February 22, 1902

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Where: Waterford, Ireland

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When: 22 February 1902

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This gentleman is Mr Goff, and the only other information we had until this morning was one word: "Comeragh". Thought that it might be the name of a house, or that Mr Goff could even have been from the Comeragh Mountains... But as ever, we weren't left in ignorance for long!

Based on inputs from Bob Montgomery 2012 and John Spooner, it was suggested that this fine gentleman was/is William G.D. Goff, of Glenville, Dunmore Road, Waterford. ofarrl later proposed that it is William's brother, Frank Davis Goff. Read the comments below for more info...

Date: Saturday, 22 February 1902


P.S. All you Flickr regulars who work away on our photos, delving, researching, arguing, and hopefully enjoying yourselves, may not have heard yet, but you're all starring in a full page article in today's Irish Times. It's on page 7 for those of you in Ireland, and here's the online version. Oh, and there's another slideshow of images you'll be familiar with too...

See, I've always said that while there may be no prizes, you're doing it for the glory! :)

NLI Ref.: P_WP_1240

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 43327
goff beard cravat studio portrait comeragh ireland munster saturday 22 february 1902 1900s ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative glenville dunmoreroad cravatpin sirwilliamgoffdavisgoff williamgdgoff waterford nationallibraryofireland poolephotographiccollection

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  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 22/Feb/2012 10:24:13

    Another vague possibility: In 1899 and 1900 (and probably after that), the Bristol Mercury regularly carried advertisements for the Waterford Steamship Company. They provided a passenger service between Waterford and Bristol (nine sailings a month in each direction - fares: cabin 15s,return 25s, children and servants travelling with families 10s, deck 7s 6d, children 4s). Their four ships were the Dunbrody, Reginald, Comeragh and Lara. Could Mr Goff be something to do with the steamer? On reflection, probably not, as he would be more likely to be photographed in uniform if he were captain or an officer, and apart from the rather fine beard, he doesn't strike me as the hearty matelot type..

  • profile

    Toypincher

    • 22/Feb/2012 10:27:18

    he has such a friendly face .. i just love his suit too i would kill for one like that !

  • profile

    only1tanuki

    • 22/Feb/2012 10:27:46

    I apologize for not being able to comment on something more useful... but I he's sporting a wonderful beard and a suit I wish I could wear... Thank You as always for sharing such wonderful images!

  • profile

    Bob Montgomery 2012

    • 22/Feb/2012 12:45:20

    This is Sir William DG Goff, Waterford businessman and cycle and motoring pioneer. He was probably Waterford's first motorist and built the cycle race track in Goff Park, now The People's Park. He lived at Glenville, Waterford, which I understand is still in existence. He was a partner with EF 'Bill' Peare in founding Ireland's first purpose-built garage at Catherine Street, Waterford, still in use as a garage today - surely one of, if not the oldest garage in continuous use anywhere in the world. He was the founding Chairman of the Irish Automobile Club (today the Royal Irish Automomobile Club in 1901 and also of the Irish Aero Club in November 1909. He died in 1917. - Bob Montgomery, Curator, RIAC Archive.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 22/Feb/2012 12:55:25

    Sir William Goff Davis-Goff & A Lady, Comeragh House

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    Brian Mulligan.me

    • 22/Feb/2012 14:03:34

    I just read the article there Carol and it reads very well! Well done on your exploits so far and for developing a community of followers most of whom can add valuable information to the images.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Feb/2012 14:34:16

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/int0lerant Thanks a million! But it'd be nothing at all without you guys... :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Feb/2012 14:34:53

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/only1tanuki Not at all! I agree with you - that is one fine suit.

  • profile

    Bob Montgomery 2012

    • 22/Feb/2012 16:33:47

    I think Sir Herbert William Davis-Goff and Sir William GD Goff are being confused here. Herbert was the son of Sir William and it is Sir William GD Goff who is the subject of this photograph.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Feb/2012 16:58:42

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I do apologise! You are quite right, and I have deleted my earlier comment to you above, so that others will not be confused...

