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Going Back To Our Roots


Sure agus begorrah, given that we’re adding new history digs every other day, we’ve decided to go deep into GG’s archives with our handy cut-out-and-keep guide.

As we constantly clean-up and even smarten up our archives, and its thousands upon thousands of pics, it’s rewarding every now and then to stop and smell the rose-tinted collections of Ye Olde Greystones.

If you feel like exploring the town’s gone-but-not-forgotten nightlife, look no further. If you’re curious about Hollywood’s constant flirtation with our town, click right here. Or maybe you simply want to go visit some old familiar faces, some childhood places, some childhood faces, or just take a walk through the past with cosmic chancer Shay Clear or celebrated and certifiable historian Rosemary Raughter…?

There are lots and lots of options, of course, all of them in the drop-down Past menu on our home page. Options such as The Old Harbour, The South Beach, old photo collections from Harry Acheson, Luke McGuinness, Joe Redmond, Eamon Flynn, Jack Clarke or Robert French. You’ll also find Jago Hayden’s analysis of the latter’s local work here, and a Then & Now video recreation by local filmmaker Jake McKone here.

Oh, and just to make sure that we don’t forget the lifeblood of all this Greystones history, there’s People Power, pulling together all the Greystonians, young and old, in one place – namely, here – and we put forward the argument that Fred Burnaby was Greystones’ hardest man ever. Oh, and check out his incredible missus, 19th century feminist pioneer Lizzie Hawkins-Whitshed here.

Also worth checking out is Sean Tierney‘s wonderful collection of old Greystones postcards, alongside a selection of some the town’s earliest shops right here, our fine hotels here, and our railway here. Plus, a fascinating early history of the Catholic Church in Greystones too right here, and a video exploration of Delgany’s 145-year-old Nativity scene at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And a cracking bit of home video of Delgany under snow back in 1982 here, and a tour of Delgany’s ancient graveyard with Lalli de Buitlear here.

Not that it’s all about ye olde black & white shots – the not-too-distant past is represented by Gwen’s Week, Maeve’s Magical Martini Tour, Gary Acheson’s Blasts From The Past, the Farrelly brother’s notorious Cabana’s shots, or that day Brendan Behan was arrested on Church Road, Michael Jackson rented out the Ormonde cinema, or Gene Wilder made one Burnaby home owner an offer he couldn’t refuse.

On the Super 8 and TV front, we’ve also got some incredible Pathe News footage from the 1926 and the 1928 Swim Galas in the town, along with their 1920s footage of Delgany. Plus, we round up RTE’s telly visits to Greystones here. You’ll find the full GGTV round-up here.

Oh, and if you’ve got your banjo handy, check out the old harbour collection too – along with Gary’s history of the North Beach cottages, a history of the Greystones Rowing Club, the Jubilee Castle and the suffragette stand of 1910 – before taking a dip in The Cove, and then backstroking over to The South Beach and The Men’s. Just look out for those high waves.

Or maybe you’d rather go climbing up those Sugar Loaf mountains? Or check out our frickin’ massive Take A Hike round-up of the many, many walks, woods and gardens around here.

Add to that archives of our beautiful neighbours Delgany, Bray, Kilcoole, Newcastle, Enniskerry, Wicklow Town, Killincarrig and Kilmacanogue, along with the old shops & pubs, the old hotels and homes, the ruins,  Kilian’s Hall, The Ormonde and, hey, before you can find your way out of the GG archives again, it’ll be Paddy’s Day again.

Truth be told, all the above is probably just the half of it. So, enjoy this little tapestry of our town, one that has taken eight years, so far, to put together, and will take at least another eight years more to complete, as Greystones’ history has a habit of growing.

Day by day. Which is how history works.

Oh, and if you want a quick history of our dirty ol’ town, you’ll find that one here.

Cover illustration by Avril Crampton at Blue House Studio.