Shops of Former Years 1
Page 1 - Main Street, the Diamond, Townyard Lane, The Green, Strand Street and Back Strand.
Main Street (Diamond to railway):
Ridgeway’s sweet shop and barbers.
Previously a sweet and cigarette shop run by Ernie Wynott. Later Coughlan’s cake shop run by Kitty Coughlan who married Tony McSwiggan. Sold very high quality cakes that may have been "homemade ". It was said that they were made in a premises at their house, which was situated up the avenue that runs in front of "Monks Meadow", on the Coast Rd. near the Martello Tower in Portmamock. Later they expanded to a chain under the name KC Confectionery, starting with a large premises in Moore St., Dublin. They later closed their Malahide outlet.
Later Billy Meagher’s fruit and vegetable shop and currently (2006) vacant. He was the first to introduce unusual and exotic fruit and vegetables. In the early days the family lived over the shop.
There was a dwelling between Meaghers and Hogans. Left portion of current Duffys. Was occupied by the Murray family. Paddy was a carpenter and his son Donal lives in Malahide. Some of Hogans/Duffys staff may have lodged there.
Murray's at left of photo. Photo courtesy of Michael Howard
William Parkinson had a shop and pub per 1901 census, but destroyed by fire in May 1901.
In the 1911 census Joseph Hogan, described as “Grocer’s Manager” was occupant. He had a book-keeper, a grocer’s assistant and a grocer’s apprentice living in his premises so he was probably the owner at this time. In 1937 described as 'Family grocers, tea, wine, spirit and provision store and public house', ('the ‘top’ shop). Phone Malahide 33. Maurice Mahon started selling newspapers with his mother inside the door of Hogans Grocers.
Now Duffys, Worrells and Malahide Credit Union
Photo courtesy of Pat Hickey.
Pool Hall. The present 'Beachcomer' and Worrells were one with, a row of cinema-type seats dividing pool tables on the left from, on the right, pinball machines, space invaders and football tables. Worrells opened about 1980 in the righthand side and the lefthand became a coffee shop at the front and to the rear 'Kicks' with pinball machines, video games and some pool tables. The latter lasted about ten years and was initially members only.
Mace. Formerly Lawless Bros. "Harmony House" from 1956 was earlier occupied by Mrs. Carrig and/or Don Carrig after Miss Hall.
Lawless Bros. on right. Photo courtesy Failte Ireland.
Mrs McNamee, where Malahide florist now trades, sold ice cream and chocolate as well as groceries and hers was a very popular little shop. Before that Miss Mulvanney ran a Drapery & Haberdashery here. She sold stockings and some undergarments and, so it is said, “did not want to see anybody”. It is also said she would comment to her customer “You have been everywhere else of course. Thank you so much for leaving me last.” We are unsure as to whethershe was being sarcastic. She arrived by bus each morning, always wearing a hat and carrying a small attaché case. She wore her hat, coat and scarf all day in the shop and as her hair appearance never changed it was thought that she may have worn a wig. Thanked her customers with words “How kind of you to come to me”.
Lock-up shop. The Wolfe family lived in a private residence between McNamees shop and Bassetts pharmacy. There were five in family of George and Martha~ two died fairly young, and George junior in 1948, aged 43, leaving widow and child.... details unknown. Martha J. (mother) died in 1953.
The son ran a coal business — "Wolfe and O'Brien". He had two sisters — Georgina (d.1988) and Louise (d.1967). Martha Wolfe, their mother, operated the small shop later run by Mrs. NcNamee. Martha Wolfe described as a shop-keeper lived next door per 1911 census. Family plot is in St Andrew's, beside the Talbots.
The Malahide Pharmacy , Proprietor B. Bassett, L.P.S.I., Pharmaceutical Chemist.
Photo courtesy of Hemmens family.
“The only Chemist in Malahide”.
Approximately under present M.P. Black, Solicitors.
His daughter Patricia or 'Prish', also a pharmacist, worked there. Her married name was Pat Hemmens, wife of Walter, and they lived in the bungalow on the corner of Church Rd. and St. Margaret's Ave., recently (2006) demolished, and two new houses being built on the site.
Mr. Bassett and family lived in No. 8 in Carlisle Terrace, opposite St. Andrew’s N.S. Bill Mullen, who was a very good hockey player, and his family lived over the pharmacy.
