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


The Tin Chapel Men

In 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.

To illustrate the point he would hold up a glass of water in one hand and a common earth worm in the other and he would say “See what I hold in my hands, a glass of God’s own fresh water and a lowly earth worm. Now I drop the worm into the glass and you can see he swims about quite happily. But now I show you a glass of the demon whisky, I drop a worm into it and the unfortunate creature shrivels up and dies immediately. And now, my dear people, what lesson may we learn from this?” He pauses dramatically, holding the glass containing the whisky and the now dead worm and a semi drunken voice from the audience says, “If you drink whisky you’ll never get worms”.

All I can say at this stage is, if it didn’t happen it should have!

***

A man whose neighbour was recovering from a serious illness was asked by a friend how the man was doing and he replied,

“Well, sure he’s between the bed and the fire.”

***

A tourist being shown over the Irish countryside by a local, paused when he saw some red berries growing on a plant at the roadside.

“Tell me,” he said, “what are those berries?” “Those are blackberries,” he was told.

“But they are not black, they’re red,” said the tourist.

“That’s true,” said the guide, “but you see sir, they’re always red when they’re green!”

***

By Hook or by Crook

There is a saying attributed to Oliver Cromwell concerning his approach to Waterford, Hook Lighthouse being on one leg of the estuary of the Suir river and Crook being a townsland on the far side of the estuary.

In my opinion this saying has nothing to do with Cromwell, but instead refers to the terms on which an old time landlord let a cottage on his estate to a tenant.

The conditions allowed the tenant to gather firewood on the estate limited to what could be obtained by Hook (meaning a Billhook) or by Crook meaning a long pole with a metal hook at one end by which rotten branches could be pulled down from the trees.

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:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-colour-of-life-by-geoff-cronin/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – FREE book, Invitation to a Party and brilliant writers.


Welcome to the weekly round up and a reminder that What’s in a Name Volume one is FREE until midnight tonight. I am not part of the Kindle family although all my books are formated to be read on Kindles, Nooks and any other devices. So I don’t do the Kindle select promotions. However, most of you know we well enough to email me and that your information is safe.

About the stories

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

The book is available in Mobi (Kindle) Epub (other devices) and pdf for those of you without a reader.

Just email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and I will whisk a copy over to you. I appreciate that many of you have TBRs that rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa… but that is okay and I also have no expectation of a review… unless you really want to!

You can read a number of reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

and the latest review by Paul Andruss which is a story too: http://www.paul-andruss.com/whats-in-a-name-vol-1/

End of Summer Party – August 26th – 28th – all welcome.

I will be roasting showcasing, those bloggers who have been with me since I began Smorgasbord four years ago.. and apart from these guests, I am inviting everyone to chip in with their details in the comments. I have some food and drink (virtually no calories) and there will be some music. I hope you will be able to pop in .

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-invitation-to-an-end-of-summer-house-party-saturday-26th-to-monday-28th-august/

My secretary Mavis has reminded me that it is time to get on with the round up of the week’s posts that you might have missed.

I am of course very grateful to my guests this week who have provided us with entertaining and interesting posts. Thanks to Anne Casey, Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who will be with us through the summer and beyond I hope.

William Price King is still on his summer break but I have been sharing a previous series that proved very popular the first time around.. Tony Bennett the ultimate performer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-part-three-the-1960s/

Guest post from poet and song writer Anne Casey talking about the path to the publication of her debut poetry collection. Including her published work in the Irish Times.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-guest-post-writing-all-the-wrong-things-by-anne-casey/

Julie Lawford continues her summer of lifestyle articles with her top ten tips for maintaining your weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/my-top-ten-experienced-based-tips-for-sustainable-and-healthy-weightloss-by-julie-lawford/

I was delighted to welcome Carol Taylor to the blog for the first of a collaborative series on my top healthy foods with some wonderful recipes from Carol.. This week delicious ways to prepare the king of fish.. salmon.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate/

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/milestones-along-the-way-tradition-and-smoke-signals-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/milestones-along-the-way-100-plants-and-snippets-by-geoff-cronin/

I have posted another one of my entertainment reviews and this time for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/smorgasbord-entertainment-movie-review-king-arthur-legend-of-the-sword-by-sally-cronin-2/

Book Promotion

For the next 12 weeks I am guest posting with a number of fantastic bloggers as part of the Odd Jobs and Characters, What’s in a Name launch series. I am posting the first three and then this Friday, Debby Gies is hosting the first of the guest appearances.. By all accounts she has added some Debby specials to the post so I hope you will head over and check it out.

