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The clock in St Luke’s church

Many people in Douglas will be familiar with the clock in the spire of St Luke’s church. When walking through Douglas Community park, or supervising children in the playground, many of us will have heard the clock strike the hour. Installed in 1889, the clock has struck every hour since, keeping good time for the people of Douglas.

The clock was the gift of Miss Mary Reeves, the eldest of 3 unmarried daughters who inherited the estate of their father, the merchant, Thomas Sommerville Reeves. Living in Tramore House, which now nestles behind the houses in Reeveswood, Mary and her sisters Henrietta and Susannah spent their time and money on good works. Chief among their interests was their own parish church in Douglas. The energetic Mary was a driving force behind the present church building, even though as a woman, she was barred from holding any administrative office in the parish. But as a wealthy donor, Mary was hard to ignore.

When the church opened in 1875, the spire existed only in the architect’s plans. The Reeves sisters fundraised indefatigably for this building project, organising flower shows and fairs to collect money. When construction stalled in 1888, Mary and Henrietta offered 100 each to the building fund, if the spire was finished by May 1889. With guaranteed funds and a tight deadline, the parish was sufficiently motivated to finish the job on time. In a final gesture of generosity, Mary Reeves donated the clock and bell so that the spire could be functional as well as beautiful. It is said that the canny Mary insisted the clock be placed on the northern side of the spire, facing towards her own house on the Douglas Road. Thus she would always be able to read the time on the clock she purchased. We do not know why Mary chose to purchase the clock from a Leeds firm, William Potts and Sons, rather than a Cork maker like Mangan’s. Along with the organ, which was also made in Leeds, the clock hints at personal connections between Douglas and northern England.

Both organ and clock now need restoration, and the parish has decided that, after 128 years, the clock requires expert care. Unlike many nineteenth-century public clocks, it was never mechanised, being wound every week by a parishioner. But the bell is now silent, following the clock’s removal by Stokes Clocks of MacCurtain Street (as shown in the photographs). The clock face also requires attention, and the parish plans to repaint the hands and numbers, if funds are available. Sadly, there is a shortage of spinster heiresses in Douglas today, but the Rector is always happy to hear from potential donors who would like to help the parish maintain this public clock. When Stokes have finished their work, the bell will strike the hour across Douglas once more, hopefully for another 128 years.

The Rector, Ven. Adrian Wilkinson, can be contacted at 021 4891539.

Want to find out a bit more about the history of Douglas? Why not start here: http://douglastidytowns.ie/heritage-trail/.

Douglas Flood Relief Scheme Public Information Day, April 4

A Public Information Day on the Douglas Flood Relief Scheme (including Togher Culvert) will be held in Douglas Community Centre on Tuesday 4th April 2017 from 3pm to 9pm.

The preferred design option for the Flood Relief Scheme has been progressed further and Cork County Council is currently preparing an application to An Bord Pleanála under Section 175 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 for development works requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Members of the public are invited to attend the information day to submit comments and make their views known to the Project Design Team between 3pm and 9pm on Tuesday 4th April.

Donal Dempsey R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death today of Donal Dempsey R.I.P. one of the most dearest and dedicated members of Douglas Tidy Towns.

Donal was a well known and liked person in our community but it was as a hard working member of Douglas Tidy Towns that we got to know him well over many years. He was a familiar figure in Grange as he took on the job of keeping that area clean and litter free. Whilst we meet regularly every Saturday, Donal could be seen at work any day of the week. He also single-handedly painted the black and white markings on the roundabouts of Douglas and despite knowing he was very ill, he came out this Spring and assisted with the flower planting of containers and was down on his hands and knees weeding the village of Douglas. Donal died peacefully in Marymount Hospice.

We will all miss him and extend our sympathy to his relatives and friends. It can be truly said of him “Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann”.
tidy-towns-dynamic-duo-donal-and-marian

AGM 2016

Our AGM will take place on Saturday October 22 (tomorrow) @ 10.30am. Instead of litter picking you are all invited to some tea, coffee and biscuits in the meeting room in the new community building. Let’s chat about the last year as well as the year(s) ahead.

New Street Signs

Douglas Tidy Towns would like to upgrade (bilingually) the signage in the area and have identified the following. At our suggestion Cork County Council have indicated their willingness to erect street signs at these locations:

Douglas East (An) Dúglas Thoir
Douglas West (An) Dúglas Thiar
Church Street Sráid na hEaglaise
St. Columba’s Terrace Ardán Cholmcille
Church Road Bóthar na hEaglaise
Tramway Terrace Ardán an Trambhealaigh
Old Carrigaline Road Seanbhóthar Charraig Uí Leighin
St Patrick’s Terrace Ardán Phádraig Naofa
Galwey’s Lane Lána Galwey
The Pond Bank Bruach na Linne
Churchyard Lane Lána na Reilige
Fingerpost Roundabout Timpeallán an Mhéir Eolais

Douglas Tidy Towns would welcome input from the community in this regard. A proposal to name the walkway from East to West beside the N40 flyover as

River Walk / Bealach na hAbhann

is also being considered. Comments etc. to Douglas Tidy Towns, ℅ Douglas Community Centre, Church Road, Douglas or info@douglastidytowns.ie.