Nugent’s , Butchers, were adjacent to the side garden of No.4 Killeen Terrace.
Harveys Butchers succeeded them. The new buildings built in the side garden of No. 4 are clearly identifiable.
George F. Taylor had a butcher’s shop with dwelling per 1901 and 1911 census returns – perhaps it was on this site.
About where the Paperweight is now there was a delicatessen by the name of Irwin that moved around to the top of Townyard Lane were Macari are now. It was followed in the late 1970s by a record shop. McPeakes may have been the owners of the record shop.
Photo courtesy of Hemmens family.
Maurice Mahon first opened his shop in O'Connor's house at the comer of New Street and Ross Cottages. Later he traded in the first premises (at Killeen Tce. end) before moving to the former Grove Cleaners site adjacent to the Diamond. Later he acquired and developed the shop on the actual Diamond. It closed in about 2003 and they traded for a year or so in Billy Meagher’s former shop on the corner of Old St. The Diamond site was re-built in 2004.
Dwelling at No.1 Castle Terrace was occupied by Christopher McCabe. His son Terry lives in Wexford and his daughter Beulah lives in Canada (2008).
Main Street (Diamond to St. James's Terrace):
(See picture postcard in Fingal Libraries collection)
Farrell Holton may have been superceded by Findlaters. More recently Brophys ran a shoe shop at this site. Currently occupied by Brophy Estates.
Findlaters, with headquarters in O’Connell Street, had a branch of their family grocery and wines chain sited between "Diamond House" now Ulster Bank and Sammy’s Sweet Factory. It was reputedly largest shop in Malahide. Mr. Cecil White managed Findlaters shop and a Mr. Perkins, lan McGregor and a Mr.Jim Smith of Portmarnock were his assistants. Mr. and Mrs. White lived in "Estoril", St. Margarets Road. Rosiena Lonergan (now Holohan) worked for the company for about 10 years during the 50's and worked with Jimmy Smith. She also worked in their branches in O'Connell Street and Thomas Street before she moved to the Malahide branch. There is a photo of Cecil White, the manager, on her mantelpiece as she thought very highly of him (he lived on Church Road with his wife until his death). She has some great stories about her time in the shop and took great pride in her work. She particularly liked her uniform which she said was of 'very good quality'. She was responsible for the 'fancy goods' counter.
Sammy Wells operated a sweet factory and sweet shop from about 1948 near the present X-traVision. The factory and office door was on Main St. He made the sweets with all of his own recipes he brought from England. The most popular sweets were his fruit bon bons, butter bon bons, liquorice, fruit drops, nougat bars, lung healers and the most popular of all were his penny bars. The penny bars are said to have been his speciality. In those days the children of Malahide were able to walk safely from school to Sammy Wells sweet shop specially to buy those bars. Everyone used to pop in to buy their sweets on the way to Ma Walshe’s cinema. This was a big treat. To buy your sweets you had to go to the counter in the office and ring the bell for attention and when eventually someone came, the value given for one penny was well worth the delay, the best value in town! Following his death his family closed the business.
Photo shows 'An Tostal' parade passing the cinema in 1953.
Sammy and his family (including daughters Sally and Gwneth) lived at The Haven on Upper Strand Street at the corner of Texas Lane and the Back Strand (now Broadmeadows). He became famous for his pigeon loft and was said to have been the first person to have pigeons in the area. He built the narrow concrete landing stage opposite his house, which is still used today and erected a pole with a disclaimer notice, which was certainly there up to recently.
The very first dinghy race on the Broadmeadows was held, in Enterprise dinghies, from that landing stage. This was possibly in the first or second year of Malahide Sailing Club (The club name was later changed to Malahide Yacht Club). An orange barrel/mark used in sailing races is positioned opposite Texas Lane is still known as "Wells" Mark.
Sammy Wells Senior died in 1967 and his wife - Emily - in 1979 and both are buried in St. Andrews Churchyard. Mrs. Wells was a staunch supporter of the St. Andrews Church Choir. They had two children — Sammy and Gwyneth. Their son - Sammy Junior - emigrated to Australia and it is understood has since passed on. His sister Gwyneth moved to Wales and married there.
One of the first 'chippers' in Malahide was situated here in the late 1970s
A purpose built cinema (“The Grand”) on a site on the main street, bounded by Sammy Wells sweet factory and Town Yard Lane, and opposite the Library, and Adam 's house. The rear boundary was the wall of the Town Yard, which still survives as the high wall boundary of the Supermarket car park.
