Sunday before midday, fine along the Marlfield Road,scores of cars scudding along, not a soul walking which was unusual on this road in my experience.Birdsong rising above the motors and then a car passed and then reversed.Brendan and Kathleen on their way to the Rock...shared a few words, declined their generous offer of a lift...we agreed we'd meet up at the Rock.
A wonderful scene these days at Lady Blessington's Weir or Bath at the Old Bridge,Clonmel as young people and some very young are put through their paces after coaching in the delightful art of messing around in boats, here Kayaking.
The WBC Clubhouse at 19 Irishtown has increasingly come to be the jumping off stage for canoeists, paddlers and kayakers of all ages, beginners to earning your coaching spurs.
The Club held it's AGM on Tuesday night, the 134th of it's kind since the setting up of the organisation back in 1883.A new Committee was elected.Will give details in a later blog.
People wishing to join the club can meet members or one of the committee any Tuesday evening from 19.30 at the Clubhouse,Irishtown.Membership costs 50 euro for a family or individual, thirty thereafter annually.Membership entitles you to a key to the Clubhouse and the Oar Room.
See you on the river.
River etiquette requires you to go upriver with the Green on you right.On return with the Clubhouse on your right.
Decided early on Easter Monday morning that if the buses were running I would hare down to Carrick and walk the Towpath to Clonmel to experience anew whatever changes had occurred in the weeks since last I footed the way.
The day was perfect for ambling, bright with a little wind but blowing from the north west, or so it felt requiring three layers which kept me cosy till I warmed up and was then able to rucksack my fleece.
Was pleasantly surprised how foot friendly the covering of tarmac was to my legs and feet over the distance -could not say the same for the concrete!
Work has certainly moved on since last I wended my way the whole length of the path and the good news is that much is finished with above Kilsheelin remaining to be done.That's the stretch from Kilsheelin Bridge towards Clonmel for about a mile.
A serpent has messed up my images for the moment, this may well be he/she but after I get myself sorted I'll try again - in the meantime go and see for yourself; take the gentle way, by bus to Carrick and amble from there to Nagles at Kilsheelin or take the gentle way from Clonmel to Inner Bridge and backdoor the obstacle way, Clonmel Kilsheelin whatever the obstacle, manmade or otherwise and once there confiscate a seat at Nagles and have a hot soup or maybe the 'pint's yer man', - you deserve both.
Downstream called me and so I walked early and briskly down the Irishtown and on to the riverside by way of Joyce's Lane to the Gashouse Bridge-then by way of a detour as the flood barriers extend across the bottom of the quay-on towards the former Kickham Barrack,and right after the lights towards the bus shelter and stop opposite Larry O Keefe's.
Thought I'd missed the bus because of my 'meander' but all was well.The X7 arrived some minutes later and I found myself sitting across from Maire 'a raibh aithne agam uirthi' and so 'thosaiomar ag caint' about the walkway and the joys of rambling along it's length even in it's unfinished state.
The'seanfhocal' says 'Giorraionn beirt bothar"-two shorten the road -and so it proved as the bus pulled over to the stop in Kilsheelin village.'D'fhag me slan ag Maire'crossed the road and made for the river on the left of Kilsheelin Bridge.There the spectre lay in waiting.He was engaged in pulling on his oils from the comfort of the bench, saw me out of the corner of his eye and hailed me with 'how're young fella'.That call alone has been the death of many a fella in a manner of speaking.Sean is a legend but as such can only be absorbed in small doses - the fruit of experience!
Had the track to myself for the first mile or so and was glad of that to listen to the wind, allow the ripple and flow of the river to enter my 'stream' and course from head to toe.That mile still green is the longest stretch of green remaining before the asphalt comes.I never tire of the expanding and multi-faceted landscapes it unveils itself as I ramble along.
The wheel turns full circle/cycle.The new year has already heralded major changes as to how we,the WBC will go about our work as a voluntary organisation and how we communicate that work to the membership and the public at large.
The Blog will remain but under www.clonmelwbc.com and all other sites namely the river Suir site, the Cruiskeen and the Two Bridges will be no more.
We owe a debt of gratitude to so many people both in the statutory area, not least the former Tipperary South County Council and in the public arena - too many to mention.Buiochas do cach.
My thanks to the former Committees and members as well as to the current Committee and members and especially to
Reginald Van Acker,photographer and film maker for his involvement from that small beginning many moons ago in the 1990's.
The old towpath daily is taking on a new and serpentine complexion as it snakes it's way to completion.I encourage all creatures, one footed, two footed, no footed, all creatures of land, air and water to amble, swim,hover over, dance just treat yourself this side of the festive season to a journey along the length of the greenway towpath to give your body and soul a makeover that will cost you nothing and prepare you for the new year leaping at us.
No!I did not have any magic mushrooms for breakfast this morning,I cross my heart and hope to die!
The work continues as you may gather from the above, from Anner Bridge towards the former Kilheffernan Church and beyond towards Kilsheelin. Strengthening of the river bank with rock armour and baskets filled with stone continues as required.Meanwhile the stretch from Carrick to Kilsheelin is being bedded in with clay and seeded with grass to marry the green with the black of the tarmac.Go........and enjoy.....
As the old former creamery wall crumbled on Friday morning last Clonmel's Acropolis emerged centre stage on Suir Island yet again.The mountain of rubble of the former Avonmore and other buildings has lain on site for well over a decade now as work commences on laying footpaths from Old Bridge to Stretches Island.
Down the years many reports have been commissioned by the local authority on Suir Island, the CAAS Report in the early years to the more recent one, see below. In fact little or nothing has come of these reports to date so it will be a relief when details of this latest report comes into the public domain.Blackwood and Assoc.Conservation Architects were,I understand retained to execute the report sometime prior to 2014.
Suircan,a voluntary community association has taken an active interest in Suir Island for many years and worked with the former Borough Council ,responding to the Masterplan arrived at by a consultant- this prior to the Blackwood one.
The WBC- Workmens'Boat Club also commissioned and paid for a computer model of the islands that make up the Suir Islands and offered same to the then Borough Council......
Now that the Council owns the islands in great part it's time to see what plans for the development of the islands are in place or are emerging.The public has a right to input to these deliberations individually or through Suircan,the WBC or other voluntary bodies.The last thing we need is piecemeal development....
Above an old slabbed, stream outlet was uncovered in the past few days to reveal the workmanship of a former time and age.Quite a few such have emerged over the course of the transforming of the former towpath to a walking and cycling route.If form is repeated this will be slabbed in concrete followed by tarmacadam on top.
I'm pretty sure this stream has a name in Irish as well as in English but I doubt the mapping of such 'trivial' matters in the haste to finish the job.No archaeologist has preceded the tracking of the men and machines on this project no ecologist either as far as I know.All is not lost however as Fred Hamill,Industrial Archaeologist,and others have reported some years back,in a detailed way on the structures, plant and animal life along these banks.Others again like William's in his 'Men,Tides and Salmon' has drawn attention to the richness of the place names in Irish,still surviving today in the talk of fishermen and cots' men.I hope a 'map' of these features will form part of the information available to the general public...
The photo, top left shows the longest stretch of bank strengthening to date using baskets of stone enmeshed in wire.
Will these be 'greened' as work proceeds - let's hope so.
author artist activist