Ballyshannon Show, Man, Boy & Donkey

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Where: Donegal, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1908

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
An alternative title of "Mind your step!" springs to mind :)

While the notes from the catalogue entry add some extra context ("Advertisement on cart possibly reads: Ballyshannon Shows! August 1908, Horse Jumping, Gymkhana. Man is wearing top hat and ringing a bell"), there's so much going on here that it bears a close look. Perhaps even close enough to identify the location of this unusual Clarke photo(?)

Top marks to Carol Maddock I think she has nailed the event and has established the date within a few weeks, please see her comment from the Fermanagh Herald, 15 August 1908, below. Earlier she identified that the actual show was to be held on the 6th August 1908

Photographer: J.J. Clarke (1879-1961)

Contributors: Brian P. Clarke, donor

Collection: Clarke Photographic Collection

Date: Before August 6th 1908 but, only by a few weeks. Thanks Carol Maddock

NLI Ref: CLAR161

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 35440
johnjosephclarke jjclarke nationallibraryofireland manandboy bellringing advertising gymkhana shows cart donkey ballyshannon codonegal ulster ireland ballyshannonshow 6thaugust1908 prizes horsejumping bundoran limerickbybeachcomber clarkephotographiccollection

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  • profile

    roto52

    • 02/Sep/2015 00:55:08

    Pretty sure that's not a horse.

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    Philip Ward

    • 02/Sep/2015 00:56:36

    At the risk of making an ass of myself ,I think its a donkey.

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 06:27:25

    They're actually goihng up a sllight hill. The image has been taken with the camera canted 3 degrees right. This may help with locating it.

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 02/Sep/2015 07:44:40

    What has he got in his basket ? It looks a lot like an early version of the Duck Army - youtu.be/nHc288IPFzk

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    BrianHancock1

    • 02/Sep/2015 07:56:20

    How many places in Ireland called Ballyshannon? Which of them had such a a show in 1908? Do other photos of this location exist?

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 08:38:54

    I think this one is Donegal. That's where the Ballyshannon fair is held. The molding around the window of the house next door is common enough in the town, and in Bundoran, though I didn't notice a matching pair on streetview in either town.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 08:47:32

    I'm liking this streetview in Ballyshannon, Donegal. The OSI 25" shows railings along Back Street, and there are still some railings there (different ones). if I'm right, the street has been widened, and the footpath moved behind the railings instead of in front. Hmm, Upper Main Street also looks to have railings on that map... No, too steep, too many steps and some walls, not railings. Sticking with Back Street.

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    O Mac

    • 02/Sep/2015 08:48:08

    I wonder is this Thomas Keneghan, Single, Bell Porter, lived in West Port, just outside Ballyshannon. 60 in 1901. If our bell ringer was from Ballyshannon he wouldn't have ventured too far with his ass and car. Bundoran maybe?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 09:08:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Which house do you think it is? None of those visible on streetview seem to match.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 09:42:22

    I think it's the house in that streetview. The window at bottom left has been altered, but you can see three windows upstairs with sills, quoins and a drainpipe at right, and a rectangular fanlight. All have been altered over the years, but it could be the same structure...

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:03:40

    If the show is in mid-september, as it is today, the shadows suggest that he's walking north-east at lunch time. The sun altitude suggests it may actually be late august or early september, in which case, he's going closer to due north. If it's earlier in the summer then the options become a lot more varied as it's not lunchtime then.

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:05:23

    I think it is this house in Bundoran ( Streetview. ). The 25"OSI shows that there was a railing here when surveyed in 1900. The window size and distance between them looks good and the edge of the door ( just visible) on the house to the right matches door position on present building. Re Angles? I don't think the street is as inclined as it looks in the photograph. If adjusted our bell ringer would be leaning slightly backwards? The archive also has many Clarke photographs taken in Bundoran.

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:07:05

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley The house next door needs window mouldings like some of the nastier ones in college street, and a door right next to the house we're looking for. It also needs more corner stones up the side. I'm not convinced.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:19:59

    Here it is rectified: www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/20460278474/in/datepost...

