Take a stroll down Limerick’s memory lane, again

A lovely photograph taken circa 1956, of three youngsters on an Armstrong tricycle 'towing' the Stokes & McKiernan St Patrick's Day parade entry on Rutland Street.

IT’S official, Christmas is here. With the publication of Sean Curtin’s perennial book, A Stroll Down Memory Lane, the festive season is surely upon us.

A staple of the Yuletide holiday in Limerick, the veteran author has just release volume 23 of the series, which he considers to be the best one yet.

“The most evocative image in the entire 23 volumes of over 1,700 photographs appears on page 11 of the latest of the very popular series,” author Sean Curtin told the Limerick Post.

The image is a very simple one, that of a young boy taken in the late 1940s or early 1950s Limerick.

A stunning snapshot of a young Limerick boy from the Quinn Collection.

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“It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t identify him, the image probably gives an insight to what life was really like in Limerick at that time,” Sean said.

The book features the work of photographer William Quinn, whose main employment was as a projectionist in the Lyric Cinema. Quinn travelled the city every Sunday taking pictures of families in Rathbane, Janesboro, Ballynanty, Killeely, and further afield. Many family snaps from the 1930s right through to the early 1970s would have come from his camera.

“Volume 23 was a real joy to produce and more than one person told me it was the best one yet,”  he enthused.

Health and safety seemingly wasn’t such an issue back in 1978 as people get on with business while parts of Rutland Street come crashing down.

There are some real classic never-before-seen images of the city and its people. The book begins with a short history of Rutland Street, embellished with a fabulous series of photographs kindly loaned to Sean by Tim O’Dwyer taken by his father, Patrick, in the 1960s.

Des Long, a long-time contributor to these volumes also, has several images included. The late Timmy Kerley also gave Curtin a huge album of photographs and newspaper articles of the famous old regattas in the city.

That sinking feeling… Paul Manning, Jack Byrnes and Timmy Kerley sink during the Abbey Regatta in 1978.

The new volume also features vivid colour images of Nellie Woods’ shop in Upper William Street as well Jerry McCaffrey’s pictures of US President Richard Nixon passing through the Ballysimon Road on his way to Kilfrush House in Knocklong, County Limerick.

There are another four pages of pictures from the Limerick Clothing Factory courtesy of Mike O’Shea.

The Limerick Clothing Factory was a large employer in the city, The scale of the photo, taken around 1949, gives a fair indication of just how many people worked there.

The book is available in all city bookshops, all Fine Wine stores, and from Sean at the Limerick Milk Market.