The building contained a sweet shop, to left of the main cinema doors, a hotel to the right at the corner, and a dance hall (“The Showboat”) with entry door in Townyard Lane where the current gateway to the supermarket is situated. Subsequently bought by Percy Reynolds who lived in "Abbeyville" Kinsealy at the time. Destroyed by fire in early 1970’s.
Claddagh Bar in The Showboat dancehall. Photo courtesy of Michael Howard.
The old RIC station at the Diamond having been burned down, the Gardai had to find a new station and opened at 5 St. James Terrace, Malahide owned by a Mrs. Wilson at a rent of £80 a year.
Garda station on right and Main Street. Probably taken in the 1940s.
Photo courtesy of Ivan Barrett.
In January 1924 the Garda Siochána looked for new permanent station and the old R.LC. Barracks which was now re-built as a shop and owned by Lord Talbot de Malahide was looked at as a possibility. Lord Talbot de Malahide was willing to rent the building as a Garda Barracks for the annual rent of £150. This sum was more than An Garda Siochána were willing to pay.
In December 1924 a letter from Chief Superintendent Leahy to The Commissioner stated that the old R.I.C. Barracks was sold by Lord Talbot de Malahide to a local business man named Michael Wright. Mr. Wright at first was inclined to rent the premises to An Garda Siochána but decided to "furnish the place and let it to the best tenant".
In September 1925 a letter was sent to the Commissioner stating that the Bord of Works received an offer of premises known as No.1 and 2 St. James Terrace, (see picture no.1) which originally comprised of two houses, but had been converted into a single building. This building was owned by Messrs. Flower & McDonald.
Part of this letter states:-
"It is understood that the objection to the retention of the present barrack as the permanent quarters of the Garda is its location. As the proposed alternative accommodation is situated in the same terrace possibly the same objection will apply to it."
This would lead one to believe that the Gardai were still occupying No.5 St. James Terrace.
The actual price paid for No.1 & 2 St. James Terrace was £2,500 and the premises was handed over to the Bord of Works on the 3 rd January 1927. An Garda Siochána moved into No.1 & 2 St. James Terrace on 14th January 1927. Sergeant Cartright was the 1 st Sergeant to take up duty at this new station. With Sergeant Cartright were Gardai McMahon and McGahan and later Gardai Leheny and Delaney.
From research it would appear that a portion of the ground floor was used by the Customs and Excise Department.
The library was downstairs where Miss Bryan was Librarian. It is said she did not give library tickets to some juniors on the basis that "If she knows you don 't get one. She keeps it for you in case you loose it".
Upstairs was a community hall. Plays were staged with local actors and actresses. Concerts and dances were held including Irish Dancing classes also cookery, sewing, etc. classes. The Co .Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC) ran carpentry classes there also. Tim Feary, who was a teacher in the Chapel St. (Old St.) boys school, also acted as librarian at one time (? dates). The ornate brickwork was made at the Plunkett family's Portmarnock brickworks.
"Kincora". A good example of Portmarnock brick. Residence of Mr. & Mrs. Norman Adams.
Former Northern Bank
The Northern Bank was the first bank in Malahide when a Sub-Office of the Swords branch was opened on two half days a week at the Diamond (on present Ulster Bank site) and later moved across the road to its permanent site (now Permanent TSB) beside "Kincora". A red brick house similar to "Kincora" was demolished to make way for the bank. The house was owned by the Misses White.
Maintained a lodging house on Main St. per 1901 census – where was it?
(The four corner buildings were probably originally similar in appearance and design and date from the 1790s. The two adjoining New Street are the original buildings. The other two are comparatively recent rebuilds. It is believed that all four houses on the Diamond had railings round them and the McGregors and Miss Gillespie had little gardens in front. (See picture postcard in Fingal Libraries collection)
Where the Ulster Bank now operates. The front room (on the New Street side) was the Post Office. Mary Holton, per 1911 census, was sub-postmistress and had two shop assistants and a P.O. assistant living on the premises. Miss Holton was postmistress in 1932 when on August 18th. Jim Mollison, husband of an equally famous woman pilot, Amy Johnson, left the Velvet Strand at Portmarnock in his De Havilland Puss Moth aircraft, The Heart's Content, to make the first solo, non-stop East to West crossing of the Atlantic. Miss Walsh was her sometime assistant. Each Friday and Tuesday ( ? ) a sub-office of the Northern Bank, Swords was established for a few hours, at end of the counter in the Post Office. This was then ( ? date) the only banking service in the village. The room on the Findlater's side remained part of the private residence, as did the private hall door. There were two adjacent front doors, the house, and the post office. After the Post Office moved to Church Road, a Mr. Hannon, an artist himself, opened a artist supplies and model shop, Hobbies,specialising in model railways, and selling his own paintings.
