* take nothing for granted    
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2021

Who is Online

We have 79 guests and no members online

Article Index


As mentioned in the history above Waterford was originally a Viking settlement and in the early 10th century BCE became Ireland's first city. Today after all the troubles of the late 19th and early 20th century it's growing again but it's still quite small, about the size of Wagga Wagga in Australia. Yet the hinterland is better watered, verdant farming country, like southern England but much less populous. We had a couple of nights in a well-appointed hotel and a nice room looking onto the river Suir.

Apart from being attractive and apparently prosperous, with ongoing gentrification, the town is historically interesting for its Christian, Viking and Norman history in addition to more recent developments.

Waterford is a well-known name to those of you who like to drink out of or collect leaded crystal glass.  The original Waterford fame goes back to a maker of fine crystal that operated between 1783 and 1851.  Production ceased after the Great Famine, when the economy fell into recession, and glassmaking didn't begin again until after WW2.  In 1947 a Czech immigrant determined to profit from the famous name. As local glassmaking talent was gone long before Charles Bacik brought in European glassmakers to restore the industry.  Yet despite a high quality product, some of which occasionally grace our table, the company struggled financially and was soon taken over.  After that it survived a succession of acquisitions, mergers and receiverships along with the equally famous Wedgewood pottery from England.

In Waterford this small and very labour intensive plant was constructed and kept operating, with taxpayer support because it's a tourist attraction, while the bulk of Waterford crystal is manufactured overseas. 

From our hotel it was a short walk to the Waterford Crystal glassworks that's now centrally located across the road from the historic Bishop's Palace and nearby Christchurch Cathedral (Church of Ireland - Protestant).  Waterford also boasts the oldest Roman Catholic Cathedral in Ireland: the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. Like many churches they've hit hard times and want help to restore their windows.

In the same area there's a Medieval Museum that details the town's Viking and Norman origins.  While the museum was informative and engaging our visit to the glassworks was one of the highlights of our Irish experience and is highly recommended.

The old town's quite steep, from the river to the top of the ridge, to keep the residents healthy, and it's interesting to stroll around, with a few remnants of the 15th century city fortifications still visible.  Nevertheless it's not entirely given over to past centuries as the (tastefully?) modernised Apple Market attests.  On leaving we explored some of the outer suburbs in the car and while some dwellings are modest most are in good repair and again we got a sense of general wellbeing - certainly in excess of less well-off areas in, say, Memphis Tennessee.

See the Ireland Album - Click Here...  





# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item







We were to drive to Poland from Berlin.  In September and October 2014 were in Berlin to meet and spend some time with my new grandson, Leander.  But because we were concerned that we might be a burden to entertain for a whole month-and-a-half, what with the demands of a five month old baby and so on, we had pre-planned a number of side-trips.  The last of these was to Poland. 

To pick up the car that I had booked months before, we caught the U-Bahn from Magdalenenstraße, close to Emily's home in Lichtenberg, to Alexanderplatz.  Quick - about 15 minutes - and easy.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

My Mother's Family



All my ancestors are now dead.  I'm an orphan. So for this history I've had to rely on my recollections a small pile of documents left by my mother. These include short biographies of several of her relatives. Following the female line; these recollections briefly span the two world wars; to the present.

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

The Transit of Venus



On Wednesday 6th June, 2012 in Eastern Australia and New Zealand (as well Pacific islands across to Alaska) Venus was seen to pass between the Earth and the Sun; appearing as a small circular spot crossing the sun’s disc; for around six and a half hours.

This is a very rare astronomical event that has been the cause of great change to our world.

This is not because, as the astrologers would have it, that human events are governed or predicted by the disposition of the stars or planets.  It is because the event has served to significantly advance scientific knowledge and our understanding of the Universe.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright