Journal Volume 1 1992
Old Greystones and Ancient Rathdown (continued/18)
A couple of writers say that over thirty houses had to be evacuated on Strand Road in 1928 when the action of the sea undermined them. According to the 1922 Directory there were only twenty-eight houses on Strand Road and if three were left standing (they're still there) then only twenty-five can have been vacated. The residents were housed on higher ground with the aid of government grants. Some of those who as children moved with their parents from Strand Road are still with us. Their houses were swept away, not in 1928 when they were vacated, but between 1929 and 1932 (91). The Irish Times of 24 January 1930 recorded that ‘the town of Greystones suffered severely from the recent storms’.
Carrig Eden overlooks the Grey Stones, close to the front of the La Touche Hotel. Originally two semi-detached private houses, East House and West House, they'd been renamed Ferney East and Ferney West by 1922. They were thrown together to make the Christian Endeavour holiday home in 1936. This brought about a great increase in the number of visitors to Greystones, especially from Northern Ireland. But somehow Greystones wasn't destined ever to become a holiday resort in the sense that neighbouring Bray once was. It did indeed gain popularity as a place of retirement but it's now chiefly a dormitory town for many who earn their living in the capital.
Finally, on a personal note: I got my first sight of Greystones in 1937, when as a small boy I was sent by my Dublin grand-aunt into Scott's pharmacy for a bag of lavender. She gave me a threepenny bit to pay for it. I must stop now, for the war broke out in September 1939 and the story of Greystones over the past fifty years or so must await another pen and another day. Those of us who lived through the rationing, the black - out, the glimmer-man and the general austerity of those years know that that war changed Greystones, Ireland and indeed the world.
I am most grateful to Florence French and Caroline Kennedy for allowing me to quote from their late husbands' writings, and to the County Library staff for their unfailing patience and courtesy. Emer Singleton helped with information about Charles Tarrant's last days. William A. Irwin told me everything I know about Bedford Cemetery in Ennis's Lane. Nuala Murphy kindly shared with me her childhood recollections of the laying by the County Council of the new roadway from Redford Bridge to The Grove.