Milestones along the Way – The Yards of Waterford by Geoff Cronin

In the 1930s the shops in Waterford City were dependent on farmers from the surrounding county for a considerable slice of trade, particularly at the weekends. Tradition was that a farmer and his wife would travel to town on a Saturday and as public transport was thin on the ground the pony and trap was the most common way of getting to the city.

At this point I must explain that well established pubs would have a yard with some stabling attached and a yard man would be in attendance, also many of these would be “bar and grocery” shops. So, having arrived in town the farmer could park his pony and trap in the care of the pub yard man, while he and his wife went up the main street – she to order bread for the week and to sell her eggs and home-made butter and he to visit the bank and the hardware shops, to order seeds and tools and the like. Instructions to the shopkeeper would be “send it to Dower’s yard, Grace’s Yard, Pender’s yard, Power’s yard”, or wherever the pony and trap was lodged.

Now in those days no woman would be seen in a pub but in a ‘bar and grocery’ establishment there was always a ‘snug’ where a lady could be seated while giving her grocery order and waiting for her husband. And, what harm if a glass of port or a beer on a warm day, or even a whisky in the cold weather, was served in the process. And when himself would arrive he could join in with a pint of stout and chat for often times there would be several ladies in waiting in the snug.

Serving behind the counter in my father’s bakery shop, I was quite familiar with the programme of the country people as we had a big proportion of our customers in that category.

There were great number of bars in Waterford and I often wondered why a pub should be called “A bar” until one day I noticed a very ornate, polished brass bar, elbow high across the window of a pub called the Dew Drop Inn in Greyfriars. After much research, I discovered that the origin of the “Window Bar” could be traced to a time when fairs and sales of cattle and horses took place in the street, or wherever there was a convenient square or open space. On such occasions, the bar prevented large animals from leaning against the window and probably breaking it. The bar served another purpose too. When a patron of the pub who was the worse for wear was leaving the premises, he could grasp the bar and ease himself along the window and thereby make a dignified exit.

In recent times I spotted a not so decorative iron bar across the window of a very old pub in a narrow street in a small provincial town. But it was many a bygone year since a horse or a cow was sold in that street.

In the ’30s the horse was king of the road and you could see iron rings sunk into the street kerbs where a horse or donkey could be tethered while his owner went shopping. Also there was a huge variety of trades, related to the horse, blacksmiths, farriers, saddlers, feed stores, leather and harness makers, coach builders, coach painters, wheelwrights, tackle shops, stables, hay and straw merchants and even street sweepers. But gradually all these trades and the employment they provided disappeared with the demise of the horse drawn traffic and even the skills associated with those trades became largely extinct.

Horse racing and breeding still support some of the old trades and the now dying sport of fox hunting plays a part too, but it’s only a fraction of what used to exist. Such is progress.


Definition: Syncopation, an unsteady movement from Bar to Bar!

About Geoff Cronin – 1923 – 2017

There were few jobs that Geoff could not turn his hands to, and over the years he mastered an impressive number of professional undertakings. Master baker and confectioner, mobile cinema operator, salesman, band leader, senior executive and master wood turner, storyteller and writer.

Geoff Cronin published his first book in 2005 at age 82. The Colour of Life is a collection of stories of life in Waterford during his childhood and early adulthood in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. This was followed by two further books that related tales of further adventures in Waterford and Dublin.

Thank you for dropping in today and you can read The Colour of Life, The Black Bitch and the previous chaptes of Milestones in this directory:

30 Ways to get Inspired

Assurance Aigbodion shares what he feels are 30 ways be inspired. I am sure that you will agree with them all and perhaps would like to head over and add what you find inspiring.. I think he has most things covered which is a great start…

Augustine's Blog

We need inspiration everyday of our lives. There are many ways of getting inspiration, but I’ll be reviewing 30 of them. I’ve tried about eighty percent of them and they’ve worked perfectly for me. I believe you are going to be inspired after reading this post. So let’s get started. We can get inspired by the following:
1.Reading this post.

Knowing thirty ways to get inspired all begins with this. You are reading this post to get inspired, so I decided to make it the first way of getting inspired.

2. Reading Biographies.

Reading biographies gives us information about the secret behind the successes of great people. This works perfectly cos we try to emulate the good characters of successful people.

3. Staying around successful people.

Having successful people around us makes us very lucky. Having discussions with them will enable you have an idea of what it feels…

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Weekly Image and #Haiku – Storm Warning by Sally Cronin

I am making good use of some of the photographs that Paul Andruss has donated from his wonderful garden.  This is the American Monkey Flower.

Monkey-flowers are North American ornamental plants which also grow ferally in the wild. Common monkey-flower is the only plant of its genus that appears outside the confines of the well-tended garden: the other species survive here only if they’re cultivated. Unlike other new plants that have become problematic weeds or that have gone on the rampage or become a threat to native plants, common monkey-flower seems to be almost harmless. In its native western North America the species thrives in different kinds of damp environments – in Finland it can be found most often in the same kinds of places, most likely of course near inhabited areas.

The first thing that one notices about monkey-flowers is their exiting-looking flowers which probably also inspired the giver of their scientific name. the name of the genus comes from the ancient Greek word mimo which means ‘monkey’, or the Latin word mimus which means ‘actor, mimic’ – looking from the front of the plant its flower could resemble a monkey’s face or the mask used by an actor in a classical play. Apart from being an ornamental in gardens, common monkey-flower is also an important model organism in ecological and genetic research: the species’ genome was entirely decoded in 2007. Native Americans used the monkey-flower to treat wounds and pain.


