Old style shopping — 27 Comments

  1. LOL Grandad I am only 38 but I still remember places like that> If you look real close in Canada you can still find places like that but they are rare and getting rarer.

    In my expierience there is nothing as great as a small town hardware store that has been in business since the dinosaur’s ruled the earth. The amazing and odd trinkets and gizmo’s you can find in such places make them seem like a treasure hunt instead of a shopping expierience

  2. You can still find them here in Ireland, but you have to look hard. They were real Aladdin’s caves!

  3. There goes my next podcast!

    I was working on the same theme. We will have to compare notes in future. 😉

    The crusty bread, the aroma of cooked ham mmmm… I could murder some of it now.

    You could buy smoked bacon or green – if you tried to sell someone green bacon nowadays they would report you to the health & safety or whatever you call them.

    I enjoyed my walk down your memory lane.

  4. Sorry about that Grannymar. Obviously my ESP is working overtime today!

    Oh! How I miss crusty bread!!

  5. Bet you remember walking up Grafton St from Trinity College and the aroma of coffee wafting down to meet you from Bewleys.

    Do you mind (as they say in these parts) the man in Bewleys roasting the coffee beans?

  6. The roaster in the window, gently rotating and making those lovely smells? 😉

  7. After Mass on Sunday mornings we would all pile in to the station wagon and drive off to Sunnyhill Farm. There my Dad bought milk and eggs for the week. The milk came in large rectangular, glass gallons with a metal lid and handle. You had to return the empty ones from the previous visit. After buying the milk and eggs all us kids then lined up to get our ice cream cones. They made their own ice cream there and you could choose between either vanilla or chocolate.
    Today Sunnyhill Farms is the name of a housing development!
    Thanks for bringing those memories back to mind.

  8. great post. sad to see how all of that has been sold out. progress, eh? ranelagh is the same. this town…is coming like a ghost town!

    still, you can get fresh food and human service in spain.

  9. Brandad, you are triggering memories….! I grew up in Seapoint in the 50’s and our milk was delivered from Tel-el-Kebir dairy in Monkstown by horse-drawn cart. (Does anyone know why this dairy had an Arabic name???) The birds would have pecked the tinfoil tops on the bottles open by the time we got up, and had a go at the cream. The adults used to giggle about a neighbour who would go out after the milk cart had passed, shovelling up the horse manure (with which Seapoint Avenue was by then well decorated) to put on her rose beds.

    Our shops were Hyland’s, long gone, a dark old-fashioned grocery store with those big glass jars of sticky sweets like bulls eyes etc, and – i think – sawdust on the floor. The Midway tobacconist/sweet-shop is still there, now modernised and extended back – neighbours used to play bridge there in the back room. Meany’s at the top of the avenue, also gone now, was for the weekly trip to buy the Beano, Bunty and Judy or Dandy comics.

    A Johnston Mooney and O’Brien bread van came around, and the women bought fresh loaves from the back of the van. Favourites were the Vienna roll (a fat baguette!) and the batch loaf, or white soda bread (great with Marmite – but in those days it was Gye – Guinness extract!).

    In a shed in a laneway opposite the Martello Tower (all those sheds are now bijou dwellings!) Mr. Grehan sold fruit and vegetables. The tower itself (now i believe being turned into a museum or heritage centre) became an ice-cream shop in summer, selling gorgeous orange ice-pops that we young girls allowed to leave stains on our lips. Orange lipstick was fashionable then! (Ugh!!)

    Blackrock was still a real village, with each small shop-keeper taking the time to chat. Most ran “slates” for the regulars, who would shop daily and pay at the end of the week. Findlater’s was the big grocery shop there, with its variety of different teas – loose tea-leaves bought by the quarter-pound, and special rashers. And of course all the ingredients for the Christmas cake and puddings…. Nothing but home-made ones in those days!

    What i miss most of all is people having TIME. Time to chat and exchange jokes. Time to shop and not mind waiting in line while Mrs. Brown changes her mind three times about which ham she will have. Time to cook properly often rather than occasionally, and fill the house with wonderful mouth-watering smells instead of sticking something into a micro-wave.

