Participants

The book Tramore of our Times – Aspects of twentieth century social history records events that shaped Tramore’s history of the twentieth century.

The participants were men and women in equal number who were 75 to 90 years of age.

The oldest person interviewed was born in 1928 and his father was born in 1881 as such he was the product of late Victorian parenting.

From the 1930s to the 1960s the participants witnessed great changes; radio was invented and was followed later by television.

Electricity was introduced to every home in Ireland while government economic policies ensured almost every school-leaver was obliged to emigrate.

According to the author, ‘It became clear that the telling of the social history of Tramore people could not be done in isolation and so it became important to place Tramore and its people against a backdrop of national policies and events’.

The result is a book that could recall the social history of any small town in Ireland during this time.

Vocational and technical students
late 1950s 

The image is from the late 1950s and includes female vocational and technical students who were taught many subjects including commerce and domestic science in Tramore House on the Pond Road. The picture show students receiving instruction from Agnes Fitzgerald who taught them how to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner. It was not until 1967 that free second-level education was introduced in Ireland and within a decade of the policy change, participation rates in second-level education doubled.

1958 Nora Cowman
and the Mackey Family

Céilis were held in Tramore in the Sinn Fein Hall which was located at the top of Train Hill. One prominent group of Irish musicians and singers were called The Tramore Céili Band with Nora Cowman and members of the Mackey family who played in the Silver Slipper all year round. The Band drove to Clare and various parts of the country to participate in fléadhs. Céilis were also held in Tramore House by Glún na Búaidhe who brought young people together and promoted Irish language and dance in the 1950s.

Gerard Stubbs Tour
to Kate Kearney’s Cottage

From the 1960s to the 1980s Gerard Stubbs ran bus tours for local people that were advertised in the local newspaper and in the window of his business premises. The tours were well-organised with the travel distance, time, sightseeing event and the costs of meals all considered. Salads, scones, bread, butter and jam were the standard menu fare with additional options such as cakes and ice cream. It was not unusual for people to return home tired from a great day out only to be planning the next trip the very next day.