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The following piece is a nostalgic snapshot of times passed:
... 'There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead, and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all' ...
'In My Life' - The Beatles, 1965
... 'If you're Irish come into the Parlour,
there`s a welcome there for you' ...
Shaun Glenville & Frank Miller --- 1919
It was where we sat and talked to each other. We played cards there. The toilets came in handy too. The 'Parlour' served the community very well. There is an iconic photo. It pictures a large group of old folks sitting, smiling anticipating their imminent day trip. Above their heads as if choreographed, teenage names announce themselves in tandem/ synchronized almost. The photo captures a beautiful symmetry between the youthful graffiti and the respected elders. The Parlour was central station to us. It was a popular meeting point, a rendezvous. It was shelter.
... 'Oh, a Storm is threatening ... If I don't get some shelter,
oh yeah I'm gonna fade away'
Rolling Stones --- 1969
'The Parlour bus shelter rested and relieved us'.
(Quote from the poem 'Us' written by Gerard Byrne 2013)
The 'Parlour' roof allowed you survey the village. What a beautiful quaint village to observe from such a vantage point. A panoramic sweep consisted of many fine buildings. These included ...
The Methodist Church and grounds, McCarthy`s house/garden in its pomp, Bobs landmark pub, the stately Garda station, the eclectic Main St. shop fronts, O'Neill's Tudor style elegance, Sarsfield's Castle's dominant and mystical presence, Kenny's warm and colourful façade, the historical Griffeen Bridge, the magnificent vista of the Italian Embassy wood, the well-defined Presbyterian Church, the welcoming red brick cottages on Main St., Giltrap's elevated shop and conservatory, St. Andrew's Spire, The Square's imitation castle frontage, the refined buildings that conclude with the Town Hall. All interwoven with many shades of greenery and vegetation, from the surrounding densely wooded areas to the lush Village Green. It's crowning glory the pristine waters of the Griffeen River and its gentle waterfall. Wow!
... 'Right smack dab in the middle of town
I`ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof
(Up on the roof)
And if this world starts getting you down
There`s room enough for two
Up on the roof' ....
The Drifters ---1962.
It was a suntrap there too. Spain back then wasn't an option, so the Costa Parlour was your only man! It was a stage too. Fellas were like peacocks, throwing shapes trying to catch an eye, girls too I suppose. Then you climbed down from the roof because the 25 was coming. It was after all a bus stop shelter too ... for us.
These excerpts are taken from 'Memoirs of Sarsfield Park' by Gerard Byrne
Photo from Dublin City Library Fáilte Ireland collection