Thatched cottages and flats on the bicycle - oh bliss!

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Where: Donegal, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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To end the week where we have had doubles, rebels and Gandelows we now have a truly charming Eason shot. A man mends a bicycle outside the door of a thatched cottage with a young girl in a pinny standing behind him watching the photographer at work. In the background is a town or city marked by a high spire dominating the landscape. There is no doubt but this scene has changed drastically in the meantime, if we can locate it(?)

Rory Sherlock was quick with the location and subject: Old Town in Letterkenny, County Donegal. The spire in the background is that of the Cathedral of St. Eunan and St. Columba, which opened in 1901....

Photographer: Unknown

Collection: Eason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1900-1920

NLI Ref: Eas 1115

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


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 21289
eason easonson easoncollection easonphotographiccollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland thatchedcottages town spire bicycle repairs pinafore countydonegal donegal letterkenny cathedralofsteunanandstcolumba cathedral oldtown cottages bike tyre flat puncture bicyclerepair riverswilly leck 20thcentury

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    • 21/Dec/2018 09:22:44

    Oldtown, Letterkenny? - somewhere along here perhaps?,-7.7393262,3a,75y,351.6h,8...

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    • 21/Dec/2018 10:38:39 Well done. Looks like I need to get up early even in the holidays.

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    • 21/Dec/2018 10:43:07


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    • 21/Dec/2018 10:55:02

    Not really much help with dating, the Cathedral of St. Eunan and St. Columba in the distance was built between 1890 and 1900, and opened in June 1901. See -

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    • 21/Dec/2018 11:07:23 And yer man has a safety bicycle, so it's post 1870...

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    • 21/Dec/2018 12:04:15

    Another similar photo from the Eason collection; I think it is earlier, see extra tree and unwhitewashed walls - It's also winter and the cathedral looks complete. Therefore today's photo is a few years later than 1901 ?

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    abandoned railways

    • 21/Dec/2018 13:01:41

    No sign of the railway below the Cathedral. Oldtown station opened on 09.03.1903, and closed 06.01.1947.

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    • 21/Dec/2018 20:04:42 With regard to you final comment there it is not a winter scene! The child is out in a pinny, the old man is in his shirt sleeves, there are leaves on the trees and there is no sign of rain so it is the one day of summer that year!

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    • 22/Dec/2018 08:02:52

    [] Ha ha! I was meaning it is winter in the other photo -

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    John Spooner

    • 23/Dec/2018 16:17:36

    I knew the picture reminded me of something. Is the thatched cottage the private house of a qualified doctor?

    ' I remember well,' he said, ' a dream that I had six years ago on the twenty-third of November next. A nightmare would be a truer word. I dreamt if you please that I had a slow puncture.' 'That is a surprising thing,' I said idly,' but not astonishing. Was it the work of a tintack?' 'Not a tintack,' said the Sergeant. ' but too much starch.' 'I did not know,' I said sarcastically, ' that they starched the roads.' ' It was not the road, and for a wonder it was not the fault of the County Council. I dreamt that I was cycling on official business for three days. Suddenly I felt the saddle getting hard and lumpy underneath me. I got down and felt the tyres but they were unexceptionable and fully pumped. Then I thought my head was giving me a nervous outbreak from too much overwork. I went into a private house where there was a qualified doctor and he examined me completely and told me what the trouble was. I had a slow puncture.'
    The Third Policeman pp 120-121

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 27/Dec/2018 14:46:25

    Thanks Have updated the map/tags/etc!