This week was part one of my adventures as a dental nurse back in the late 1960s…haha.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/odd-jobs-and-characters-the-dental-surgery-part-one-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-witchlet-book-one-the-magical-chapters-trilogy-by-victoria-zigler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-a-desolate-hour-point-pleasant-series-by-mae-clair/

Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jacqueline-oby-ikocha-and-john-nicholl/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-dan-alatorre-pamela-d-beverly-and-jacquie-biggar/

Air Your Promotions

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-carmen-stefanescu-and-patricia-k-salamone/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-janice-spina-gigi-sedlmayer-and-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Short story

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-a-cat-called-by-iris-mick/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-august-7th-2017-sue-vincent-geoff-le-pard-c-s-boyack-and-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-8th-august-2017-lucinda-e-clarke-steve-tanham-don-massenzio-and-colleen-chesebro/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-9th-august-2017-susan-toy-annette-rochelle-aben-d-g-kaye-with-tina-frisco-sue-vincent-with-judith-barrow/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-10th-august-2017-story-reading-ape-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-wendy-scott-with-john-howell-and-jennie-fitzkee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-11th-august-2017-lucinda-e-clarke-debby-gies-free-book-steve-costello-carmen-stefanescu-and-christy-birmingham/

Weekly image and Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-honouring-feng-shui/

Humour and afternoon videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/the-afternoon-video-the-first-time-i-saw-your-face/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-archives-doctors-dentists-driving-and-double-glazing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/afternoon-video-archive-theres-a-cat-in-my-bed-dogs-fighting-a-losing-battle/

Thank you for all your support and generosity in sharing.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you will visit again next week.

 

 

Milestones along the Way – 100 Plants and snippets by Geoff Cronin


The Hundred Plants

When I married Joan Flanagan we went to live at number 30 St. Ursula’s Terrace, a rented house where Joan had lived all her life. As we had been courting for four years prior to the marriage, I knew all the neighbours in the area and they had decided that I would need good advice especially when it came to gardening as the garden was my first priority when I moved in.

It all began the moment I took a spade in my hand and went out to tackle the garden, which had been sadly neglected for years. My immediate neighbour on my left appeared the moment I sank the spade into the ground.

“I see you’re making a start there” he said, “and you have a tough job in front of you”. “I’ll tell you how to clear that land of weeds, first of all get yourself a hundred (cabbage) plants, next get a short stick and put a point on it, now get a bottle of water. Then when you have the ground dug and levelled come along with your pointed stick and put holes in the ground about two feet apart in rows and have two feet between the rows. Now get your bottle of water and put water in each hole. Then drop the plants in the holes and bring soil in around the stems and there you have your cabbage patch and those plants are so hungry that they’ll starve the weeds by eating up all the nourishment in the ground.

Then the following year plant your spuds in that patch which will be clean of weeds by that time. And there you have it!”

As I thanked my neighbour (for nothing) and as he left the scene, my next door neighbour on the other side appeared and approached me with the comment. “I see your thinking of making a start there and I noticed your man giving you the benefit of his experience. Well, let me tell you, he’s talking bullshit and you should pay no attention whatsoever to anything he says. Now I’m tilling this garden this last fifty years and I know a bit about it. Given see, you have a neglected garden on your hands there and there’s only one way to clear the weeds out of it and here’s the plan…

“First of all get yourself a hundred (cabbage plants) and then you’ll need a bottle of water and a short pointed stick etc. etc.” There followed precisely the same instructions but with this addendum. “I knew all belonging to you boy and I know the way you were raised and how could you know anything about gardening?”

So, not wishing to hurt his feelings, I thanked him for his advice and since by that time the daylight was fading I went back into the house for my tea.

A few days later I was walking down the town when a man from three doors down, stopped me. “Hello there” he said, “I see you’re making a start on the garden and I noticed that you were getting plenty of advice from your two next door neighbours. Well you can ignore whatever they told you because they know feck all about gardening and I’m going to put you right here and now. You can see what you have here is an old neglected garden and there’s only one way to clear the weeds out of it. Here’s what you have to do. First get yourself a hundred plants (cabbage), then you’ll need a short stick with a point on it and a bottle of water etc. etc.”

The recipe was exactly the same as before and I had to smile but I thanked him for his advice and went on my way.

In the event I made a hen run in the section nearest the house, a row of loganberries was next followed by rhubarb, onions, carrots and lettuce and guess what a small cabbage patch!

