Bandstands and The Great Gatsby ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 136

The Bandstand, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
The Bandstand, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

I’m always drawn to bandstands and I love the one that stands so proudly in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.  It was erected around 1900 and I’ve been reading in the Waterford Co. Museum’s Dungarvan: Historic Guide & Town Trail that:

Here on many summer evenings, tourists known locally as ‘Gaybricks’ and Dungarvan residents enjoyed the music of the brass band. 

All of this makes me think of  The Great Gatsby and especially the 1974 version of the film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. I had adored the novel as a teenager and it was in May 1979 that I finally got to see the film.

The reason I remember that first viewing is because it was the night before my final exams in Trinity College and my ‘big sister’ arrived to check on me and fully intent on advising me not to stay up all night cramming. She was stunned to find me lying on my bed totally engrossed in The Great Gatsby which I was viewing on the portable black and white television that my parents had given me for my 21st birthday the previous October. Seeing, that I was in another world, ‘big sis’ headed off, phoned home to report  our mother  that I was possibly ‘too relaxed’ about the exams!

Last night, I watched the 1974 version of  The Great Gatsby again and I have a feeling that no matter what the new version is like I will forever remain in this dreamy time-warp.

Go on tell me what bandstands evoke in you!

Co. Waterford ABC ~ D is for Dungarvan: Historic Guide and Town Trail

Co. Waterford ABC is a feature here on Social Bridge where I am identifying my highlights of  this diverse county in Ireland where I was born and which has been ‘home’ for the last 26 years. There will be just 26 posts ~ one for each letter of the alphabet and I hope you will join me in discussing your views about the places, people,  events, things that I select. Would you have chosen differently? In a county with such natural beauty and diversity in terms of history and heritage, one could quite easily identify 26+  highlights for each letter!  (  See All Posts in this Series

Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
(Highlighted in Red. Click to Zoom)

Dungarvan: Historic Guide and Town Trail  is a brilliant new publication which has been produced by the dynamic Waterford County Museum which is located in the heart of Dungarvan.

I was thrilled when I heard that the Guide was being prepared as Dungarvan, which has a population of approximately 8,000 people, is a beautiful vibrant coastal town which clearly has a great sense of pride in its history. I have been a regular visitor to the town over many years, holidaying, playing tennis at Causeway Tennis Club, being mentored in writing at the Old Market House Arts Centre by Grace Wells and, very importantly, visiting exhibitions and doing research at the Waterford County Museum.  Every time I go to Dungarvan, I seem to find new aspects of the town that I want to explore.

Reading Dungarvan: Historic Guide and Town Trail, with its highly informative text, written by William Fraher and William Whelan,  is like finding a bright light to lead one through what has made Dungarvan what it is today.  There is a very succinct history of the town at the beginning of the Guide moving from the Late Stone Age when Dungarvan saw occupation right up to current time which has seen the restoration of Dungarvan Castle, the history of which dates back to 1209.

What makes this slim Guide so appealing is that it includes a Walking Trail detailing the history associated with key sites in Dungarvan and also informs us of  the Audio Tour of Dungarvan for  IPhone and Android. Waterford County Museum is very much to the forefront in terms of technological innovation in the Irish Museum sector and has received both national and international recognition in this field. Another aspect of the Museum’s work which is evident in the Guide is its keen interest in images of Co. Waterford. There are an amazing 5,500+ images relating to Co. Waterford in its Images Archive:

Dungarvan: Historic Guide and Town Trail profiles notable personalities from the Dungarvan area, including Professor Ernest Walton who won the Nobel Prize for Physics with Sir John Cockroft in 1951 and Sarah Purser, a key figure the Irish art world in the 2oth century. It also moves beyond Dungarvan town itself and provides information on a range of  historical sites including the 15th century church at Kilrossanty and the  Master McGrath Monument.

As well as being a mine of information, Dungarvan: Historic Guide and Town Trail,  which retails at 10 euro, is an example of best practice in Historic Guide Books and a further example of the outstanding work which is led by the Waterford County Museum.