Waterford Nostalgia.

It may come as a shock to some of you that I am 32 years of age. This fact may be especially traumatic to anyone who has met me and knows that I barely look a day over 21. Nevertheless, 32 I am.

Apologies in advance to any non-deise people reading this post. I suspect you may only get as far as here and then leave. Will you turn off the light before you go? The rest of us are about to get comfy…

Okay, so I started thinking about old Waterford a long time ago…and I set up a facebook page called “Old places in Waterford” – I was besotted with all the places that I remembered as a child. Then a professional joined me on the site, and well the rest, as they say, is history. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

There is a bad side to nostalgia – it usually happens when we look back at old girlfriends and think things were better than they actually were. Anyway, recently people have been remembering pubs like The Old Stand and Egans and wishing they were back again. They seem to forget that the reason why they closed in the first place was that people stopped going to them. Pubs should do what Cadburys Wispa did. Close for 6 years and then come back in a blaze of nostalgic glory. People forgot that Wispa’s were actually only “okay” and a bit too chocolatey.

But what places do I remember with fondness from Old Waterford? Now, for those people over 40 who are looking down their nose at me referring to 80s and 90s as old waterford – this is my blog, and I’m a mere nipper. These are my memories – you get your own!

Right, first off – I loved the…

Old Cinema.

The one that was on Patrick Street before it became the Cineplex. In their infinite wisdom they decided to close just before Jurassic Park came out. That’s like the shop that sells sailor hats closing before the weekend of the tall ships.

There was a big hall that you went into first – that had all the posters from up coming movies. “Twins” “Santa Claus the Movie” “The Neverending Story”, then you walked past the sweet shop which was fecking tiny, but unlike The Odeon Cinema, you’d be allowed past without surrendering the deeds of your house.

You then had the option of going upstairs, or taking a left to one of the smaller screens. In that side there was a big corridor, with some smelly couches. It seemed a bit like a waste of space to me. They could easily have slotted a bowling alley in there.

The screen that sticks out in the memory for me was the one that had the huge big corridor running along the back of the theatre. On one end was the entrance, and the other were the toilets, which were the sister toilets to the ones that used to be in Tramore. There was another (or it might have actually been the same one) that had a big ledge in front of the screen. I think if a film was bad enough you could actually commit suicide right there in the hall. But you wouldn’t, cause you’d be jumping into Ireland’s biggest cinema refuse bin. Legendary.

My mother brought me to see Terminator 2 with my cousin in 1992. I was 11 going on 12. A woman gets impaled by a big sword hand for God’s sake! Thanks mam x

Burgerland

Otherwise known as the biggest fast food restaurant in the world. I think it’s in the guinness book of records for the longest walk to a service counter ever. I’m up for correction on that one though. I can’t remember what the food was like, for people that don’t know where it was…it’s where sherwoods is now.

KK Discount Store

This was next door to burgerland, and to all the Waterford kids of the 80s, it was just a world of absolute magic. There was a joke section, where you could buy those fake chewing gums that when you offered someone one it would take their fingers off. They also sold that famous farting gas that came in a little brown cannister. The city still kinda reeks a bit of that stuff. When visitors come to the city they sometimes ask “What’s that godawful smell” – people just reply “oh that was those feckin 80s kids” There was an upstairs in that place too…sold bikes and other shit that I couldn’t afford.

Teleport Computers and Finns Camera and Computer Shop

Who had a camera in the 80s? Your aunty, that’s who. I didn’t have one, but what I did have, was a Commodore 64. This is a fine example of nostalgia gone horribly wrong. I was close to buying one of these things for €100 recently. What the fuck was I thinking? I have a keyring that has more processing power. But ya see nostalgia was dragging me to make the purchase. I was getting flashbacks of waiting 20 minutes for the worst game I ever played to load, only to be told that it wouldn’t load, because of something called a syntax error. The last time I was told I made a syntax error, I was in college.

Anyway, the games used to cost 4.49 for the standard ones…or you might pay a tenner for one that came in a fancy cardboard box. It was just coloured bubbles really. I broke two joysticks playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon and when i needed to buy a new one, I’d go to Finns or Teleport. Finns was located in two places that i can remember (and again, I’m open to correction here) one was on michael street where enable ireland is now…and the other is down on john street across from coney island. Two shops! There was no recession back there I tell ya! Except, there was.

The Original, and Best, Pound Shop

Located in red square this tiny shop and an infinite supply of crap, that made all us kids piss our pants with excitement. There may be a cash for gold shop in there now. I’m sure that’s ironic in some way.