My neighbours were decent and helpful in every way over the years that followed and I still cherish those memories of a happy if frugal time of my life.

Postscript

Joan and I lived at number thirty for several years. I built a kitchen on to the back of the house as the family grew and turned the existing kitchen into a living/dining room.
The building of the kitchen, which I did single handed, is another story. We left that house in 1955 and moved to ‘Selby’ and that is yet another story.

***

An apprentice shop assistant was ten minutes late coming back to work after lunch and the manager, who was a stickler for timekeeping, stopped him at the door and the following communication ensued:-

Manager: Why are you late back after lunch?

Boy: I had to get a haircut, sir.

Manager: You’re not entitled to get your hair cut in the firm’s time.

Boy: But it grows in the firm’s time, sir.

Manager: Well, it didn’t all grow in the firm’s time.

Boy: I know that, sir, but I didn’t get it all cut!

©Geoff Cronin 2010

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:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-colour-of-life-by-geoff-cronin/

Milestones along the Way – Tradition and Smoke Signals by Geoff Cronin


Tradition

Three friends were in the habit of meeting every evening in their local pub to have just one drink on their way home from work. Each would buy in his turn and the round was three halves of Jameson Whisky. Well, after some years one of the friends was transferred to another town and his two pals continued to buy and drink the traditional three halves – just not to forget the absent one.

However, before the year was out a second member of the trio was transferred, leaving one solitary friend and he decided he was not going to forget his two pals. To that end he continued to buy the three halves which he drank – what else could he do?

Anyway this went on for some time until one day he went into the pub as usual and ordered just two halves of Jameson – The barmaid served them up and timidly asked “is one of your old friends dead”? To which he replied “ah no, it’s just that I’m off drink for Lent”!!

Smoke Signals

My first encounter with cigarettes was when at age six, in the early ’30s, I bought a packet of five Woodbines for two pence at Kirwan’s in John Street where I lived. Having smuggled them home, I went into the back yard, out of sight and lit one up. When I stopped coughing, having accidentally inhaled a mouthful of smoke, I found myself staggering about, felling dizzy and finally being sick all over the place. I didn’t smoke again till I was twenty!

The variety of cigarettes available in those days was endless and I can recall many of the brands:- Players, Carolls And Gold Flake were the main leaders and then there was Churchman’s, Passing Clouds, De Rezske Minors, Craven A, Kerry Blue, Drumhead, Players Weights, Senior Service, the list goes on. The price of smokes varied from Woodbines at five for twopence to sixpence for ten of the main brands and a shilling for twenty. The fancy brands cost up to one shilling and threepence for twenty.

Of course “serious men” of that time smoked a pipe and while the lower classes used a clay pipe the more respectable citizens used a Briar or even a Meerschaum, and a Corncob, an import from America, was for the more adventurous.

The equipment required for the pipe smoker seemed endless – the tobacco pouch, the pipe cleaners, the tobacco jar, the universal tool for tamping, reaming and stem cleaning, the pipe rack and the absolutely essential penknife also the pipe cover for smoking outdoors. Lastly the special big box of matches favoured by pipe smokers called “Swan Vestas”.

The shop which stocked all these items was called a Tobacconists and also stocked cigars, cheroots, humidors for storing cigars and of course tobacco in all its forms, namely plug, rubbed and loose mixtures plus many tinned proprietary brands such as Bruno, Mick McQuaid, Three Nuns, Players, Black Cavendish, Reilly’s Twist etc. Chewing tobacco was also stocked and then there is snuff. This last item was made by grinding up tobacco leaves and stems into a fine powder and was consumed by snorting it. Small containers, waistcoat pocket size were used to carry a supply on one’s person and in that context it was considered good manners to offer the open box to a friend or friends in company to have a “pinch of snuff”.

It was on such occasions that a very mean person, unseen by the donor, would squeeze a penny edgewise in the pocket between finger and thumb thus creating an indentation in both so that he would get a bigger pinch of snuff. Such a man would be known as a penny pincher which led to the general term “penny pinching”, meaning economising to excess.

It is not generally known that in the ’30s tobacco was grown in Ireland for a number of years and there are still examples of the tall drying houses where the leaves were dried for a period after harvesting. Once can still find antique silver snuff boxes which are collector’s items though the practice of “snuffing” still exists.

Incidentally, there was a factory in the Back Lane in Waterford, Hanley’s by name, which produced clay pipes until the early forties if my memory serves me right. The clay pipe broke easily and very often the stem would break off in the pocket leaving the bowl with a very short stem, but it could still be used and was known as a Dudeen or Jaw Warmer.

