‘Circular Tales’: slocking apples, chocolate crumb and collecting waste in 1940s to 1960s Cork City
At this community listening event, the Cork Folklore Project shared stories and memories from our archive to celebrate the launch of our project ‘Circular Tales’, with a most engaged audience. Dr Cliona O’Carroll and Jamie Furey (Project Lead), presented stories of how Cork City communities in the 1940s to 1960 stretched resources, earned extra money, and creatively appropriated all sorts of goods from chocolate crumb to apples to fish. The broader project will engage with our colleagues in the Environmental Research Institute who will identify how these memories are relevant to current concerns about ecological sustainability.
We are delighted to share some of these photographs from our Culture Night 2022 event. We thought we would get a little more imaginative for Culture Night this year. Our Catching Stories team created an immersive oral history experience outside the old Grattan Street medical centre. We played a clip of Joe Scanlon recounting getting vaccinated in 1958 at the Grattan Street medical centre (click the link to hear the clip). People of all ages stopped by to be ‘transported’ back in time to hear Joe tell of his experience with ‘the branding iron’. It was great to see so much interest in our Catching Stories project and how strongly people reacted to the use of oral history in this way.
Under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2022, the Cork Folklore Project were successful in obtaining a grant of €6,300 towards our project – ‘OPENING MEMORIES’ – CORK FOLKLORE PROJECT ONLINE CATALOGUE. This enabled almost 200 interviews with attendant metadata files to be compiled and uploaded by the appointed professional, Kieran Murphy. This included data entry of all administrative and content metadata relating to almost audio interviews. The Cork Folklore Project want to thank the Heritage Council for their generous funding and Kieran Murphy for his professionalism.
We are a community-based non-profit, founded in 1996 in partnership with the Department of Folklore and Ethnology, UCC and Northside Community Enterprises.
What do we do?
We digitally record stories and memories from the people of Cork. Our collection holds over 1,000 hours of recordings on a range of subjects: working life, leisure, social change, health, childhood, and everyday life. We are recognised nationally and internationally for our high standard of folklore collection and dissemination.
How can you access the material?
Our full audio collection is open to the public and researchers by appointment.
It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since the launch of the Grattan Street Stories exhibition in St. Peter’s North Main Street in February 2020. We’re happy to share above some of the photos of the evening and hope they bring back happy memories for those involved.
In essence, the event was a community celebration via the work of the Cork Folklore Project’s Oral History Community Outreach Project in collaboration with the HSE. It highlighted the links between the community and medical staff over many decades as well as revealing the strong health-in-the-community themes explored in a unique way in the oral history method.
The exhibition features the work of artist Edith O’Regan Cosgrave, in a unique and innovative collaboration with the oral history work of Cork Folklore Project’s Kieran Murphy. More of the artwork can be seen here on Edith’s website.
Not only did the launch and the broader Grattan Street Stories initiative showcase the positive impact of the CFP Community Outreach Pilot Project thus far, but it also underlined the huge public appetite for the scheme and the great potential for expanding the project into the future.
15 October 2021 will see the CFP present on 25 years in operation as part of UCC’s Community Week. We will be organising another event before the year’s close, with a little more time for celebration, but in the meantime you are cordially invited to drop in on Zoom between 12 and 1, Cork time. Please feel free to share this invitation.
We’re delighted to launch our project: ‘Catching Stories’, which brings oral history and health together in a new way. It’s an online social history resource focussed on infectious disease in Ireland in the 20th and 21st centuries. Here we bring oral testimony and family memory together with an immunologist’s perspective, in a multi-media exploration of diseases such as measles, polio and tuberculosis. Listen to what it was like to be a recipient of ‘The Branding Iron’ in 1960s childhood tuberculosis vaccination, view the memorial cards of Cork brothers dead from Spanish Flu within a fortnight of each other, browse the accounts of how families and communities were affected by infectious disease and listen to the stories. Learn about the history of these diseases, what causes them, how they spread and the efforts to combat them.
We are thrilled to announce that the Cork Folklore Project, has been announced a finalist in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. The Good Causes Awards ‘aims to celebrate the inspiring and innovative work being carried out by the thousands of individuals, organisations, groups and sports clubs all over Ireland.’ We have been selected from across the country as a finalist in the Heritage Section. The winners of the overall award will be announced in May 2021.
This is great recognition for our work over the last twenty-five years and in particular the dedication of people like Dr Cliona O’Carroll (Research Director) and our other colleagues in the Department of Folklore in UCC, as well as our collectors, researchers and most importantly our interviewees over many years.
The last year has been difficult, but we have been working on two new projects, which we will be sharing soon.
The pilot version of Catching Stories, a database of testimony of infectious diseases and their history in Ireland, will be developed throughout 2021. You can have a peek at the resource under construction here: https://corkfolklore.org/health/about
For this year’s Culture Night, we are keeping it local.
There has been a lot of talk about bars and pubs in recent times, a lot of it somewhat negative. It is timely then that our latest project for culture night 2020 remembers one of Cork city’s most unique establishments.
For the past year or so Maureen of Maureen’s bar on John Redmond Street (our local) had been toying with the idea of compiling a little oral history on the previous proprietor of the bar, Miss Pat Buckley. So, when Maureen inquired whether the Cork Folklore Project be interested in helping out with the project for culture night we, of course, said yes.
Miss Pat had the premises from the early 1950s to 2006. By all accounts (and I mean all accounts) Miss Pat ran a clean, homely bar that was frequented by a cross-section of Cork city’s inhabitants, from the locals of Shandon to the actors and crew of the Cork Shakespearean Company, politicians and comedians. Please enjoy these memories of Miss Pat and her room.
We would like to thank all who contributed to the project. And if you have stories pertaining to Miss Pat and her bar we would love to hear them.
Interviewees: Patrick O’Connor, Kieran O’Leary, Kieran Curtin, Tony O’Sullivan, Humphrey Twomey and Mary O’Neill.
All Interviews conducted by David McCarthy, Maureen McLaughlin and Jamie Furey.