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4E 'Going back to her roots'.

Posted by joe treacy 
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 11:00
Not overlooked Joe.....well looked over...!!

M(W&W)F


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 11:05
Joe,
What a great thread! I'm delighted you made contact with Tom Shanley and Watson Mills and I hope you get more local information. I'm afraid I missed you again at the weekend as I was fully occupied catering a BBQ for 50+ in Empor. However my son Mark and his cousin Claire complete with Lucy (failed Green and Silver attempt dog) went off in search of 4E and returned in high excitement having 'found' her "down near Kellys Bridge". 4E and her return have certainly excited new found interest in the waterway. As a Munster blow-in I have been surprised by the extent of enquiries about walking and cycling the Canal since my own 'voyage' from the Liffey and the 4E story is declared "so cool" ...high praise indeed. The fact that the kids can now quote the names of the bridges and the numbers of the locks is testament to the significance of your venture.

BTW Legan (Lenamore) is about to achieve national fame as Architect Dermot Bannon is currently doing an epispode on an extension to a pub in the village.

Another point of interest in the area is the extraordinary and remote appartment development on the North bank of the Inny just East of Abbeyshrule at Ballmaglavey bog. A sad and bizarre NAMA monument to the failed Celtic Tiger era.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 12:23
Yes indeed, the thread has generated an amount of local interest along with my "doorstepping" around the countryside.My decision to stay in the area is a direct result of this and I would have to admit to enjoying the venture. Canalside communities always attract me and and especially in "non-tourist trail" areas where the last genuine traces of what this country once was can be enjoyed. Where in the World would you end up in a government minister's sitting room after being sent from a village shop [ "go up now before he leaves for the match"!]. Brilliant stuff, I did come across a good few walkers on the line, all enjoying the Royal in it's new-found beauty.
I did spot the "NAMA monument" from the air, but have been told the story locally and have driven around it- frightening in reality! Two pics below, the first of a friendly local. The second is of a land map dated 1882 which would have accompanied a lease agreement for canal side land. The "Morris" people mentioned were remembered by a gentleman I spoke to who had brought a sibling along the canal bank on the crossbar of a bike to a Morris who had the power to cure ringworm.
Really enjoying this time and as the Grand Canal, locks and bridges had family names linked to them so people refer to them this way.

Joe.



Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 18:56
Joe,
You may have inadvertantly nailed your political colours to 4e's mast if you visited minister Penrose without also paying your respects to other local political heaveyweights- Robert Troy TD (FF-Ballynacargy) and James Bannon TD (FG -Legan) - I am surpised the Royal doesnt have at least 4 lanes between Mullingar and Abbeyshrule given the local political power base!
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 19:34
There is plenty of time to get around all ,and it may happen. The call was completely non-political as my boss is a Penrose, [no relation but knows Willie] , my mother is a Penrose who is no relation to either, but grew up in Inchicore on opposite side of my boss's road. That was the "door-opener", the 4E stuff followed.

Joe.eye popping smiley
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
30 August, 2011 23:02
Hi all,

this is a first for me, so here goes- a link to the trip album,

Joe.

[s1182.photobucket.com]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
31 August, 2011 00:29
Great pics Joe.....those cill bolts will prove interesting when the levels are low, though I have them at Lock 43 rather than 44....??

M(W&W)F

Bolts protruding from the cill


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
31 August, 2011 09:14
Mick,

Don't think there will be a water problem in this stretch [coming in from all angles] . On the Lock 44 / 43 subject, second below shows the stain from the wall leak , [reason for my pic, not bolts!] with Savage Bridge in background [ Lock 44 ]

Joe.




Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
31 August, 2011 15:16
Not sure I'd be as confident re water levels Joe......there's a water mark on the gates in my pic....!!! Anyway, Holly says you've gone the wrong way since Ballynacargy. One of hers from May 2010 to remind you of what lies in the other direction....!!!