In fact I can remember as a child seeing old women smoking Jaw Warmers behind their shawls and when a jaw warmer eventually broke it was not unusual for it to be ground to a powder and mixed in with a measure of snuff as the clay pipe would have absorbed a considerable quantity of nicotine in its life so it closely resembled the snuff.

 

©Geoff Cronin 2010

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:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-colour-of-life-by-geoff-cronin/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Tony Bennett, Houdini and Doyle, Bad Habits, Childhood and Greece


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. As you know I recommend that you do not sign up for notifications about my posts.. it would drive you crazy.. but you might like to put Sunday in your diary for a pop in.

As always I am very grateful for those who have shared their thoughts, words and wisdom with us this week. William Price King, Paul Andruss, Julie Lawford, Kevin Morris and Ali Isaac

I have had some adventures of the dental kind this week having fractured a molar.. We had not signed up with a dentist as yet but were recommended to go to one in nearby Arklow.. You can always tell how good a dentist is by sitting in a waiting room. If people have their head in their hands are sweating it is not a good sign.. In this case everyone was enjoying a banter and talking about the weather.. I was reassured. Having been on the other side of the dentist chair over 40 years ago and witnessed some of the treatments then available you might understand why I am still nervous of going for an appointment.

I need not have been worried. Despite barely any of the tooth left, the dentist fitted me in for an appointment within two days because she did not want to leave me with a loose filling whilst she went on holiday. She took out the old filling painlessly and rebuilt it painstakingly… with composite. I am delighted to have found such a great practice and will be returning when needed.

The weather has turned autumnal and conkers are already on the trees. We have had a dry if cloudy summer and I take heart knowing that here in Ireland September can be a glorious month. In the meantime I may be getting the boots back out of their summer hibernation.. they have only been in there for six weeks…

Anyway on with the round up and thank you very much for your continued support.. It means the world to me.

Summer Jazz with William Price King

Whilst William is away on his summer break I will be reposting the series featuring the amazing Tony Bennett who is still performing in his 90s.

Here he is with The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-part-two-the-1950s/

Writer in Residence

Thomas the Rhymer

This week Paul Andruss takes us behind the scenes of the real life relationship between two megastars of their day.. Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini.. Expect the unexpected with The Dream Team.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/writer-in-residence-doyle-and-houdini-the-dream-team-by-paul-andruss/

A reminder that you can enjoy the full book of essays by Horatio Grin (AKA Paul Andruss) with bonus features FREE by emailing me.. Details in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/free-book-fairies-the-hidden-history-by-horatio-grin/

Guest writer Julie Lawford Summer of Lifestyle posts

We all develop bad habits over time and this includes with our diet. Julie Lawford takes us through some strategies to make changes that benefit us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-guest-writer-what-we-repeatedly-do-by-julie-lawford/

Guest post Kevin Morris

Kevin  Morris is celebrating the release of his latest poetry collection, My Old Clock I Wind with a guest post on his childhood.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/smorgasbord-guest-post-my-school-days-by-poet-and-author-kevin-morris/

Milestones along the Way by Goeff Cronin

I new serialisation of Geoff Cronin’s books with Milestones along the Way.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/milestones-along-the-way-the-bed-to-beat-all-and-rural-electrification-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/milestones-along-the-way-the-banks-of-the-suir-by-geoff-cronin/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Guest Ali Isaac

Ali takes us to the heat of Greece in this heart warming story of a mother and daughter preparing for the future and letting go of the past.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/authors-in-the-sun-aphrodites-rock-by-ali-isaac/

Book Promotion

Over the next three months I will be posting a new series Odd Jobs and Characters to celebrate my latest short story collection in ebook and a printed edition containing both volumes of What’s in a Name? The first three posts are on my blog and then the other twelve are being featured on some wonderful writer’s blogs..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/writing-short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Reblogs

These are stand alone reblogs for certain bloggers who have something a little extra that I would like to share.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-reblog-the-story-of-my-life-writing-prompts-memoir-by-d-g-kaye/

Finn Mac Cool

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-reblog-fevered-threads-by-paul-andruss/

Jessica Norrie

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/smorgasbord-reblog-the-best-independent-bookshop-in-london-by-jessica-norrie/

Just a reminder that all promotions for bloggers and authors on Smorgasbord are FREE… I can offer to showcase your work in front of nearly 30,000 across the blog and social media and give you regular updates every few weeks.

