multi lingual staff member Kieran Lineen has led many tours of the Museum for our international visitors this year, as have other members of staff, and the Museum is proving to be a very popular attraction.

Ina Bluett R.I.P.

We were saddened to hear of the recent death of Ina Bluett who was a long time member of the Museum and will be sadly missed.  Our condolences to her family.

Object of the Week - Dictograph from Power's Brewery, Dungarvan, c.1950

Dictograph from Power's Brewery, Dungarvan, c.1950.
Wooden body with bakelite (early type of plastic) hand set.  Stamped 'Dictograph' Made in England with the company logo.

The Dictograph was first manufactured by the General Acoustics Company in the U.S. and the brand name was registered in 1907.  They were later manufactured in England by Dictograph Telephones Ltd.


Friday 28th July 2017 - Reception for William Fraher

On Friday 28th July 2017 we had a reception in the Museum organised by the Museum Committee and Museum staff for William Fraher who has left his post as CE Supervisor after many years of dedicated service.  Our thanks to Willie for all his hard work and dedication over the years.
William Fraher (sixth from left) Surrounded by Museum Members, Staff, and Friends 

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