M(W&W)F



Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
01 September, 2011 09:05
Mick,

Holly is right about direction but I needed to put her in the "31 year" spot for another week to keep the local interest going. Turning can be a problem at times and the difference between Ballynacargy Harbour and the barge-turn in Ballymaglavey Bog, is 5Km and three locks. We had driven east as far as lock 29 without finding a turn.
Her present location is historical as it is where I positioned her for the first attempt at lifting out. The old scanned pic shows me on the bow as 4E is being towed towards Kelly's Bridge to be positioned in the chamber of Lock 38 for lifting.



This one shows her present location, note still in window appealing for information, and gang-plank out for anyone wanting to look her over.



This last one is of a pair of "Royal " lock keys that I paired up for a photo shoot. The upper one is stamped "29" and was in the engine room bilge of 4E when we were clearing her out of debris in 1980. I am told that lock numbers were stamped on Royal lock keys. The lower one is from the lock house at 46th lock in Richmond Harbour. It is stamped "MGWR" - "Midland Great Western Railway", surely a rare item?

Joe.


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
01 September, 2011 14:10
Sure you were only a "chap" then Joe....!!
I'd imagine the MWGR key would be pretty rare right enough, though given their robust construction, I would imagine there's likely to be quite a few still lying around in sheds or gardens along the canal.

M(W&W)F
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
06 September, 2011 13:03
Hi all,
just recovering from a tremendous weekend in Abbeyshrule and our thanks to one and all. 4E sat below lock 38 [facing east] and plans were to maybe stay or climb up to Ballynacargy but to remain in the immediate vicinity.
Friday evening spent an hour with a family member who was brought up in lock 36 and new the three crewmen and had numerous anecdotes to relate. Earlier on Friday had received an invitation to a barbecue in Abbeyshrule and after a crew meeting decided to bring the boat. Choice was 3km and three locks to Ballynacargy [and back!] or reverse to the barge turn in Ballymaglavy Bog , 2kms away. So ignoring the offer from "the Pilltown diggers" we decided on the "ass-ways" method and reversed. Reached Abbeyshrule and set about a tidy- up and a drive around [ Legan, Tagshinny etc. etc. ]
Sunday mid-day boats started to gather and mid-afternoon the barbecue commenced . All very pleasant and hospitable until a few words were spoken and 4E was revealed as guest of honour! Presentation followed and only return, apart from gracious thanks, was to open up 4E to the interested patrons. Our sincere thanks to all in Abbyshrule Canal Group for a great day. Some pics of the gathering [ the "star" is sort of obvious!].

After two hours in reverse, she needs to clear her lungs!



The "gathering" !




As mentioned previously, apart from the re-creation of old photos, the reason for coming to the area was to research the working life of 4E in it's time here. Photographs of work boats are hard to come by and when they turn up it is a real bonus. From "Lela" I have received a 1956 family photo of her brother and late mother with 4E in the background. Taken in "Kilcurry" it places 4E working in the year after the "Hark" trip. This is obviously a great find and thanks to all involved.

Joe.


Re: Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
06 September, 2011 13:15
Hi Joe,

Where do you plan to be the weekend? I have managed to walk as far as the
Ballinea Bridges and am hoping to get as far as what the old legs will
allow... on Saturday. Once the logistics is sorted I will know a bit more...
I would love to capture you and yours for one of my posts! It would be a
rather special bonus!

Cheers for now,
Vossie
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
06 September, 2011 14:17
Vossie,

will be in Abbeyshrule for at least another week and if you need a bed for a night or a lift back to a car, don't be shy,

Joe.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
06 September, 2011 16:47
A great find indeed Joe. Seems the "31 year spot" has paid off in spades..!!

M(W&W)F
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
07 September, 2011 10:50
Did mean to mention how chuffed I was to see a pic up in the "top four" , an honour indeed. I am grateful to you all for the support and interest throughout this venture and hopefully it sits well amongst the other "good news" topics of this season. Have to commend the "Barrow boys and girls", Noel, Mick [WW] , Paul, Richard and more [ bound to forget someone ! ].
The forum has recently provided information and assistance to people and is populated with a lot of generous souls, the "helping hand" ethos of IWAI , survives and flourishes.