Miss Hall 's. Miss Hall's drapery shop was where the taxi cab firm is now in New Street (name is visible over shopfront in photo to the right). She may have lived in the small house between Hogans public house (the top shop) and the house on the Diamond occupied by the McGregor family. In photo note gas lamp standard and absence of electricity poles. Said to have always worn a hat and may have sold newspapers also.
McGregors, on the Main St./New St. corner, took paying guests in the 1930’s. Nathin's (now McCabe's) Pharmacy replaced one front room and the jeweller replaced the other. The hall door still remains.
Anne Hall recorded in 1901 census as keeping a lodging house.
A similar house on the Main St./Church Rd. corner, formerly occupied by Miss Gillespie, was demolished to make way for Maurice Mahon’s fourth retail outlet and this in turn was replaced by the current range in 2004.
The Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks (R.I.C.) was where Tony Byrne’s man shop operates with the EBS building society next door.
J. Boulger was Constable-in-Charge in 1855 per Thoms Directory. It was rented for £28:18:0 a year. It was burned down in August1920. In January 1924 the Garda Siochána looked for new permanent station and the old R.I.C. barracks which was now re-built as a shop and owned by Lord Talbot de Malahide was looked at as a possibility. Lord Talbot was willing to rent the building as a Garda Barracks for the annual rent of £150. This sum was more than An Garda Siochána were willing to pay. In December 1924 a letter from Chief Superintendent Leahy to The Commissioner stated that the old R.I.C. barracks was sold by Lord Talbot de Malahide to a local business man named Michael Wright.
Mr. Wright at first was inclined to rent the premises to An Garda Siochána but decided to "furnish the place and let it to the best tenant". Tommy Wright and family (including Mary, John & GV) lived over and operated a fish shop and added a delicatessen later changing to a fruit and vegetable shop. Sold newspapers on Sundays only. Had railings in front at one time, similar to Ulster Bank site opposite.
Townyard Lane photo by Tom Lalor courtesy of Denis Drum
“ Smokey Joe’s” snooker hall about half way down on right. It was a mews carriage "garage" with hayloft above, as were all the premises behind St. James's Terrace. Smokey's was brightly painted with a slot machine section and coffee bar downstairs and billiard tables upstairs. Smokey, the proprietor, was a Mr. Cassidy who lived with his family in a basement flat in the main house.
Some years after it closed, Malahide Sailing Club arranged to rent the premises and various members got together and built nine Enterprise dinghies there in the early 1960’s. Alan Lawless, Robin Gilbert, and John Davies were among those that built boats at that time.
Bissetts used part of the yard as a store and a small residential part was occupied by a Mr. and Mrs. Byme.
Long's cycle shop on bottom left corner of Townyard Lane at The Green. Was there until about 1915.
Later became Polly Flynn's sweetshop and dressmaking rooms. (See 'The Green').
Viewed from The Green when the entrance was changed to that side of Townyard Lane on left. Photo courtesy of Kingsley Long.
When the coastguard were in operation (up until about 1922) there was a flagpole on The Green on which the Union Jack was flown daily. Lt. Irwin, R.N. was the officer in charge in 1855 per Thoms Directory. The area of The Green was somewhat less then, and the physical shape slightly different, reclamation in the latter part of the 20 th century being responsible.
The side by the water was used by fishermen to dry and mend their nets and there were houses on the other three sides. A low bank ran between the grass and road on the Townyard Lane side. Sailing boats and small coasters carrying coal came up the estuary on the high flooding tide and sat on the hard sand off The Green when the tide later ran out. The coal was unloaded over the side into horse-drawn carts and taken over the hard sand , on to The Green and in to Flower & McDonald’ coalyard where the McGowan development has taken place or onward to Seaver’s gasworks in Gasyard Lane.
