20 Nov 2016

Blackrock Historical Walking Tour, Sunday 27 November 2016

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   As a contribution to marking the restoration of the tram lines as a heritage feature in Blackrock Cllr Kieran McCarthy will conduct a historical walking tour of Blackrock Village on Sunday 27 November, 2.30pm (starts at Blackrock Castle, two hours, free). Cllr McCarthy notes: “A stroll in Blackrock is popular by many people, local and Cork people. The area is particularly characterised by beautiful architecture, historic landscapes and imposing late Georgian and early twentieth century country cottages to the impressive St Michael’s Church; every structure points to a key era in Cork’s development. Blackrock is also lucky that many of its former residents have left archives, census records, diaries, old maps and insights into how the area developed, giving an insight into ways of life, ideas and ambitions in the past, some of which can help us in the present day in understanding Blackrock’s identity going forward”.

   One hundred years ago, the Corporation of Cork had to foresight to connect the city’s suburbs with the city centre through a tram network. The story of how the trams connected the old fishing village of Blackrock with the city is a worthy one to tell- connected in terms of the wealth of history in this corner of the city and connected in terms of experimenting with the provision of new transport networks. The trams were developed in connection with the Corporation’s roll-out of electricity in the city in 1898. The tram lines themselves were electricity cables. The Corporation of Cork established a large electricity generating plant on Albert Road (now the site of the National Sculpture Factory). The Electric Tramways and Lighting Company Ltd was registered in London and had a close working relationship with eminent electrical contractors, the British Thomson-Houston Company. Cllr McCarthy highlights: “By 1900, 35 electric tram cars operated throughout the city and suburbs. They were manufactured in Loughborough, UK and all were double deck in nature, open upstairs with a single-truck design”. Cllr McCarthy’s walk will finish at Natural Foods Bakery at 4.30pm in time for tea, coffee and poetry to mark the restoration of the old tram lines with Douglas Writers club.

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