KG Discs in Broad Street

Located in Broad Street – officially known as the biggest waste of retail space since Ferrybank Shopping Centre. This was a magical place that they ruined by sticking the world’s biggest fabric shop in there. Who the fuck wants to shop for fabric? These people must be made to go to special outlets located on the fringes of the town, not taking up a piece of prime retail space. Anyway, KG Discs was in here and I used to buy cassettes and CD singles from them. Twas the business. There was a newsagents downstairs and also a Leonidas that no waterford person could ever pronounce properly.

Darrers

Harrods are famous for the bags…people love a Harrods bag (I think) We had the Darrers plastic bag. Located down where Mcdonalds is now…I can remember a big pick n mix as you went in the front door and i can’t remember a whole lot else. Feel free to add more info in the comments section below.

Image

Fitzmaurices

What a place this was. Did you have an interest in mahogany cabinets? Maybe competitive knitting? Well if you did, Fitzmaurices had the magazine for you. They also had every board game in existence…every kind of sweet or bar that you could wish for…as well as a section for things like model airplanes or those ones for 30p….hold on til i get you a pic…

Magic. Fitzmaurices had loads of brilliant things – I I loved the place. It was located in Georges Court but had entrances all over Waterford.

Leahys

Probably a spelling error there (not a syntax error thank God). This confectionery wonderland was located on Mayors Walk and you’d often pop in there after mass for the best damn eclairs or vanilla slices anyone has ever tasted. They made their own cream you see. Apparently that was the secret. Whatever it was, I care about it, and crave it more than I do the secret of life.

Besco

I have no particular memories of this place except that it was a supermarket up in ballybricken. Mad eh?

The Park

This was the park before Polish people were invented*

A lovely place and I played many times in that band stand with the mount sion silver band.

*some of my best friends are polish.

Connolly’s Sweet Shop

If you went to Mount Sion in the 80s and 90s then you knew about this shop. It was run by a husband and wife team of narky fuckers who were also brilliantly hilarious and kind people. I remember the lay out of the shop as if I was only in there yesterday. Back when 20 pence could get you a bag of shit. Good times.

There could probably be a part two to this but I’m going to finish on one last memory.

A mere 8-1o minute walk from our house on the Cork Road. Mount Sion was where it all began for so many thugs, thieves and drug dealers. But also, a lot of good people and great teachers. I would love to walk the corridors of that primary just one more time. It was an eerie place, like something you’d see in a Stephen King movie set in a prison about someone getting some kind of redemption. I think I can probably remember all the classes that I had and also most of the teachers. It would be unfair of me to mention teachers that I liked or disliked, except to say that Mrs O Connoll was an absolute wagonand Mrs Power were absolute wagons. I remember getting on very well with Br Griffey, Mr Walsh (who also sculpted me into the world class musician that I should be today), Mr Foley and Miss O Sheaughnassy (I can’t spell her name, give me a break. But she was tiny and lovely. She went on to become a millionaire after appearances in Lord of the Rings and the upcoming hobbit movies). Miss O Connell and Mrs Power are probably lovely people now so I don’t mean any offence (But back then they were cruel and unusual – citation needed).

Some memories of the Primary…we used to get tiny cartons of milk…We used to buy our stationary supplies from the lovely Paula and every kid loved the smell of that room. Next door then was the warden’s office – Br Dowling. I was once given a red card for giving Glenn Ryan a crack across the back of the head with a ruler (I’d do it again in the morning). A red card. We were told it would be on our permanent records. The bastards.

We played out here at 11 o clock and 1pm. We played football with a tennis ball. Oh, And special mention to Eddy and Peggy who really ran Mount Sion. Absolute legends.

I have to say, I loved it.

Waterford is a great place, with many great memories 🙂

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About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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18 Responses to Waterford Nostalgia.

  1. John Roche says:

    Great stuff, I’m 32 aswell & have pretty much the same memories of Waterford except I went to Declans & De La Salle. Had to watch Jurassic Park somewhere in Wexford!!

    Finns – the 2nd location your right, where Enable Ireland is now. The first location is of much debate with me & my father. I remember it being on a street where City Square is now. There was the old carpark (btw I love to see a photo of that) roughly where Alfie Hale Sports is now & then a street running perpendicular to it a few yards up to the right, that’s where I remember the first Finns being. I distinctly remember drooling over the new Amstrad in 1987 🙂 Can anyone back me up on this?
    I nearly lost my shit one night in 1990 when the two nerds (one young, one old) from Teleport delivered a brand new Amiga 500 to the house for my birthday 🙂 Came with the Batman the Movie game

    • John Roche says:

      Actually just thinking, Finns did have a shop on Johns St. aswell. 3 locations? Maybe I was dreaming about the first one up around where City Square is now.

