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This and That…Bits and pieces from the Blackwood area

By Jim Fields

The Field’s family are living in the Blackwood area since the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century. My grandfather, newly married, bought a house and a couple of acres in Blackwood. He had previously lived in Dunfiert, near Enfield. My brother Michael was the youngest of a family of eight; my father married Mary Rock and continued to live in this area all his life. I was born in 1940, so I have seen a few changes in my lifetime. I remember Coill Dubh Village being built around 1952. Before that the men working in Timahoe Bog lived in what was called Timahoe south camp. At that time it was not unusual to see a number of men alight from the Dublin evening bus at Blackwood Cross, where a lorry would be waiting to carry them to their new home at Timahoe camp.
Bits and Pieces
I remember my father recounting the first time he saw an aeroplane. He was fishing at Ballinafagh Lake on a Sunday evening when a plane flew overhead - that was around 1920. And when I speak of planes a memory of my own: I was in the bog – we cut turf in Cushahill, just in off the Allenwood road, near Brocagh Cross Roads. One day in 1945 we heard a droning noise coming from the Allenwood end of the bog, and a minute or two later, eight or ten planes appeared flying west to east. They were quiet low, about 1000 to 2000 feet high, they were flying towards Dublin. They may have being using the Edenderry to Dublin Road or the nearby canal to navigate to Dublin and the Irish sea, a short hop from there to Wales or England. The planes were probably R.A.F returning from the Atlantic.
Blackwood Canal
The Blackwood canal branched off the Grand Canal at Healy Bridge, about two miles east of Robertstown. It went through Moods Graigues and Blackwood and on to Ballinafagh Lake. It turned north at the lake and ended about a mile them on out at a place known locally as “The Point.”
Ballinfagh Lake was drained into the canal by a sluice gate a Lynch’s house. The Canal was closed and drained in the mid 1950’s. One drained section from the New Bridge on the Allenwood Road; down at Graigues Bridge was used by Kildare County Council as a refuse dump for a few years, till it was filled in. On the Blackwood Cross to Coill Dubh road the canal was crossed by a high humped bridge, a couple of years after the canal closed the bridge was taken down and the road was levelled off.
One memory I have of Blackwood Bridge goes back to the 1940’s. Many families cut a lot of turf in Clash Bog and carted it to Dublin in the winter months. Blackwood Bridge could be a problem in frosty weather, so the carters filled their loads in the bog on Friday evenings and brought the loads over the bridge. There was a wide grass margin over the bridge and they parked their loads there for the night. The horses were brought back on Saturday morning about 3am, yolked up and off they went to Dublin




The Field’s family are living in the Blackwood area since the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century. Our thanks to Jim

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