  • profile

    blackpoolbeach

    • 22/Feb/2012 17:24:20

    "Nineteen minutes past 11 o'clock" www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/6627415775/ The Cork motor car with its doors open looks like the one belonging to Sir William Goff Davis-Goff on the Waterford County Museum website. www.waterfordcountyimages.org/exhibit/web/DisplayImage/K0...

  • profile

    blackpoolbeach

    • 22/Feb/2012 18:16:47

    The 1911 census shows William Goff Davis, Baronet (72) and his wife Anna (63) living in Ballynakill, Waterford. www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Waterford/Bally... The house called "Glenville" is not shown on the modern map. maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,662653,611277,7,9

  • profile

    Patrick_Foto

    • 22/Feb/2012 18:17:23

    Great image and a great article in the Irish Times

  • profile

    Jasper68(BATH)2018

    • 22/Feb/2012 18:21:40

    Look's distinguished.

  • profile

    Irish251

    • 22/Feb/2012 22:16:27

    Good article in the Times, depicting the more productive side of Internet social media, perhaps. It sounds like you have many more photos to get through, Carol!

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 22/Feb/2012 23:10:11

    So my stab at him having something to do with SS Comeragh was a total red herring, but I spent an instructive hour or so reading accounts of her collision with the SS Iowa in the Mersey and another collision in the Avon at the entrance to Bristol, as well as the reminiscences of Capt Farrell, her master from 1903 to 1905, and the history of the Waterford Steamship Co. Nothing at all to do with Sir William but fascinating nonetheless.

  • profile

    blackpoolbeach

    • 23/Feb/2012 02:15:16

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Comeragh House is still standing between Waterford and Dungarvan, very well hidden from Google Streetview. maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,633367,604996,7,9

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 23/Feb/2012 12:09:05

    Loving the IT article - glad the journo picked the Peerless/Passage photo. I thought that one was a gold-mine :)

  • profile

    desmondg47

    • 23/Feb/2012 14:22:03

    Glenville House is no more. It was destroyed by fire years ago and now a housing estate bears its name on the Dunmore Road in Waterford. For some history read "The Walled Garden" by Annabel Davis -Goff which has fine photos and history of life in that house up to the 1950s.

  • profile

    desmondg47

    • 23/Feb/2012 14:24:09

    Waterford Civic Trust has erected a plaque on Peare's Garage in Catherine Street Waterford commemorating "Ireland's first garage". See their web site. Location: Catherine Street In 1900 Ireland’s first garage was opened in Catherine Street by William F. Peare in partnership with Alderman Sir William Goff who bought the very first car sold by the garage, a French De Dion Buton and has the distinction of being Ireland’s first car owner. In 1901 Peare began assembling motorized tricycles – the beginnings of Ireland’s motor manufacturing industry. During World War I Peare served as a Captain in the British army and the company went into decline and was forced into liquidation in 1917. However that same year the business was taken over by John Kelly, a local business man and continued to operate from the Catherine Street site until the business moved to the Cork Road.

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    Bob Montgomery 2012

    • 23/Feb/2012 16:34:49

    I'm afraid the plaque, like this quote is incorrect. The garage which opened in 1900 was not Ireland's first garage - rather it was Ireland's first purpose-built garage and was very 'cutting-edge' for the time. In 1898 Bill Peare assembled two motorized tricycles - one for WGD Goff and one for Hercules ('Herky') Langrish of Knocktopher Abbey. The honor of having the first car in Ireland falls to John Brown of Dunmurray Belfast who imported a French Serpollet steam car in March 1896.

  • profile

    desmondg47

    • 23/Feb/2012 18:36:01

    Bob, We are into language semantics to some extent here. Peare's was Ireland's first garage, purpose built as you say. If the word garage is to have any real meaning, then the plaque is hardly incorrect in that context. No doubt that there were many places in Ireland where existing machine shops or blacksmiths shops got involved in motorized vehicle work but such places were not purpose built garages! QED?

