'Speaking of Greystones 2012'
Greystones Archaeological & Historical Society's Celebration of Culture Night 2012
We were delighted to welcome an overflow attendance to this event, which was held in the very appropriate setting of Leo Ireton’s Greystones shop on the afternoon of Culture Night, 21st September 2012. The twenty or so chairs filled up quickly, but people kept streaming in, and with every available space eventually occupied there were still some listeners content to stand outside and press their noses against the window!
The programme, ‘Speaking of Greystones’, took the form of a series of readings designed to offer impressions of the locality and to pinpoint crucial features in the development of the town over more than two hundred years. The topics included Greystones’s history as a seaside resort, its maritime associations and the coming of the railway, as well as the memories of visitors from the 1830s to the 1950s, the heroism of three local men during a storm in 1892 and an episode involving an important political figure and two enterprising suffragettes on Greystones pier in 1910. The programme opened and concluded with a recording of ‘The Ballad of Ronnie’s Mare’, recalling various Greystones institutions and characters including, of course, the late and much-missed Greystones resident, Ronnie Drew, himself.
The event was chaired by Rosemary Raughter, and the very lively and effective readers were Joan Jones, Aileen Short, Christy O’Connor and Leo Ireton, as well as Councillor Grainne McLoughlin, who read an extract from her pitch for the recent Irish Times competition for the best place to live in Ireland, in which Greystones was a semi-finalist. Colin Short masterminded the recording of the music and video, while Colin Love produced, directed and floor-managed. In thanking all who contributed, Rosemary paid particular tribute to Leo, who so generously offered his premises for the occasion, and good-humouredly tolerated the inevitable inconvenience – as everyone agreed, the location, as an integral part of Greystones’s history over more than a century, contributed hugely to the success of the event.
This was the first time the Society has taken part in Culture Night. The amount of interest generated and the excellent feedback gets our autumn/winter programme off to a spectacular start, and suggest that this is something which should become a regular part of our annual schedule.