The roads on two sides of The Green were narrower in those days. The Hatch homes at the eastern or seaward side are about the only features that have remained virtually unchanged over a very long number of years. One of the Hatch's known as "Yaltee" was the pilot for Malahide Estuary. Along with most of Malahide, the freehold of the Green, was owned by the Talbot Estate until taken over by Dublin County Council about ?????
Malahide Regatta – the following is an extract from the report of the regatta that appeared in The Freeman’s Journal on 16 th August, 1865.
Photo: Cover of programme for 1913 regatta.
”From an early hour those astute philosophers who are to be observed in their true element at fairs or races began to arrive with their wheels of fortune, Aunt Sally, nine pins and mobile shooting galleries drawn by ascetic looking donkeys and taking up position for the purpose of enabling marksmen to fire pieces of stick at a target for prizes consisting of rotten nuts. In the motley gallery was to be seen a harper playing all kinds of original music and singing as if he was practising for the coming oyster season with a vehemence and earnestness worthy of a better cause. In the musical department were also to be perceived troubadours, dressed in the most fantastic colours, bearing guitars and banjos, by which they intimidated a number of persons to obtain money, acrobats and tumblers spreading out pieces of carpets after the manner of Eastern dervishes, twisted and turned themselves into all kinds of shapes, much to the delight of the pastoral section of the community. On "the green" rows of cars were drawn up, on which were offered for sale fossil cakes. Apples of stomachic discord, real Cognac brandy, at one and two pence per flask, labels and all, paraffin whiskey and delicate bottled porter; but the great attraction in this section of the scene was a long pole , on the top of which was hoisted a leg of mutton to be won by the adventurous climber that would succeed in reaching it. Many were the aspirants for the much coveted prize, and many were the failures of those who had toiled hard up the well greased pole until near the mutton,, but who had to descend ignominiously to the earth exhausted by their efforts. Loud, long, and hearty was the laughter which the discomfiture of the adventurous spirits caused amongst the gazing crowd, and from time to time it became strikingly apparent that the inexpressibles of some of the climbers should be subjected to an extensive mending process consequent on their ambitious efforts to lower the standard of meat in the market. It was evident that the mutton though not long killed was "too high", and all idea of reaching it had to be abandoned. The estuary and bay presented a most gay and animated appearance. As the time approached for the first race to start, large numbers of craft were to be seen sailing about in the brisk sunny breeze, and Mr. Henry Jameson’s fine yacht, (the flag ship of the day), the vessels in harbour, and the flagstaffs in front of the Coast Guard Station, and on the esplanade were gaily decorated with many coloured bunting. The Green, and the whole line of cliffs overhanging the strand, were crowded, and perhaps on no former occasion was there larger numbers assembled at Malahide. The band of the Constabulary, under the direction of Mr. Harry Hardy, were present, and performed in excellent style during the day.”
Above: This cup was awarded at the 1875 Malahide Regatta.
Public Water Pump
A manually operated water pump stood opposite the thatched house where the present day forecourt and gate to Bissett’s Hardware yard is situated. The pump was surrounded by three stone bollards. It is clearly visible on a picture postcard of the Green and New Street (copy in the Fingal Libraries collection). The Public Water pump remained in position at the corner of the Green for many years and in the evening the local men used to stand under the adjoining lamp standard to play "Pitch and Toss".
Circuses (Duffyy, Fossetts), funfairs and shows (fit-ups) traditionally set up here on The Green, mainly during the Summer months..
Polly Flynn ran a dressmaking business and sweet shop at the corner of Townyard Lane and The Green. The exterior woodwork was painted green and the windows contained jars of boiled sweets and boxes of penny giftie toffee bars, ‘cough no more bars’ and ‘peggy legs’. As you entered one of the double doors to the left were two big tables each with a sewing machine facing each other. With her back to the window facing The Green was Mabel O’Brien and facing her was Polly Flynn. They ran a dressmaking business and did other sewing such as loose covers for armchairs, etc. Both Polly Flynn and her husband, 'Jacko', were very deaf. And when Mabel O’Brien was absent it was not unusual for children to go in to purchase sweets and when asking to silently mouth what they wanted which resulted in either of them having to point to virtually everything in stock to discover what was required. Mr. Flynn, small of stature and with a shock of grey hair, frequently stood at the shop door with his pipe, ever smoking, as he looked up and down the road and up and down again and again. He worked in McAllister’s Garage and drove a taxi.
