Sunday, 5 July 2015

25 Mary Street, Limerick
On the 30th of June when many national schools finished up for the year @OldeEire (curated by Mark Jenkins) tweeted this wonderful National Geographic magazine colour photograph taken by Harrison Howell Walker from the summer of 1940 which he tagged myself in. It was taken near the junction of Mary Street and Athlunkard Street, King's Island, Limerick (in "the Parish") with St Mary's Cathedral at the corner. In it are school boys from CBS St Mary's Primary School in Creagh Lane enjoying the bun and milk scheme introduced in Ireland in 1930. The free bun, which consisted of a bread and butter sandwich, and milk was given out each afternoon and managed by Turners shop which you can see in the background. It was given to children whose father were out of work (Mothers didn't enter the equation in those days). Some of the boys are bare foot in the photograph while others have shoes with no socks. The son of the shop owners Austin Turner, now Brother Mary Albri, a Cistercian monk in his eighties. This scheme of free daily sandwiches or buns and milks is still going in schools today under the Urban Schools Meals programme.

Having grown up down the road over the Abbey River in Corbally I am very fond of this area. I can still recall the smell of the Post Office on Bridge Street. Back in the days before wipe down surfaces- very dusty! It's the oldest parish in Limerick and as you can see it had real character in those days.
Google Maps. View of Mary Street junction today. 

Thank you to Jack Bourke and to Mark Jenkins for tweeting this photograph.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I wonder if, for many of those kids, it was the one good meal they got in a day. I take it Turner's shop is gone now (from the present day pic)?

    Also I know exactly what you mean about remembering how a particular place smells! The sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger...great write up, thank you!