Thursday, May 7, 2015

Update 7th May

The Air Circus at Ballymore, Boyle 1933

Thrills Wing Walks and Cruises.

Courtesy of Sandra McCrann I have an article describing a pretty unusual event in Ballymore outside Boyle many decades ago, 1933 in fact. In the Autumn of that year a very different circus came to town. It was an ‘air circus’ with over half a dozen aircraft under the direction of Sir Alan Cobham. There were Tiger Moths and a plane referred to as the ‘Air Ferry’ and another called the ‘Cierva Autogiro’. A huge crowd had gathered in Ballymore enthused to go by a fly-past over Boyle of the ‘circus’ on the previous evening. The newspaper account begins; “The red Tiger Moth seemed to drop out of the sunlit sky away to the south-west and in a few moments she streaked across Boyle. To the north of the town she banked sharply, came rushing back, zoomed low over the housetops while the vibration of her engines rattled the window panes, vanished as quickly as she appeared as the people in the streets strained their necks to view its progress in wonderment”.

So the crowds set out for Ballymore and a day of excitement and for some the adventure of their first flight. Along with that there were the acrobats; “Watch him walk on the wings” the crowd were directed by the colourful announcer over the clear tannoy which could nearly be heard back in the town. And so he did to the amazement and anxiety of the crowd below. Then the public were encouraged to take to the air themselves for a tour over the town and neighbouring countryside. There was an understandable reluctance at first for the earlier flights but after a slow start business improves. Being in the ‘Air Ferry’ was no issue and was a comfortable cruise but two young daredevil locals volunteered for what was termed an “acrobatic flight’ not knowing what an “acrobatic flight” actually meant. They learned quickly at the plane ‘loops, rolls, spins and rushes straight up to its zenith and then nose dives towards earth, levels out and dashes off into the distance. The two local adventures return to earth, one very enthused but the second pale and breathless’. I imagine that they told of this adventure for years after. Perhaps some senior people will have heard of this famous happening in Ballymore from their parents or neighbours.

Personally I remember being in national school in the late fifties and with the sound of a plane we were allowed out of class to see the phenomena. A local photographer, from Athleague, called Hennigan, was tragically killed on a photographic assignment in a small plane around that time. Not long ago we heard of the U.S. using ‘drones’ which were small robotic almost model planes to bomb or spy on enemies in various conflicts. Today I am told that some photographers can use ‘drones’ in their work which enables them to take aerial photographs without taking to the air themselves.

Air shows were a feature of the twenties in the United States where the flyers were referred to, in some cases, as ‘barnstormers’ because they could fly in one side of a barn and out the other, apparently. Galway/Salthill in recent years also staged a popular and impressive air show and there was one in the midlands, the location name escaping me just now.
Anyway Ballymore with Sir Alan Cobham’s Circus was there in the early days and what a spectacle it must have been and also it provided a gold standard conversation subject for the winter of 1933.
P.S. Apparently the Ballymore ‘airfield’ was so impressive that it was ‘staked’ during the Emergency to ensure that no unwelcome parachutists would use it as a point of entry. I know that is a ‘believe it or believe not’ concept but I have that story it in my head. Perhaps someone can tidy up those ideas for me by getting in contact. 


Boyle V Castlerea in Senior Championship

Boyle Senior team take on Castlerea in the first round of the senior championship at Castlerea on Sunday next at 3.30. One would imagine that this is pretty fifty-fifty game in terms of result. Both teams have a number of well-known players and also players missing through injury or otherwise. Boyle have won two of their league games over Tulsk and a very good win over Western Gaels with losses to Clann na Gael and Roscommon Gaels. As the Roscommon Herald reviewer Martin Wynne sees it “Boyle have plenty of quality , but whether they have the strength in depth remains to be seen”. In looking through Martin’s review it was scary to see the number of players out through injury especially the sacred cow of injuries the ‘cruciate’ ligament.

Tyrone Victory

Tyrone, who defeated Roscommon in the U 21 All-Ireland Semi-Final, overcame Tipperary in the final in Parnell Park last Saturday evening in a thriller in terrible conditions. I talked to a Tipperary man who was there and

Senior Championship Structure

The structure of the Championship is very different this year and it looks good in itself, but it is testing.

