Cobh Tidy Towns Click with Cobh Camera Club

By Claire O’Donoghue

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Cobh Tidy Towns has come together with Cobh Camera Club to highlight the architectural wonders in the community and showcase the heritage, history and importance of these features not just for the present, but for future generations. The free Photographic Exhibit is open to the public for viewing until June 5 in Cobh Library. A simple idea that advertises such rich history. There is also plenty of information available to help give context to the Exhibition for those viewing the photos on display, showing why these architectural gems are so significant today, yesterday and tomorrow.
Speaking with The East Cork Journal Ruth Ring, Chairman of Cobh Tidy Towns said “This is a collaborative project between Cobh Camera Club and Cobh Tidy Towns. It is a Photographic Exhibition of the special architecture which we have in Cobh highlighting, in particular, the architectural conservation areas designated by Cork County Council”.

Ruth Ring of Cobh Tidy Towns also said “We, as a group, do more than pick up litter. We recognise the value of our streetscapes, are involved in the painting of the town, shop fronts and public realm areas. We were thrilled when the Camera Club came on board for this unique showcase of the local architecture”. Old photographs from times long gone are placed beside recently taken photographs. . It is captivating to see, through the lens, the evidence of how little the streetscapes have changed. The same streets, 100 years apart, with the only difference being horses and carts in one and cars in the other. Through their expertise, the Cobh Camera Club have truly recaptured the angle and scope of the vistas seen in the old photographs with the landmark background structures still identical to what was there so long ago. Ms. Ring continued, “We have to mind it for the people coming after us. If these pictures were to be taken again in 100 years, we would hope that same landscape is still there”.

Mona Hallinan, Architectural Conservation Officer for Cork County Council, opened the Exhibition. Ms. Hallinan is responsible for the designation of conservation areas, buildings and sites. She spoke about how these structures are so important, both culturally and historically. She emphasised the need to treasure and look after them as they, in turn, have looked after Cobh and given such value to its place as a heritage town. It is “food for the soul” for Mona, being able to see that a community cares so much about their town, its buildings and streetscapes for now and into the future. She said “It is a fascinating Exhibition and a very positive contribution to the architectural heritage of Cobh”.

Cobh Tidy Towns and other Tidy Towns Groups across the country, recently received a grant from Community and Rural Development of €1000 to celebrate 60 years of the Tidy Towns Initiative. On Thursday, the benefits of that grant were realised with the arrival of the long awaited telescope placed on the promenade. From that vantage point it's possible to look across at Spike Island, see wildlife on the water, the Cathedral and along the harbour. Ms. Ring stated that the committee “were delighted with the addition, with allows a new view of the area”.

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