The property was previously occupied by E.M.Long around 1900-1915 until he moved to the corner of new St. and The Green (now Bissetts). He sold and repaired bicycles. His son, Edward McCutcheon Long later took over the business.
Next door was occupied by Ned Cahill and his wife. They had three sons - Eddie, John and Mattie and one daughter -Kathleen. John lived in Portmamock.
Next door was a very substantial residence with big bay windows and a well-kept front garden occupied by a Miss Neal. She worked in Dublin and travelled there each day by train and always carried a Gladstone bag with her to work.
The next house was, in the mid 1940’s, occupied by a Fr. Tonge, a catholic curate at St. Sylvester’s. He had a passion for sailing and had his own small yacht moored in the bay. After Fr. Tonge moved from Malahide, the house was occupied by a teacher Eddie Crowley. After him T.R. Reilly, married to local girl Bridie Hatch, came to live there. This was the T.R. Reilly who became a legend in the motor trade in Dublin at Killester. The last to move into and reside in the house was Raymond Knott and his family. One other man living alone followed them into the house.
Next door lived Mr. & Mrs. Bertie Boyle and their sons Joseph and Cyril.
The next house was occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Lowe and their daughter Marie. They let their house each August in the 1940’s to a family called Flannery.
All above houses no longer exist and have been replaced by apartments and a bar / restaurant.
(Corner of New Street and Strand Street)
Was the residence of Butcher/Farmer Joseph Howard and his wife Bertha and their family. The Howards' residence and Bertie Boyle's shop comprised one two storey residence. Boyle's shop was on the comer of New Street and Strand Street and the Howards' residence was beside it.
1932. Kathleen Markey at door. Photo courtesy Michael Howard.
Bertie Boyles Grocery Shop. The paintwork of the exterior of the shop was white. On entering the shop down the centre was a passage with a counter on each side. The bread was delivered by horse drawn bread vans from Dublin. Kennedys Bread, O’Rourkes, Johnston Mooney & O’Briens (driven by local man Denis Hatch). There was always a lovely smell of warm bread in the shop after the delivery. On the right as you entered was the ice-cream fridge. If Mrs. Boyle was not in the shop then Bertie was generous with the ice-cream wafers which he cut – otherwise they were thin cut under the watchful eye of Mrs. Boyle. During the war years chocolate was rationed but Bertie always managed to put boxes of 'Clarnico Murray' Chocolates away for his favourite customers for Christmas.
In the first single story house on the opposite corner (Replaced by the McGowan development/coffee shop and a beauticians until recently (2005), lived Ralph Skinner - a shipwright - and his family for a period in the 1950's. He worked in Tom Skinner's boatyard. A prior occupant was John Mahon, his wife and their daughter Olive. Mrs. Mahon was a dressmaker.
Then in the next house in the early 1940’s were Annie Daniels and her father. He was retired and Annie worked in the office in Seavers coal yard where McGowan’s shop once stood.
Next was a two story house which was rented by the Ingoldsbys when they came to live in Malahide shortly after marrying in 1939. That house stood until demolished for the McGowan development in 2005/6. At that time there was a porch on the front of the house which was later removed but the outline of it still remained visible to the end. Michael Ingoldsby now resides on St. Margarets Road (2008).
Left: Skinner's with red door and right- Ingoldsby's.
Photos courtesy of Roger Greene.
“The Gem” Cinema came next. (It may also have been know as 'The Sheds')
In a large yard with a high building running from west to east towards The Green. There was a large gate on runners closing off the yard from The Green. In the yard were two showmens living caravans occupied by Mr. & Mrs. ‘Pops’ O’Brien and their son Jimmy and daughter Maureen. Jimmy later married local girl Marita Wogan (died 2006/7). In the building was housed the Gems Cinema. The O’Briens were travelling showpeople who had a portable cinema. They came to Malahide in the late 30’s/early 40’s pitching their cinema on The Green. They leased the yard and building from Dick Seaver and converted the building into a cinema with tip up seats on the balcony and benches in the pit. The projection box was in another caravan parked at the back wall where an opening had been made through which the films were projected onto the screen. “ The Gems” always had an interval as it only had one movie projector and could not facilitate a reel large enough for a full-length feature, so the reels were changed at the interval. There were two admission prices – 4d and 8d. When the cinema closed Jimmy O'Brien worked in Skinners Boatyard.