The only thing that I ask is that you participate by responding to comments of those who have taken the time to make them, and to share across your own blog and networks. This also involves responding to those who share on Twitter as I tag you in any retweets. Most who share on Twitter are authors themselves and are part of a very supportive community who welcome new members.

It does make a huge difference to the response. Not just for the initial promotion but those that follow. People buy people first..

A great example of participation this week was Vashti Quiroz-Vega whose enthusiasm for promoting her New on the Shelves post resulted in over 150 views and 50 retweets.. I did a quick count up of the number of followers who retweeted the post or the original tweet. Vashti’s book had the potential to be seen by half a million readers. Of course this does not necessarily correspond with books sold or downloaded but those people now firmly have Vashti on their radar.

As an author I love providing this promotional opportunity but it is a collaboration.

Here is how you can join over 200 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

A warm welcome to two new authors to the bookstore this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-curse-of-time-by-m-j-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-fall-of-lilith-fantasy-angels-series-by-vashti-quiroz-vega/

Author Update

Some new releases and great reviews for those already on the shelves of the bookstore.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-d-g-kaye-adele-marie-park-and-malia-ann-haberman/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-nicholas-rinth-charles-e-yallowitz-and-hugh-w-roberts/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-balroop-singh-c-s-boyack-and-lindy-rorke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-promotion-air-your-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-effrosyni-moschoudi/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Some of the wonderful blog posts I have read this week.. Sorry not to be able to showcase everyone.. but you can always send me a link for your most recent post for me to share.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-july-31st-2017-story-reading-ape-ritu-bhathal-terri-webster-schrandt-and-david-m-prosser/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-august-1st-2017-kosher-kitchen-jennie-fitzkee-sue-vincent-darlene-foster-and-debby-gies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-august-2nd-balroop-singh-marcia-meara-ali-isaac-and-christy-birmingham/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-3rd-august-2017-charles-yallowitz-jane-sturgeon-nicholas-rossis-c-s-boyack-and-lisa-burton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-august-4th-2017-ian-hutson-ritu-bhathal-teri-polen-and-lucinda-e-clarke/

Smorgasbord Short Stories

A wonderful story from Ali Isaac which takes to a Greek Island and sunshine.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/authors-in-the-sun-aphrodites-rock-by-ali-isaac/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/the-afternoon-video-revisited-guess-who-rules-the-roost-it-is-not-the-cat/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-expect-the-unexpected/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/the-afternoon-video-a-family-of-elephants-against-the-world/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-confusion-reigns/

Weekly image and Haiku

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/weekly-image-and-haiku-cold-winds-plaything/

Thank you again for joining me here on Smorgasbord.. Keep an eye open during the week for a new interview series beginning in September in the Sunday Morning slot.

Milestones along the Way – The Banks (of The Suir) by Geoff Cronin


The Banks (of The Suir)

In the 1930s, when I was a boy there were five banks in the City of Waterford. The Munster and Leinster, The Bank of Ireland, The Provincial, The National and The Penny Savings Bank. The population of the city at that time was approximately twenty five thousand.
The bank manager was regarded as a very important man in those days and in fact his employees, clerks and typists etc., were held to be a cut above the ordinary. The clerks were required to join the golf club and to be seen in all the best places – they were paid about thirty shillings a week!

Banking then was seen as reserved for wealthy people, shopkeepers, property owners, solicitors, big farmers and the like and people who could boast a cheque book or a bank account were thin on the ground. In general business was done in cash and wages were invariably paid in cash.

In the previous century, powerful families founded their own banks and produced notes for one pound, one guinea, two pounds, three pounds and fifty pounds and these were signed by family members or partners as guarantors. The prominent Waterford banks of the time were Newport’s Bank and Roberts Bank. Samples of their bank notes, now quite rare, are illustrated in this book and I learned that a Waterford Bank note for nine shillings was recently sold at auction in Canada for £800 sterling.

But back to the 1930s – at that time there was a bank in every town and village in the country, some of them in remote parts, and a story is told of one such bank in a small town. At this point I must tell you that the standard minimum staff in such an establishment would consist of a manager, a cashier and a porter. Bank Inspectors were employed by the head office to visit the branch offices without prior notice to check up on the operations of same. Needless to say the branch staff did not welcome such visits.

However, a visit from an inspector was scheduled by head office for this particular bank and he arrived at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. The little town was not fully awake at that hour and there was nobody about as the inspector approached the bank. He checked the time as he walked purposefully through the entrance noting that the porter was not “on the door”.

