Life Through Our Viewfinder

Throughout 2008 and 2009 a group met in Dalton House Day Care Centre every Friday with the intention of compiling and publishing a collection of stories from their lives. The people involved were from a wide variety of backgrounds and as the project grew they invited others from the community to share their life experiences.

Life Through Our Viewfinder was launched in winter of 2009 at Dalton House Day Care Centre.

In the book you will find captivating stories from lives of various people; stories about the hardships of life in the past, the cobbler’s work, the doctor’s arrival, milling, threshing and many more interesting tales; stories filled with incidents and humour.
This book can be read and enjoyed on many levels.

Contact us to purchase our books.

Below is a short story from the book with a selection of photographs from throughout the book.

Accident Prone by Jim Lanigan

Below is another excerpt from our book

Cricket in Gowran
by John Connolly

The earliest records of the game of cricket go back to 1598. The first recorded match in Ireland was in 1792. The first cricket match in Kilkenny was played in 1829. Cricket came to Gowran in 1842.

Kilkenny County was unique in cricket terms as the game was more popular here than in Ireland generally. In more recent times the game of hurling has become as popular as cricket was in the second half of the Nineteenth Century and the early part of the Twentieth Century. Gowran Cricket finished in 1958 after 116 years of the game being played at the top level.
Shortly before the playing of cricket in Gowran ceased in 1958, the Young Irelands Hurling Club was founded in 1952. The hurling club made steady progress winning county finals at junior (1964), Intermediate (1992) and senior level (1996, 2002)

The Gowran Cricket Ground was situated on the site of the current Pitch and Putt Club. It is the only remaining cricket ground in Co Kilkenny. The original pavilion is still standing and is used today as the pitch and putt clubhouse.

By the late 1800s Gowran CC was one of the well-established clubs and featured in all the main matches around that time. You could in effect compare the Gowran CC to a modern day senior hurling team winning regular Kilkenny county finals. The Gowran CC was once described as the best cricket team in Leinster. If there were all-Ireland club cricket finals like in the modern day hurling game, there is no doubt that Gowran CC would have won a few, such was the excellent organisation, support and playing skills of the club. Matches were played on Sundays and provided local entertainment for players and spectators. Gowran was once described as a “Cricketing Village”. The cricket matches were usually followed by refreshments and sometimes a social where teas were served.

Unlike the modern day GAA club, which is formed around the parish, many cricket clubs were set up in townslands. Within a four-mile radius of Gowran there were 15 cricket teams.
There were three cricket teams in Gowran over the years, Gowran Independents, Gowran Wanderers and Gowran Castle. Arguably, Gowran Castle was the most successful of these teams. The Castle and its residents were very supportive of the game. Lord Clifden, who resided in the castle in the late 1800s, was a great supporter of the game. The Annalys who later occupied Gowran Castle and Colonel Fowler also played an active part in the cricket club. Colonel Fowler left the castle in the 1950s.

At what could be loosely described as a cricket festival in the village, the Castle and its beautifully laid out gardens and mature woodlands would be open to a large number of visitors. On occasions, up to 700 invitations would be sent out to all the tenants of the estate. The large crowd of tenants, local villagers, the clergy and children from the area would enjoy cricket, refreshments, dancing and entertainment.

Teams travelled from many parts of Ireland and abroad as well as from neighbouring townslands to play cricket in Gowran. In 1900 Lady Annaly presented a silver cup to Gowran CC. The Cup is still in the parish of Gowran. The last game of cricket was played in August 1958. And like the closing of the railway station in 1963, this brought to an end a great era of cricket playing in the area. The game of cricket was woven into the fabric of the local community for generations and it was a sport enjoyed by countless players, families and spectators.

Order details for “Life Through Our Viewfinder” can be found here.