Saturday, November 02, 2013

Beddy Byes

Click on any image for a larger version

The Harcourt Street railway line, which ran from Harcourt St., near St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, to Bray, in Co. Wicklow, was closed at the end of December 1958, and the tracks were removed in 1959 and 1960. The closure followed recommendations in the 1957 Beddy Report, hence the title of this post.

I came across some photos I had taken around 1960/70 of Shankill Station, which was on that line, and thought they might be of interest for old times sake.

You will see that the track has been removed. The first one, above, was taken from the top of the semaphore signal and through the light hole.

This one is just to remove any doubt about where we are. Note the unusual Irish language spelling of the name.

This is a ground level shot to complement the first one. It's taken from the other end of the station.

I'm not sure if the Luas line to Bray will come through here. At the moment it only goes as far as Cherrywood, about 1km north-west of here.

Corbawn Lane in days gone by

For the following 20 years Shankill was without an operating railway station until, in 1977, a new station was opened on the coastal line, about half way between the old station and the sea. This coincided with the development of the area for housing, and Corbawn Lane, which in my day was a lane (above), was developed into something more like a road, though motor access to the cliffs from the lane has not been possible for the last 80 years.

This lack of motor access to the cliffs above the sea, was bad news for Edward Ball who, in 1936, attempted to drive right down to the cliffs' edge in his mother's car and dispose of her bloodied body into the sea. As it turned out he had to drag the body the last hundred yards, leaving a trail of blood and cut hair. Earlier that day, he had murdered her with a hatchet at her home in Booterstown.

Ironically, the lane was also known as Lovers Lane from the couples who used to drive to the cliff end of the lane for an oul court, or often a little more besides. On the night in question, Edward had to wait for hours for one hyperactive couple to clear off before he could start to drag the body to the cliff edge to finally dump it in the sea.

My interest in him arises purely from his having been one of the first babies born in 1916 in the Fitzwilliam Nursing Home then run by the Misses Foodies. I was born in this same house nearly 30 years later.

So, next time you visit Shankill, you can add a bit of colour to your visit with remembrances of things past.

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