  • profile

    Bob Montgomery 2012

    • 23/Feb/2012 18:57:49

    No, there were already several 'garages' in Ireland before Peares. In the 1920s there was a prolonged debate in the pages of the Motor News to establish who had the first garage and this was resolved in favor of Leslie Porter's garage in Montgomery Street, Belfast which was established in 1899. Another example was the famous coach builders Hutton & Sons in Summerhill, Dublin, who established a garage workshop beside their coach building business when they acquired the Daimler agency, also in 1899. By the way, its a fallacy that many blacksmiths became involved in automobile work. It has been established that this happened to a small extent in Britain but not in Ireland. As cars began to proliferate in the mid-1900s certainly some machine shops turned to work on cars to supplement their income. I don't see that the distinction in any way takes from Bill Peare's achievement in establishing the garage in Catherine Street. It had a permanent caretaker who lived on the premises and was thus available at any hour of the day or night to arrange for the needs of motorists to be catered for. It had a restroom for motorists and a rooftop garden and employed the latest machinery and mechanics trained in the repair of automobiles. I'm sure you will agree that it's wonderful that it has survived and is still in use as a garage today.

  • profile

    desmondg47

    • 24/Feb/2012 14:59:10

    Bob, Thanks for that. I take your points and am anxious for an exact answer from this end, but am unsure of the extent to which the Waterford voice on this issue was heard in the previous Motor News debate. It is hard to believe that Bill Peare decided to build a new purpose built garage without some previous experience on the subject, the extent of which I will research ASAP in the old local newspaper archives. I will gladly update this page with any info so acquired. In the meantime we may have to agree to differ as I think there is sufficient legitimacy in the Waterford plaque to justify it. Regards, DG47

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    NIKONGERL / Please do not copy my images without p

    • 24/Feb/2012 20:54:41

    Nicely photographed..but subject, MR. Goff is positioned a bit low...could have been more centered in the middle.

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    JessSaysYarr

    • 25/Feb/2012 02:01:11

    kind eyes <3

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:14:05

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Nil desperandum on the Comeragh research, John! All of that Waterford shipping knowledge may yet come in very handy around here...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:15:56

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpoolbeach Thank you for your census and map research!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:20:49

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmcdonnell Thanks Patrick (re the IT article)! Delighted so many of you saw it... P.S. Haven't forgotten about Thurles Train Station - it's on the list :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:21:40

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I don't think we're going to run out of photos any time soon... :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:23:29

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Glad you saw the article! Look at all the work you've done to help us with our photos (which is always appreciated), not least on the Peerless/Passage photo...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:26:51

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thoroughly enjoyed your debate there, and delighted to see the research will be ongoing...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Feb/2012 17:30:25

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/picgerl Absolutely agree about the centring, and not at all usual for Poole Photographic Studios to make what looks like such a rookie mistake! But, as you say, still nicely photographed.

  • profile

    samita.co

    • 26/Feb/2012 18:01:19

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] You said it! The picture looks great!

  • profile

    TuomoR

    • 27/Feb/2012 08:24:55

    good photo

  • profile

    CKoshea

    • 06/Jun/2012 15:51:07

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Bob, would you know anything about the garage that WF Peare opened in Cork in 1913? My grand-uncle, Timothy F. O'Shea had a garage business at Langford Row in Cork and according to family lore had one of the first car dealerships in Cork - don't suppose you'd know any relevant information? Thanks, Kevin O'Shea, Cork

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 23/Jan/2013 20:35:32

    Captain William Ernest Davis Goff (b. 9/6/1872 d. 20/5/1900) was Sir William's second son. He was killed at Vryheid in Natal when the squadron he was commanding was ambushed. There were 66 casualties (20 killed) and few escaped . Contemporary newspaper reports blamed Goff - he had advanced rashly without waiting for reinforcements. N.B. "Our portrait is by A. H. Poole, Waterford" Captain William Edward Davis Goff (1872-1900)

  • profile

    ofarrl

    • 09/Jan/2014 01:28:50

    This is not William G.D. Goff but his brother Frank Davis Goff who lived at Rockmount, near Mahon Bridge at the foot of the Comeragh Mountains. 1901 Census return www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Waterford/Comer... A mention of Frank Davis Goff in The Irish Naturalist, 1903 books.google.com/books?id=UFRUAAAAIAAJ&dq=frank%20dav... W.G.D. Goff for comparison catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000590575

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Dec/2019 10:55:21

    Rockmount on the OSI 25" map

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    Niall McAuley

    • 18/Dec/2019 11:00:04

    Record of his death at Rockmount in on 20/06/1911, just 4 months after this photo.