Meanwhile in Cork, there was this elephant…

  • Yet another addition to Blackrock folk-lore, which will doubtless grow in the telling.

    When I had a small passing knowledge of Cork, half a century and more ago, my juvenile mind (which hasn’t greatly developed subsequently) heard of this magical spot. Thence came (via the Irish diaspora to Ford’s at Dagenham) Millwall’s and Sunderland’s hard man Charlie Hurley. Not to mention Christy Ring and a certain Jack Lynch, who was then still on the up, and proving the Corkman’s legionary and unlimited ability to rise in the world.

    As I was waiting for the 66 bus to Schull, sipping my [ahem!] underage lemonade, a bar-fly seanchaí, by accident or design, produced a great fiction. He conflated two namesakes: the Prohibition rum-runner, “Big Bill” Dwyer, and the owner of the Sunbeam mill, William Dwyer. The latter is still (I hope) commemorated by “Billy Dwyer’s Fire Escape” — Blackpool’s Church of the Annunciation. Since Billy’s “romantic” and other escapades were notorious, paying to rebuild the burned-out church was seen as his insurance policy for the next world.

    A sub-plot in the seanchaí‘s version was that Billy had been asked by an employee to arrange masses for a dead child: Billy went further and had Seamas Murphy carve the child’s name into the steps of the church porch — so everyone entering would pray for the child. (Anyone got a spare copy of Murphy’s Stone Mad, where the authorised version appears, to throw in my direction?)

  • Greenflag

    I’ve long heard of the elephant in the room but an elephant in the car park is a a novelty . Perhaps a symbol for the times we live in with rooms everywhere crowded with ‘elephants ‘ be they in Downing St , Wall St or Westminster or Leinster House or the Bishop’s palace in Drumcondra 😉

    I confess to ever only seeing an elephant outside of a zoo -the once – and that was looking back from the inside door seat of either a No 19 London bus as it moved off from the stop nearest Charrington’s Ale house near the Kings Road /Flood Street intersection . It may have been that the elephant following us had taken on a pinkish hue due to our 19 -20 year old inebriations of the night before . At any rate the sedate mature London matrons on the bottom deck refused to see what we were seeing . Alas we did’nt then have cell phones with video camera or shower attachments add ons to record the experience 😉

    Fortunately the ‘pink elephant’ disappeared before we reached Sloane Square . I think the bus conductor made them go away -either that -or the threat of having to disembark and find another bus did the business .

    Whatever happened anyway to the Blackpool elephant ?
    I know these Cork feckers are noted pachyderms but surely even they cannot survive being trampled upon by any meandering Jumbo ?

  • I now see that iPad’s “predictive” spelling unnecessarily corrected “legendary” to “legionary” in my post above.

    On reflection that merely adds a further dimension to Corkonians.

    Paul Theroux reckoned that every low point in his railway odyssey was marked by being in the company of Australians. Ditto, for me on American road-trips, Corkmen and their proud descendants.

  • Greenflag

    Queen Bess (the First ) that is would have concurred . Imagine letting yourself drop over on your back into the abyss while having both legs held by a Corkman ? For a Dub this requires an Act of Faith reserved only for those who have lost all reason and said ritual is only for English tourists and those Americans whose body volume and tonnage are within the safety limits .

    Don’t know if you’ve read Paul Theroux’s ‘Dark Star’ -worth a read for anyone who’s spent anytime in Africa .

  • O’Tuama

    The elephant Corkonians of a certain age will remember is the Elvery’s elephant over their shop in Pana.

  • George

    Yet another addition to Blackrock folk-lore, which will doubtless grow in the telling

    That’s Blackpool, the only place I know where they put the bypass through the town.

  • Mark

    In Thailand an elephant is considered a top of the range dowry ! A few buffalo goes down well but an elephant ….your well in with the in laws . A half million baht was the going rate 4/5 yrs ago ( 10/12 grand ) . It’s considered a very wise investment with the locals , that and gold …..thai gold .

  • lamhdearg2

    is that a cattle prod?.

  • Does anyone believe in reincarnation?