Bantry Historical Society welcomes
all with an interest in history

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Seaweed and Sealing Wax: a friendship between botanists, Summer 1811 Zoom performance / talk, Tuesday 7th December 8pm €6

An opportunity to live through a moment in time and a slice of two lives. 

In the summer of 1811, botanists, Ellen Hutchins of Ballylickey, Bantry Bay, and Dawson Turner of Great Yarmouth, East Anglia, England exchanged letters covering many more topics than the plants they were identifying. 

 Hear their story through extracts of their letters read by performers, Karen Minihan (in West Cork)  and Robin McLoughlin (in East Anglia), with introductory notes by Finola Finlay and an explanation of letter writing, the postal system, costume and customs of the day by historical re-enactor Carrie O’Flynn (in Cork City). See some period pieces relevant to the story including the type of microscope Ellen might have owned, some letters and books of Ellen’s and images of her specimens and drawings, introduced by Madeline Hutchins, researcher on Ellen and her great-great-grandniece.

This is a new online version of a highly successful live event run in the Ellen Hutchins Festival during Heritage Week in August. The Festival Team invites members of the Bantry Historical Society to join them for this Zoom event. 

Booking through Eventbrite:

The Bantry Branch - Drimoleague to Bantry Pier

Oliver Doyle, whose father was Station Master, Bantry, 1949-1956, details the history of the railway from its opening in 1881 to its closure in 1961, almost 80 years later. An early proposal for a railway to Bantry has its records at the House of Lords. Eventually the Ilen Valley Railway struggled  to build the line from Drimoleague to Bantry old station site which was an unsuitable location. The line was extended to the station near St Brendan's Church eleven years later, by a steep and circuitous route. The railway did much to develop Bantry and enabled the local fishermen get good prices in Cork for their catch. The cattle fairs on first Friday of each month brought big revenue to the railway. Interesting passenger excursions are recorded including the 13 years of Knock Pilgrimages. There were three fatal accidents during the 80 years. Despite new passenger trains and doubling of the frequency in 1954, the use of the railway declined and it was maintained on a 'minimum' basis. The inevitable closure came on 31 March 1961.