The "Chip Wagon"
Jimmy O'Brien married Marita (Wogan?), who then ran the "Chip Wagon", a caravan that sold fish and chips on the Green for many years. The chips would always be ready for the interval in “The Gems” cinema. (“Flicks and Chips”). The “Chip Wagon” was first brought to the Green circa 1949 and traded for several years by an ex-Navy man (named: ? ) who lived in Killester.
Any information on this cinema or was this another name for “The Gems”?
Seaver’s Coal Yard and Gasworks
Moving down towards the sea and next “The Gems2 Cinema was a coal yard and gasometer owned by Dick Seaver. Here was generated coal gas which served many houses in the town of Malahide and had lit the street lights and St. Sylvester’s Church at one time. The 1901 census states the manager of the gasworks lived in Railway Avenue.
The gasholder (gasometer) viewed from St. James's Terrace. Note the swingboats on The Green.
House of Jack Wellington (real name Johann Valenhausen)
Moving further down there was Jack's house which may have been later owned by a Mrs. Yates. She divided the house in two – living in one part herself and an English family, the Wards, lived in the other part. Bill Ward worked at Collinstown Airport on planes and came and went to work on a motor bike.It stood at approximately the entrance to the Marina apartments.
Behind this Dan O’Herlihy, Principal Teacher at Donabate National School, lived with his family in an elevated houseboat beside Christy Farrell's boatyard shed.
The boatyard and shed of Christy Farrell were behind Jack Wellington's house. Christy had scrubbing posts or 'cripples' in the estuary.
Photo right -Christy Farrell's premises with the railway signal box and gasworks chimney to the left rear.
Caprani’s Printing Works
Approximately where the entry arch to Marina Village now stands.
A detached house formerly called “Islandview” and was home of E.M.Long and then his son Edward McCutcheon Long for about 50 years.
Edward was a keen racing cyclist, with many trophies to his name. He actually manufactured bicycles of various types, which he sold, before mass production. He may also have built motor-cycles. He set up his Bicycle Shop in premises on the comer of Town Yard Lane and The Green (Later to become Polly Flynn's Sweet Shop). After some years his business grew so he purchased the house, shop, and yard on the comer of the same block where Malahide Hardware now stands. Using these premises, he expanded the business, ran a taxi service, and opened a garage and sold petrol. At this time there were very few cars in the area. He died on 3 May 1921. However, his widow, Mrs Charlotte Long (later to become Mrs. Charlotte Talbot), carried on the business until it was sold to Mr Patrick Bissett in 1968.
Photo courtesy of Kingsley Long.The Long family in front of "Islandview" around 1920.
Malahide Hardware (Bissett’s) Yard
The forecourt to the yard entrance was site of a thatched public house around 1900. The 1901 census records an Anna J. Taylor, Vintner, on Strand St. but as the coastguard are also recorded on Strand St. it is likely that the Townyard Lane side of The Green was treated as Strand St. in the census.
Seavers ( R.P.Seaver) Coal Yard with Gas Works behind down Gasyard Lane.
Where McGowan’s furniture store traded until 2005.
In 1901 census coal depot not mentioned but Edward Malone described as its manager.
Marita O’Brien (nee Wogan Died 2006/7)) lived in a cottage opposite Seavers (later McGowans) and it had a nameplate beside the hall door with the name “The Gems”. Her neighbours were Mrs Lynch and the Flynns.
Photo right: Frank McGowan's furniture store prior to being demolished in 2005.
Built in 1935, demolished in 2004 and Yard. Replaced by “Bissett’s Loft” apartments building.
Site immediately east and south of railway bridge.
Thatched cottage from which Gaffneys sold fish over the front wall.
Later acquired by Rupert Bissett’s grandfather and his father was born there in 1905 or 1907. Later occupied by Billy Reilly. Demolished about 1975 to make way for Railway Court town houses.
Photo: Bissett'sLoft (builders yard and latterly car valeting) prior to being demolished in 2004.
Back Strand (sometimes now referred to as Bissett's Strand)
Troys -no. 3 – next door to Bissett’s house – Bob & Elizabeth (nee Mahon) sold cigarettes and newspapers in the 1940s/50s. Does anyone have a photo? Bob Troy was a sacristan in St Sylvester’s Church for many years.
Gaffneys in 1975 shortly before it was demolished.Now Railway Court.