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WALKS AND TALKS - A RECENT NAAS VENTURE

Canal side memories in Naas (Naas History Group walk, 19 July 2007)
 compiled by
LIAM KENNY
We might think we have bad weather now but imagine back in 1947 the winter was so cold that it was possible to bring a horse and dray across the Naas canal near Abbey bridge. This was one of many images and stories told at Naas Local History Group's canal side walk last Thursday evening. ' It was one of the few fine evenings that we have had this year,' said Chairperson Ronnie Kinane, ' so we decided to follow the setting sun from the Town Hall down Abbey Street down to the Abbey Bridge and along the canal bank to Basin Street.' The evening was not so much a guided walk as a treasure trove of spontaneous recollection and reminiscence. Jackie Bracken of the Abbey Bridge told about the canal being frozen over in 1947 while Cllr. Seamie Moore recalled the barges coming up the Naas line laden with coal, barrels and produce of every kind. Another Naas Town Councillor and knowledgeable historian Paddy Behan documented the formal history of the canal to Naas noting that it was built to the town in 1789, the same year as the French revolution. Earlier outside the Moat, Stan Hickey, John Miley and Christy Treacy recalled stories of attending the Christian Brothers school which functioned in the Moat Hall long before it became a venue for plays and theatre. At the bottom of Abbey Street Brian McCabe pushed the historic horizon back over the centuries by describing his surveys of the old Abbey cemetery and discovery of stone fragments from the ancient Abbey which gave the location its name in modern times. Over thirty local people and visitors joined in the walk which ended with an investigation of the complex of gateways dating from the era of Cunningham's bakery at Naas harbour. Such was the interest generated that History Group planners are considering another outdoor foray while there is still length in the evenings.

 

 

PLEASE LOOK AT THE ARTICLE ON HERTAGE WEEK EVENTS FOR GUIDED WALKS AND TOURS IN CO. KILDARE FROM 24th AUG to 2 SEPT 2007

 

These are just the sort of activity that Local History Groups and other organisations can arrange to acquaint people with the history and heritage of their locality as well as encouraging a helath.

 

 

A note by Liam Kenny on a recent historic walk in Naas.


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