Thursday, 16 June 2011

Historical Cork on Film - 1900s and 1970s

Two slices of historical Cork for you:


Interesting RTE  documentary about Edwardian Cork. The footage used was filmed between 1900 and 1903 and recovered by chance in a basement in 1995 and is incredible. High quality and varied shots in and around the city cover everything from workmen leaving their factory to genteel boating near Sunday's Well. Perhaps the most striking things about the footage are the preponderance of union jacks and the fact that the city seems to have changed so little. In particular the hustle and bustle of Patrick's Street doesn't seem a million miles away from the atmosphere you still get in town on a busy Saturday afternoon. The commentary is a bit disappointing however. More historians and historical context would have benefitted the whole thing immensely. Some of the commentators, while evocative, really don't add a lot. Otherwise, it really is fascinating and the fades from recent to newsreel coverage of the same street in particular are really quite stirring.


Equally interesting is this short programme made in 1977 about the echo boys. The howls of 'EVENING ECHO' are such a fundamental part of the fabric of the city that it's hard to imagine what the place would be like without them. However, the phenomenon of children and teenagers selling the paper is one that has died out. If anything, the typical echo seller now tends to be quite a bit closer to the grave than the womb. Particularly interesting is the interview in the early part of the second half when the biggest markets for the paper are identified as Fords, Dunlop and Sunbeam-Woolsey, large manufacturing centres which have all since shut down. An interesting piece of social history. Thanks to Tossie123 for all of these clips, whoever he may be.

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