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:22:06

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Could be. It looks a bit small, and the window ledge of the next-door house doesn't match what we can see in the picture. Edit: Actually, it can't be that house. The sun would have to be coming from pretty much due north.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:25:50

    BALLYSHANNON SHOW. As will be seen by our advertising columns, the Ballyshannon Agricultural Society’s annual show will be held in the Market Yard on Thursday, August 6th. The programme of jumping, riding, etc., is now being distributed and parties wishing to enter for the competitions can have forms from the secretary, Mr. John Gillespie. The prizes are large, and the several competitions should be well filled this year. The Ballyshannon Show has made wonderful progress since its inauguration, and this year’s fixture bids fair to totally eclipse its predecessors. It is a most useful institution in the district, and eminently worthy of public support.
    Fermanagh Herald, 25 July 1908 They even had handwriting competitions in the “Home Industries Department” at the Ballyshannon Shows! Older children wrote out a copy of a poem, and children in the Infants’ Class copied the alphabet in “small letters”… (Fermanagh Herald, 22 August 1908)

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    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 10:33:12

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] In that case, it could be about ten in the morning, walking north-west, or three in the afternoon, walking north-east. Note, this is a rough approximation - I haven't measured the shadows very carefully.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 11:01:38

    And here’s the advert that appeared in the Fermanagh Herald on 25 July 1908 for… BALLYSHANNON AGRICULTURAL SHOWS. Thursday, the 6th August, 1908. £200 to be Awarded in Prizes. Entries for Cattle, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, and Dairy Produce close on Saturday, the 1st August Entries for Jumping, Riding, Driving, Pony Races, &c. close on Monday, 3rd August. HIGH-CLASS MUSICAL PERFORMANCE by Splendid Brass and Reed Band specially retained for the occasion. Excursion Trains by the Great Northern and Donegal Railways. Programmes, Entry Forms, &c., may be had from JOHN GILLESPIE, Assistant Secretary. Market Yard, Ballyshannon

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 11:15:07

    Completely off topic, and for that I heartily apologise, but look at this irresistible snippet I found while searching for results, &c.! from August 6th’s Ballyshannon Shows…

    AMERICAN MILLIONAIRE’S “GENEROSITY” To His Foster Parents. Mr. John D. Rockefeller, low flash oil multi-millionaire, last week visited a farm near Berea, Ohio, where he spent the greater part of his boyhood. He found the present owners, Mr. William Kranz and his wife were in financial difficulties. Having heard their story, the magnate (says the “Daily News”) expressed sympathy and his wish to assist them if possible. He gave them one dollar and his blessing.
    Fermanagh Herald, 15 August 1908

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 02/Sep/2015 11:19:05

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Well how low can a low flash oil multi-millionaire go?

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 11:27:46

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I know! If they hadn't been so desperate, I can imagine Mr and Mrs Kranz telling him what he could do with his dollar and his blessing.

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 02/Sep/2015 11:55:26

    A red herring from 1901 ...

    OVERHEARD IN BALLYSHANNON FAIR. "Well, Jerry, and how are ye ?" "Troth, and I niver felt worst, Hughie." "How is that at all ?" Jerry: That divil of a rint agent passed me on the road driving thim two cows; and I wanted a reduction on me land bekass of wan of thim dying.
    Penshurst Free Press (Victoria) 19/7/1901 p.4 trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/165432204

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 12:05:18

    It's definitely not my Back street suggestion. O Mac's is interesting - the window spacing is exactly right (and unusual).

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 02/Sep/2015 12:08:14

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley]-------------------- and yet another Clarke looking up the street. The fact that there are three other Clarkes taken within a stones throw of that gawdy Irish Gift Shop has me convinced it was taken there. 25"OSI

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 02/Sep/2015 12:21:25

    There's a lot of change in the house fronts in Bundoran. These two are fairly good matches aside from being on the wrong side of the road, but they're quite different to each other and quite a lot different now: catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000335239, catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000046086, www.google.ie/maps/@54.4791354,-8.277999,3a,75y,130.55h,8... I think the type of moulding on the right hand house is what we can see beside the upstairs window though.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 12:25:54

    We had this one before, and somehow concluded it was 1897-1904: Street in a village, with horse and cart, and bystanders = Main Street, Bundoran

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 12:37:02

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] 1897-1904 wasn't a conclusion from research here, Niall. It's the traditional date range attributed to J.J. Clarke's photos at Library Towers.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 13:23:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] But this one is given in the archive as ca.1890-1910??

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    Inverarra

    • 02/Sep/2015 13:26:45

    Carol Maddock. I hope the blessing did more for the poor people than the dollar.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 13:27:06

    It should not be a surprise that JJ Clarke took a lot of pictures in Bundoran - he lived there. (Link is to him in 1911 census)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 13:33:11

    Aha, 1897 to 1904 was when he was studying medicine in Dublin. We know he was practicing in Bundoran in 1911, living in a hotel, so this would be from sometime after he qualified in 1904.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 15:10:22

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Strictly speaking, Niall, that's correct cataloguing protocol when you don't know the exact year - to go along in "decades", and it does cover the period of J.J.'s photographs. If you have a look at the catalogue record, it has Library of Congress Subject Headings like Boys > Ireland > Ballyshannon > 1890-1910...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 02/Sep/2015 16:29:02

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I was trying to work out why some Clarkes (like this one) are catalogued 1890-1910, whereas others are more narrowly 1897-1904. Is it just based on the assumption that he was only taking photos in Dublin while a student? Seems reasonable. Likewise the census suggests this is after graduation. But there is nothing in particular to stop him going to Bundoran while in college, or visiting Dublin after he graduated.