There was nobody to be seen in the bank. No porter, no cashier and no manager! No customers either! The inspector was perplexed and as he pondered the situation, he heard faint voices coming from the manager’s private office. He went quietly towards and opened the office door a crack and saw the three boys engrossed in a game of poker. He retreated quietly and passing the cashier’s box he pressed the alarm button.

Well the bell went off with a deafening volume and the inspector stood in the middle of the foyer and waited for the inevitable panic to erupt. But nothing happened. No movement from the manager’s office. Nothing!

But while he stood there, perplexed and dumbfounded, the bar man from the pub across the road appeared carrying a tray with two bottles of stout and a large whisky, entered the bank and vanished through the door of the manager’s office. Almost immediately he re-appeared carrying the empty tray and as he passed the cashier’s box he reached in and switched off the alarm.

When he was dead level with the open mouthed inspector, he said “The manager wants to know what are ye havin’ ”?

One Pound note from Waterford Bank, 1880

Three Pound note from Roberts Bank, 1809

***

On his way home from school a boy, the extent of whose finances was one halfpenny, went into a cake shop and asked for “A halfpenny stale penny cake!”

My father recounted this story from his schooldays in the 1890s.

©Geoff Cronin 2010

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 and the previous chapters of The Black Bitch in this directory:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-colour-of-life-by-geoff-cronin/

Milestones Along the Way – The Bed to Beat All and Rural Electrification – by Geoff Cronin

Status


To finish the series on books by Geoff Cronin I am going to share some of the stories from his last published book Milestones. I hope you enjoy.

The Bed to Beat All

Lady Lushington had died and there was an auction of the contents of her mansion, which was near Waterford City, and it attracted a large gathering of people including some members of the then wealthy pig buyers from Ballybricken.

Some days after the auction one of these men was telling his friends in the local pub about the magnificent furniture etc. which had gone under the hammer – “And there was a bed,” he said, “the biggest I ever saw and it must have been seven foot across.” There was a gasp from his audience.

In the moment’s silence that followed, the barman/ owner said “Sure that’s not a big bed! Did ye ever see the size of the bed upstairs where me and me brother slept for years?”

Heads shook and one guy said “Well, how big is it?” “Well I don’t know the exact measurements” he replied, “but I can tell you that when my brother died I didn’t find out about it for a week – that’s how big it is!”

*****

A man consulted his confessor in these terms:

“There is something I have prayed for over a long period and I don’t seem to get an answer. Can you advise me what to do?”

“Continue praying fervently, my son, and have faith in The Lord” said the priest. And the man did as he was bid.

On meeting the priest two years later he said, “You know, Father, I’ve prayed and prayed for that favour, and I never got an answer.”

“Well, said the priest, “did it ever strike you that “NO” is an answer?”

The Rural Electrification

In the 1940s the powers that be decided that the electric light should be brought to every hamlet and village in the country and to that end the E.S.B. sent an official to a certain village in West Waterford to canvas the locals as part of the grand plan. Accordingly that man visited each household in the single street and the people signed up “for the light”.

The canvasser noted that one line of poles would be sufficient for the job, provided that the person in the last house signed up. But, Katie, the occupant, well known to be cross-grained and cantankerous, had decided that she would not have it despite her conversations with the canvasser. He had explained that if she decided at a later date to change her mind it would then cost £50 to put up a pole especially for her. Still she could not bend!

So the light came to the village and people said what a blessing it was especially in the dark evenings when you could still do a bit of work outside even at a late hour.

Well things rested so and Katie stuck it out in spite of all the “digs” she suffered from neighbours on a Friday when she went to the Post Office for her pension. But after some months the peer pressure became too much, even for Katie and she quietly “signed up”.

The gossip spread as the single pole went up at the end of the street.

Katie didn’t appear at the Post Office for two weeks and when she did there was no shortage of comments like “so you got the lights in after all” and “sure it must be a great change and comfort to you Katie”.

Well, when the ‘well-wishing’ subsided, she addressed the gathering in these terms. “To tell you the truth it is indeed a great comfort to me for the E.S.B man put a thing on the wall in the kitchen called a switch and when I press it the light comes on and then I have no bother finding the candle”! “A great comfort indeed.”

***

Q. Who was Florence Nightingale?
A. A nurse who sang in Berkeley Square.

©GeoffCronin 2010

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 and the previous chapters of The Black Bitch in this directory:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-colour-of-life-by-geoff-cronin/