    Some of our continental neighbours have not lost the art of living (of which choosing, cooking and slowly enjoying food in the company of friends is a huge part), despite the fast pace of life. For all our lattes and mochas and sundried tomatoes and the rest of it, we are only aping bits of it. As thepillionpassenger has noted, you can get fresh food and human service in Spain. You can also get it in France and in Italy. What’s the difference between them and us? They inter-act with each other, they don’t eat their dinner in front of the telly, and they don’t have a pub culture. Food is the corner-stone of their everyday social life.
    (Sorry about length of post – start me reminiscing and i do go on!)

    • The owners son was apparently killed at TEK in WW1, the bottles had TEK stamped on them. Our horse drawn millkman was Bill Brien and Johnny Kinnear in Newtownpark in the late 50's early 60's. you could seek out their families for old photo's.

  10. I’ve just remembered: the bread van was a three-wheeler ! And there’s something in my memory bank about it being run on electricity…. is that possible?

  11. Excellent, Grandad.

    Monique – Maybe the founder of the dairy fought in the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. Just guessing, but I’m intrigued now.

    I’m pining for the foil capped milk bottles now. We used to fight for the cream at the top. The homogenisation process took the fun out of milk.

  12. I’d forgotten about Tel-el-Kebir! Or TEK as they became known.

    I have to confess, Monique that I was one of those unfortunates who had to run out to collect the steaming piles of horse-dump. My mother was a fanatical rose grower, so that became my job!

    She also had a thing about the tits and the milk caps. She used to leave out empty tin cans for the milkman to place over the bottles. God help him if he didn’t!!

  13. Further contributions sent!

    Somehow, modern tills lack the romance of the old days.

  14. the monkstown dairy had this aribic name because the owners grandad fought in the battle of tel-el-kebir

  15. worked in floods in the 60s great time great memories    the smell of freshly ground coffee was nice

  16. Welcome John!  It’s quite possible that our paths crossed?  God, but how the world has changed since then!

  17. Just to clarify….
    Tel el Kebir dairy belonged to my Great Grandmother and her Husband died in Tel el Kebir.
    So now you know!

    • So Jim we must be related,my grandmother was Mary Jane Sutton born on the 28 6 1878. Baptised St.John the Babtist  Blackrock . Parents  George Sutton and Anne Sutton nee Byrne . Mary Jane Sutton married my grandfather Thomas Whelan Dairyman and later town counciller of 6 Lower Georges Street Kingstown in 1900  . so now tell me what you know?

  18. Hi Grandad and chums,

    I just came by this post as I've been writing and article on the Midway shop in it's present form, the current owner is Pat Gorry. He explained two theories to the origin of the name 'The Midway': the first is that it's half way between Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock, but the other is that the owner in the forties or fifties, an American, took over the shop (it had been in business since the thirties Pat thinks), and called it the Midway after the Battle of Midway which he faught in in WWII.

    This makes sense in light of the naming of the Tel-el-Kebir. Perhaps the American owner was inspired by the naming of that dairy and decided to continue the tradition in his own little way. It's been called the Midway ever since. Pat was told this story by a local couple, Jock and Stella, who passed about 8 or 9 years ago.

    The article about The Midway, for anyone who is interested, will be published in WeAreDublin magazine (in print and possibly online) in late February 2015.

  19. Monique. You are obviously a past resident of the area and I was wondering where you lived in the Seapoint Avenue area. I was born and raised at Ardenza Terrace right beside the Dart station. My youth was spent at the Midway run by Joxer Byrne as we called him – that was where we bought our aniseed balls at 10 for a penny, Hylands where I used to buy our butter and sugar with the allowance book – I believe one of the daughters, Marsella, is I believe, still around the area. My life was largely spent at Seapoint Baths with the late Tommy Dorgan. Lovely to have such a trip down memory lane

  20. Would love to make contact with anyone who swam in the old Seapoint Baths run by Tommy Dorgan

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