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    dorameulman

    • 02/Sep/2015 16:39:00

    Terrific vintage image!

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 17:19:16

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Absolutely. At a quick glance through the photos, 1897-1904 is used for the Dublin ones, and the dates broaden out for photos taken "outside the Pale".

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    Carol Maddock

    • 02/Sep/2015 17:43:23

    From the Fermanagh Herald, 15 August 1908:

    Of all the annual shows held during the past under the auspices of the Ballyshannon Agricultural Society, this year’s fixture which was held on Thursday in the Market Square enclosure, was by far the most successful, both in regard to the largely increased number of entries and the attendance of the general public, who were present from many parts of Donegal, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Leitrim. … There was little or no change in the horse section, but a slight decrease was noticeable in sheep, poultry and swine … In the butter section there was also a slight decrease, and this was attributed to the fact that heretofore a free local expert butter makers acquired the majority of the prizes with the result that the smaller exhibitors were discouraged and considered that competition on their part would be useless. … There were statements made to the effect that the show was not supported by the local farmers as it should be, and the reason given was because of the small area from which the exhibits were drawn Horse and sheep competitions were open only to people residing within 15 Irish miles of Ballyshannon, and poultry to people living within the Poor Law Union of Ballyshannon, and the knowledge the exhibitors had of one another’s stock. … Taking it all round, the Ballyshannon Show was a much greater success than those held in any other part of Ulster this year, at least up to the present. … The principal attractions of the day around which the public interest was centred were the Horse Jumping, Riding and Driving competitions, which were held in the afternoon in the beautiful Rock enclosure. These competitions drew an immense concourse of spectators, many of whom were members of the fair sex…
    P.S. Anyone know what a pony getting staked means? Apparently “The pony ‘Dick’ owned by Mr. George White, Ballyshannon, got staked, and created a sensation. The animal was attended by Mr. Vahey, who expects he will recover."

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 02/Sep/2015 21:09:32

    The photo we posted last Wednesday (25th August 2015) has already reached 50,000 views on 2nd September 2015 - I believe this is the quickest time for one of our photos to reach that mark. I have just added it to our 50,000+ views album. This is the 99th photo in the Album, I look forward to adding the 100th in the next few days. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/20866908436/in/dateposted/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/sets/72157651136879037

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 02/Sep/2015 22:22:32

    @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

    The Ballyshannon (B-S) Limerick In B-S a pony named Dick Was pained by the bite of a tick - The vet said "Get naked, We'll get you well staked, You won't feel a thing, just a small prick."
    ps Have we found out yet the names of the characters looking out the lower windows? Gent on the left and woman on the right.

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    John Spooner

    • 03/Sep/2015 09:56:28

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] The OED has this (sense 4b) for 'stake' b. pass. Of a horse, etc.: To be injured by impalement on a hedge or fence stake. Also refl.; hence trans., to cause a horse to stake himself. 1687 London Gaz. No. 2281/4 A bright bay Gelding.., a..Scar on the far side near the Flank, (where he had been stak'd). 1736 Compl. Family-piece ii. i. 249 If any of these Dogs should happen to stake themselves, by brushing through Hedges. 1884 Law Times 78 100/1 The animals..attempted to jump a fence. The foal was staked and had to be killed.

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    Carol Maddock

    • 03/Sep/2015 13:48:02

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia *Applause* :D

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    Carol Maddock

    • 03/Sep/2015 13:49:00

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Thanks, John. Sounds as if Dick the pony was lucky.

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    O Mac

    • 04/Sep/2015 09:30:03

    Shop is later addition www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/21123431732/in/datepos...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 04/Sep/2015 11:35:28

    Thanks https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]! We'd already shifted the map position (from Ballyshannon to Bundoran). Based on the above, we'll further refine. Unless there are other comments, I think we could even trigger the "location confirmed" buzzer...

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    humdrum ladybug

    • 23/Dec/2015 23:58:14

    How about the fact that he is walking on horse dump as he is walking up the road. Looks like his next step will be right on one ... 12-23-15