    • Eamonn Bolger says:

      The Amiga 500. So far advanced than a PC it wasn’t funny.

      • Jackie fletcher says:

        Finns shop was in Michael Street kinda opposite where Greers is and then Richard ,who I know well moved to a location in a little shopping centre that no longer exists in what was then Peter street

    • DQ says:

      Finns were there for sure definitely in 85/86.. Peter street was it called ? Opposite Woolies. Basically when you walk in the main doors of city square next to Burger King these days it would be a little way down on the left as I remember it.

  2. Eamonn Bolger says:

    God, I remember all of the above….and more! The Savoy cinema, the Regal Cinema, those little milk cartons, the national anthem on the back of every copy…….radiograms (Google it!). Stereograms, 3 in ones, the first teletext transmissions, the first Sky Channel, Lifestyle satellite jukebox, Brigie Walshs, Connollys Shop, Cantwells MIchael Street, the Sportsman, the Sportshop. In case you hadn’t guessed I’m 53! Take a bow Darren. That Facebook page is brilliant!

  3. Paul Waters says:

    John, you’re dead right about Finn’s. It was where City Square is now, on a street where the entrance is now so the street’s obviously gone. Go into City Square and about 20 feet in on the left would have been where it was. There was a jewellers opposite, and a laundrette on the corner. All gone now. Richard Finn lived on my road, in Lismore Park. I’m a bit older than you so I remember Sinclair Spectrum 48k, jet Pac, Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner etc, God only knows how I got any grades at school the amount of games I played. My Dad got on great with Richard so we always got a good deal on the few games that we could afford. Rare old times…..

  4. Paul Waters says:

    Eamonn, some more stuff. Video games at the Gloss, Sinnott’s record shop, being amazed when a shop called Gaywear opened, the red shop & the blue shop just up from Mount Sion, Greasy Neds chips, the actual Bull Post (not the pub), Johnny Hearn’s ironmongers, Flyers roller disco, drinking naggins of whiskey bought at Madigans and off for a school disco at Breens, never having any money & no-one else having any either, no mobile phones (jaysus, we barely could afford a home phone), Regina cinema had the Mini & the Pullman cinemas but I’ve forgotten what the one upstairs was called, cycling everywhere & giving lifts on the crossbar, ah they were indeed halcyon days…..

  5. Jackie fletcher says:

    Ask a girl home from the Olympia and if you made a date for another time, you’d say Ill see ya at Della,s ,no need to elaborate on that name I,m sure for any 60 plusses out there

  6. jack hinton says:

    hi all,dont suppose anybody got any pics of harry flynns pub before it was changed to kitty kiernans,thx in advance?

    • keith says:

      Hi Jack,
      Sorry I cant help you in relation to seeking old pics of harry flynns pub before it changed hands, but if you could would you have an idea how long was it named harry flynns for , was it always harry flynns or was there a previous owner to harry and in any case how would you have described the pub in them times…thanks in advance and ill keep my ears and eyes open in relation to those pics…

      • Marian McAra says:

        Was Fad Browne’s for longer than it was Harry Flynn’s, Fad was the Mayor a couple of times, FF. My father drank there for years, had a little snug at the front for the women

  7. Seán Ó Briain says:

    Good post 🙂 I used to have a Sega Master System, so used to get all my games in Teleport. Finns were a rip off!! RTV rentals used to sell consoles aswell.

    Nightclub wise – I used to work on Preachers. Club LA was on the corner, which then became the Rhythm Room, and Masons.. I’m sure there was another name for it. Club LA used to have the spotlights shining up into the sky, you could see it from miles away.

    My parents used to shop in Bescos a lot, so I have fond memories of it. Shame they never did anything with the place.

    I remember there used to be arcade machines in where the Book centre is now. I was fairly young (Just hitting 31), so it’s vague memory.

    Also, the Wimpy before City Square was built.

  8. is their any old Mount Sion School photos available from the 1950s. I sure would like to see some,also looking for photos of Mount Sion flute band from the early to mid 50s by Brother Quinn

  9. nlgbbbblth says:

    Very enjoyable read, thanks. Remember the old guy in Fitzmaurice’s who would patrol the magazines and stop people reading them. Seemed to be permanently dressed in brown.

    See https://apopfansdream.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/rave-telstar-1990/ for some KG Discs memories.

  10. noel hanrahan says:

    loved all of it . an im 55.noel hanrahan

  11. nlgbbbblth says:

    Here’s mix I made – every single one of these was purchased in KG Discs between 1989 and 1991. https://www.mixcloud.com/nlgbbbblth/world-in-motion-my-baggy-years-1989-1991/

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