Here is my tribute….

Thanks for dropping by.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Sally

A Little Space…..Please!

I have just added another world to my Saturday morning reblogs.. The world of Patrick Dykie – today a discourse on the subject of personal space ( apparently has official measurements), and the various places we might find that personal space invaded.. Like supermarket queues, elevators and on the subway. I found it almost unbearable in London on our last visit for a weekend. People were everywhere and definitely up close and personal. I used to love that when I lived and worked in the city… but we have got used to rural isolation over the last 18 years or so and I had not realised what a stressful experience it can be day in and day out. So how about you? What do you feel about being up close and personal with your fellow man or woman.. I am sure Patrick would love to know.. but don’t get within 14 inches.. unless you are female.


Things That Bother Me-Intrusions Into My Personal Space

Is it just me, or is the concept of “Personal Space,” disappearing from modern society? I read that personal space, is defined as the region surrounding a person, which they regard as psychologically theirs. It is an invisible bubble that forms an imaginary barrier, that if crossed, will induce feelings of discomfort, anger, or anxiety. It may even bring about defensive body language, such as: crossed arms, a frown, reduced eye contact, and often a downward gaze. That’s interesting. The exact same thing happens to me, whenever my mother-in-law is in my face, and dressing me down for something. I know she’s messing with my personal space. I just don’t have the courage to confront her.

Recent scientific analysis, and multiple research studies have determined that for Western societies, there is a definitive and measurable area that people consider their personal space. Estimated averages show it being 24” on either…

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Milestones along the Way – The Tin Chapel Men and by Hook or by Crook by Geoff Cronin

The Tin Chapel MenIn my father’s day there were many crusades against the demon drink, in fact there was a slogan popular with politicians of the time, “Ireland Sober, Ireland Free”. Hence it was no surprise when a company of evangelists appeared in local halls around the country, preaching about the evils of drink among other things. They were known variously as The Hot Gospellers, The Sankey Mudie Men and The Tin Chapel Men. Incidentally, men whose surnames were Sankey and Mudie were associated with this movement.The modus-operandi was the same wherever they appeared. A local hall would be hired and leaflets advertising a free evening lecture distributed around the town and free tea and biscuits might even be suggested. So the hall would be peopled by a selection of layabouts, drunks and those who had nothing better to do and the meeting would begin with one of the preachers speaking about the evils of drink.

Source: Milestones along the Way – The Tin Chapel Men and by Hook or by Crook by Geoff Cronin

Announcing the Launch! Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

For the fans of the world of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.. hold onto your fairy wings because for just one week you will be unable to enjoy the serial.. Instead you can share the celebrations for the launch of another of the very popular Three Things Serial stories. Murder at the Bijou is now available and if you are one of five very lucky winners… you get to download FREE. Head over and get the details of Murder at the Bijou and the links to buy.

Teagan's Books

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming.  Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam will return next week.

Finally!  Wheew!  I’ve been almost ready with this for months.  So I’m dropping everything to tell you about it.  Also, a pos-i-lutely huge thank-you to everyone who agreed to be part of this book launch.  Ya’ll are the cat’s pajamas!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — ThreeIngredients I

Bijou front only 2Yes, that’s the cover.  (I love making covers!)  I kept it similar to the one for the first serial,The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.


My apologies everyone — I tried to limit the giveaway to just my followers, but it clearly went public anyway, and blew right through it. (I’ve noticed many of the same…

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Meet Guest Author, Miriam Drori…

Meet Miriam Drori who is the guest of Chris The Story Reading Ape. Miriam is the author of a number of books but one that is close to her heart is being released soon. Social Anxiety is something that many people experience and yet it has only recently been identified as a condition. Head over and learn more.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Following my Passion

Question: What’s the connection between my passion and social anxiety?

Answer: Both of them grew on me without my noticing. Both have remained with me. And one relates to the other.

How come?

As a child, I was outgoing and always wanted company. But company didn’t want me, especially if it was made of other children. I learned to hide my emotions from them and gradually refrain from talking to them as much as possible. That’s what led to social anxiety. I didn’t know it was coming and certainly didn’t want it. No one does. No one chooses to have social anxiety. It comes upon you when you’re not looking and takes over.

Decades later, I discovered the name, social anxiety, and with it, a world full of people with similar problems and feelings – people struggling in similar ways to me. And I realised how common…

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Historical Saturday New Release: “A Hundred Tiny Threads” by Judith Barrow

If you had not already noticed, it has been a red letter week for Judith as she releases her long awaiting prequel to her Howarth Family Series. Christoph Fischer helps launch the book in great style.


HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY – ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’ by Judith Barrow – the prequel to the Howarth Family Series was published a few days ago. Starting in 1911 over the years we uncover the threads that bind Winifred and Bill together.

“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds
of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”
Simone Signoret.

I had the good fortune to be able to attend the packed launch event of this long awaited book at Waterstones in Carmarthen.

You can read all four books in any order, they are stand alone books but as we discussed this issue with Judith, the consensus was that reading them in the order they were written might be the best option.

I’ve been a fan of Judith’s amazing stories and her lovable persona for years and enjoyed joining her large group of readers and supporters…

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