*I’ll try and explain the structure as I see it.
There are six teams in each of two sections ‘A’ and ‘B’ which means five games. (This will favour the top teams with extended panels of course and also be detrimental to the Junior squads as more of their team members are going to be called on for the senior team over five plus games).

The groups ‘A’ and ‘B’ are seeded on last year’s standing. In group A’ there are St. Brigid’s/Clann na Gael/ St. Faithleach’s / Padraig Pearses/ Roscommon Gaels/ and Western Gaels.

In group ‘B’ are: Boyle/ Elphin/ Strokestown/ Kilmore/ St. Croan’s/ and Castlerea St. Kevin’s

After the first five games, 1st and 2nd in Group ‘A’ go straight to the semi-finals.

3rd and 4th in group ‘A’ play the 1st and 2nd in group ‘B’ for the other two semi-final places. (That could actually mean 4 teams from group ‘A’ going into the semi-finals). That is the main business of the championship.

Now for the tidying up; 5th and 6th in group ‘B’ play-off and one goes down to Intermediate.

5th and 6th in group ‘A’ go down to group ‘B’ while 1st and 2nd in group ‘B’ are promoted to ‘A’.

(3rd and 4th in group ‘B’ are finished after the first run of their five games).  Promotion to group ‘A’ would secure senior football for two years.

While this is interesting it must have been devised by someone with actuary experience.

Boyle Juniors 
I attended three Boyle GAA games over the week-end and there were three good wins. On Friday the minor team won their Division Three League with a hard earned victory over a strong Kilbride side at Tulsk. Kilbride led by seven points to four at half time. Boyle played very well in the second half and were convincing winners in the end on the score Boyle 3.10 Kilbride 0.10. The team and panel was follows; Robert Kearney/Adam Simon/Jack Cox/Dermot O’Driscoll/Oisin Regan/ Michael Lavin/Conor Flanagan/ Liam Casey/Jack Moran/ Conor Deery/ Jonah Tighe/ Cian McKeon/ Sean Mullins/ Gareth Gilmartin/ Emmett O’Driscoll/ Marcus Meehan/ James Bolger/ Dermott O’Driscoll/Ronan Flanagan/ Mantas Grigaitis/Conor McGee (inj.)/ Brian Conway (inj). There were some outstanding performers on this team. The ‘Man of the Match’ was the goalkeeper Robert Kearney with a fine performance also from Cian McKeon who scored three goals including two penalties with Liam Casey, Jack Cox and a very impressive Conor Deery.  A number of these players were out again on Sunday with the winning U 16 team versus St. Barry’s/Kilglass. It was nice to see Jack Moran confidently point a free from the ground from fully forty metres out. 
Boyle Juniors followed the example of the younger players with a good win over St. Barry’s on the score of Boyle 3.11 St. Barry’s 2.10. This Junior team now have four wins from four games.


V.E. (Victory in Europe) Day May 8th.

Friday May the 8th will commemorate the allied victory in Europe and the final surrender of Germany in 1945 at the end of World War 2 in Europe. Victory over Japan –V.J. Day-is celebrated on August 14th. During the week I happened across a programme commemorating V.E. Day and it was most interesting. I might refer to it next week. There will be a number of programmes on BBC on Friday the 8th. Friday though will have the drama of the U.K. election results which will have major implications for this country.

Health and Safety Extremes  
As the ‘Health and Safety’ juggernaut continues I heard it said on radio that  85% of children have never climbed a tree. My boyhood was a far cry from this as was the four-cornered handkerchief helmet.  

Audio and Video Tapes

I am trying to get to grips with various ‘collections’ in my domain just now such as Maureen O’Sullivan, St. Mary’s College, Quizes, GAA Club and County and so on. I am a reluctant disposer of such. Also, what might one do with a large number of audio music tapes? I imagine there are some reasonable ones amongst them!

Keats Family Boyle Area 1940

I’ll just repeat this enquiry of a couple of weeks ago and it is, if anyone ever heard of a Keats family who came to a farm near Boyle circa 1940 please let me know?

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