The annual ‘Boooze, Blaas & Banter’ event, which has become a popular feature of the annual Imagine Festival, was held at Jordan’s on The Quay on Saturday, October 24th, and a good morning was had by all.
The early house on the Quay played host to a 9am start to proceedings, where we enjoyed a blaa and sausage courtesy of Jack Molloy and Walsh’s Bakehouse (formerly M&D) but we declined the stout! Despite the early start, it was standing room only at another entertaining staging, which was sponsored by the WCTU.
There was the usual range of varied and interesting speakers at Jordan’s, including Grace O’Sullivan, who recalled her Greenpeace days and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior (which we recalled in depth in our September 15th edition).
RTE’s South East Correspondent Damien Tiernan spoke about the Swiss Huguenot refugees who arrived in Passage East in the 18th Century, settling in an a part of the Barony which came to be known as New Geneva (where a ‘second city’ of Waterford had been mooted in the 1780s), detailing the new arrivals’ attempt to develop a flax industry in East Waterford
Jody Power regaled the audience sea tales of his time working in the Merchant Navy and travelling to places like New Orleans and Mexico, Bombay India and Macau in the Far East, it sounded like it was hard work but had good entertainment on land in such famous ports.
Kieran Cronin spoke of Graves’ history of shipping while James Doherty recalled shipping consulates in our port city, where many countries had local consulates here to assist in foreign trade during Waterford’s maritime/industrial pomp. These tales were well research and delivered in a light-hearted manner. Louise Flynn spoke about Graffiti and wall art, which the city has embraced through the ‘Waterford Walls’ endeavour, while Sean Crowe spoke about Tramore’s Back Strand.
Ferrybank native, walking tour stalwart and Kilkenny GAA supporter Jack Burtchaell, waxed told tales of the Glass House industry in Gurteen, near Slieverue.
Jack pointed out that the industry preceded the Glass works and those undertaken by William Penrose Waterford. It was of no surprise to those who have taken in his superb walking tour, that Jack’s talk was brilliantly researched and not short on humour – and he fielded a good deal of well-mannered jibes about his affiliation to the Suir’s north bank.
Jack spoke about the plans of the glassworks built in the mid-1700s, complete with landing facilities there to bring in materials, not too far from where the current SmartPly facility stands, near the Port of Waterford in Belview. Little evidence of the building remains today, alas.
Sand was brought in from as far away as Quebec as was potash, while coal from Wales to fire the furnace.
The business failed when exports to England from Ireland was prohibited (repealed in Grattan’s Parliament in 1782) and after seven years, due to the lack of a market, the business failed.
Just a year later, in 1783, Penrose Glass was established on Anne Street/Glasshouse Lane, near the current Aldi store in The Glen.
Jack also spoke about the Snow and Power families, along with the English settlers who made Waterford their home throughout the centuries.
Music and comedy was provided at Jordan’s by Conor Halpin, who mimicked Angela Merkel and the IMF with his sidekick Dermot Sullivan also performing a Germanic act – complete in lederhosen!