N&S Column 5/2/13 – You don’t know what you got til it’s gone


There’s a certain type of nostalgia that’s usually only seen through rose tinted glasses.  It makes you yearn for people, places or things that you once had but subsequently lost.  You might remember an old flame and all the magnificent things that they did for you, while conveniently ignoring all the reasons why you’re no longer together.  It’s what Joni Mitchell sang about in “Big Yellow Taxi”.

This week, via our favourite tools of social media, Facebook and Twitter, I asked some locals what places, that are no longer in Waterford, that they miss the most.

Back in the 1990s there were two pubs that were immensely popular in Waterford City – Egans and The Old Stand.  Every Waterford person over a certain age will be able to tell you about a night they had in one of these bars.  I could tell you about the time when a good friend of mine, Jamie O Brien went missing for most of the night and was subsequently found asleep in the toilets.  I could tell you that, but I won’t because it wouldn’t be fair on Jamie.  I watched a lot of memorable soccer matches on the big screens of The Old Stand on a Saturday afternoon while the women walked around shopping in the rain.  These were the two most popular answers that were given in our nostalgia survey, they really were two beloved establishments.   However, there is a reason why they closed in the first place – they ran out of customers.  When I hear people talking about how much they wish Egans and The Old Stand would reopen, I rarely hear them talk about how empty the bars used to be in their last two years.  The painful truth is that we turned our back on the pubs we loved when they needed us the most, and now they’re gone forever.

There were a lot of other shops/bars/restaurants that were mentioned, all of which are guaranteed to get your nostalgic thoughts tingling.  Remember Wyley’s shop on John Street?  Course you do.  It was run by two women who I’m convinced used to sleep in the stock room in sleeping bags before opening bright and early the next day.  I genuinely do not remember anyone else but those two women working in Wyleys, and sure they were just lovely.

What about Leahys?  People talking about their cream cakes like they were hand made by Jesus himself.  To be honest, I’m not convinced they weren’t made by Jesus because they were divine, and sadly missed.

Fitzmaurices got a few mentions too – a wonderland of games, papers, magazines, sweets and abandoned children.  It was located next door to another popular mention – Teleport Computers.   In the days before gamestop and Xtravision, this was our gaming heaven.  Albeit a pretty mediocre, 16 bit, commodore 64 heaven.

One of the surprise additions to people’s back to the future wish list was a small little eatery by the name of New York Pie Co.  It may have only had about 6 items on the menu but it was, as far as we were concerned, a higher class of drunken culinary divilment.  “Throw a load of wedges and chicken in a roll there boss…and sure give me one of those pies too”…we would shout after a feed of drinks in the Junction.   The New York Pie Co was ahead of its time, tragically unappreciated by us all, until it was too late.

Remember Strand Electric?  Walking up that big flight of stairs to get the new releases in their big black plastic boxes.  “Have you got your card with you?”  (Pictured)  “Make sure you rewind that before you bring it back will you?  You seem to keep forgetting…”

Strap yourself in to the delorean, we’re about to hit 88 miles per hour.  Here is a list of the places that you told us you miss most from our fair city:

The Bowling Alley on the Cork Road, Cassidy’s, The Chuck Wagon, Darrers, Quinnsworth, Crazy Prices, Café Luna, Burger Land, Bescos, Club LA, Preachers, Breens, Fat Sams, Fitzgeralds, Broad Street Shopping Centre, Sizzlers, Shefflins, Skippers, The L&N, Twamleys, Molloys, KG Discs, Peppermint Grove, Burtons, Roches Stores, The Roxy, Metroland, and one which was news to me…a roller disco by the name of Flyers.  My parents must have known about new born foal like abilities on skates so I was never brought to such places, but boy does it sound fun.   If you want to join in the nostalgic fun you can tweet me @Deisesupes or drop us a line on the News & Star facebook page.


About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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1 Response to N&S Column 5/2/13 – You don’t know what you got til it’s gone

  1. Henry Nugent says:

    Two very good articles. I would have to agree with your point that we stopped using a lot of those places. I also think the day of the local is long gone. We don’t miss the water until the well runs dry as they say. Some great times were had in all of the above bars and cafe’s.

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