Joe.

PS . if anyone did't see the whole album or read this "yarn", try these links :-

[s1182.photobucket.com]

[heritageboatassociation.ie]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
12 September, 2011 22:23
Hi Joe and all,

Re the pic of Mum and baby in the pic above. That is myself and my Mum - Philomena Murtagh - who passed away earlier this year RIP. I would say it was taken in the late summer of 1956. We lived near the canal and often moved cattle between both parts via a low tunnel in which the a river flowed to the Inny.

My Mum used to tell us about the dredge boat. I recall her mentioning that Billy Dunne was the man who operated the dredge boat. I dont recall meeting Billy but am sure many people around Abbeyshrule would remember him. In my school days the canal gradually dried up and reeds grew in the foot or two of water. I was always intrigued by canal and the traces of the past left by those who built it and used it. My Dad showed me the marks left by the ropes of the horse drawn barges on the stone arches under the canal bridges.

In the early 80s I was involved with Watson Mills, the late Martin Cassidy and many others in forming a branch of the Royal Canal Amenity Group. I recall arranging for the Longford Leader to do a one page feature on the dry canal and the idea of restoring the western section. George Farrar from Abbeyshrule took myself and the Leader photographer for a flight, tracing the canal from Ballynarcargy to Clondra. Am not sure if we photographed the rusting barge but I do recall coming across it while walking the banks. Martin Cassidy, myself and many others were involved in trying to repair the bog breach east of Abbeyshrule. We used plastic sheeting, mechanical diggers and a lot of manual labour. I was involved in canal festival days in Ballynacargy with many fun activities including the greasy pole. We had the Canal Queen dance in the Rustic Inn on the Sunday night of the festival weekend.

Well done Joe on the barge restoration. The thought did cross my mind on a few occasions to take on such a project but it never happened. I hope to have a look at 4E sometime and have a pic taken alongside it all those decades later. While my Mum did live to enjoy the sight of boats again navigating the canal to the Shannon it is just a pity she did not see 4E as it is today.


Liam Murtagh ( Co Monaghan)
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 September, 2011 01:43
Hmmmm...difficult not to get a bit sentimental here. Seems its not only paid off in "spades" Joe, but also in "Hearts"....!! Who'd a thought that a silly pic taken 50 odd years ago would put us here now...??

M(W&W)F
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 September, 2011 10:44
Liam,

yes the return of 4E to the area has paid off in memories and information for which I am eternally grateful. The offer of old photos has been amazing and the one of yourself and your late mother was special. I had been told some time ago it existed but up until the time it was given to me, there was a doubt in my mind about it. Thanks again for the special memory and 4E is "semi-resident" in County Longford at the moment and of course open to anyone interested.
The work of the RCAG should not of course be forgotten as without their efforts this trip would not have been possible. While I was involved myself at the Dublin end, I would admit at the time of going the "barge route", I never dreamed the Royal would be completely re-opened. A long and difficult battle indeed and the type that is being carried out on the Boyne at the moment.
Old photos are great, and to an extent they are hard at times to view but of course invaluable to those who "follow on". This from my collection of an RCAG small boat rally at Leixlip in 1977. From left are Michael and Alan O'Leary [knees! ] , both no longer with us. The three ladies are Gemma O'Leary, Deirdre Brady and Michelle Treacy.

Joe.


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
15 September, 2011 07:57
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the great time out there in Abbeyshrule... I really enjoyed my stay. I've managed to get a 4E blob post done and loaded this morning... trying to add my bit to the tale!

Thanks again Joe, Ben, kitten and as you say Joe... the star... 4E!

Cheers,
Vossie aka AJ cool smiley

[ouchmybackhurts.wordpress.com]
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