Mrs. Margaret Mooney of Farmhill Road has written a great memoir for us, which was launched at our Coffee Morning last Monday. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. We would like to thank Mrs. Mooney very much for sharing her memories of the area with us all.
The History of Roebuck Park Through The Eyes Of Margaret Mooney
To get to Goatstown in 1950 you took the number 62 single decker bus from Burgh Quay. It went through Ranelagh, Clonskeagh, and a winding narrow road to Goatstown, where we got off on Larchfield Road for Roebuck Park. We were all squashed on the bus (standing room only) where we met lots of neighbours. In that era Seán Lemass had been improving the status of our country and made provision for new housing estates in Dublin suburbia and provinces. Roebuck was one such estate. The Murray family originally owned the land where Roebuck Park sits today, and sold a number of acres for construction of affordable housing.
Roebuck Park House, 1960’s. Photo taken by Mrs. Margaret Mooney
When we got off the bus at Larchfield Road there was O‘Brien’s shop (on O’Brien’s farm) where you could buy milk and bread. Sheeran’s shop was the terminus for the 62 bus. We bought our newspapers and most items there. The Goat Pub was opposite, previously owned by Traynors. It was a bona fide pub, where you could drink after-hours (the official closing time being 11pm). It was a long time before Pat Quinn opened in Stillorgan Shopping Centre, and then we had Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt for our general shopping. We did have in the meantime our local shops forming. We had Tom Finnegan, Pharmacist, and we had Maurice Coakley’s newsagent and general provisions. We also had Griffith’s Post Office and general provision. Lynam’s now run Roebuck Park Post Office. In the news at the time (1953) Hillary and Tenzing successfully climbed Mount Everest, and there was a great interest in it.
In 1962 television became commonplace. We all had terrestrial aerials erected on the roofs of our houses. To get good reception it depended on the weather. We got a television set because my husband was in the electrical business. If there was interest in a football game we had all the neighbours in to view it. In the beginning we had a sitting room, dining room and kitchen, until it became the television room. This changed the order of the house.
As regards our neighbours, we all got on very well. When I had my first baby in 1957 my neighbour took her for the night to let me rest. Wasn’t that a good turn. We seemed to have more time then to be friendly with neighbours. Time went by more slowly.
At this time we were waiting a number of years for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to take over our estate, and provide us with footpaths and telephones. We badly needed it then. We had no telephone until 1958 – we were on a waiting list. At that time we had no fridge or washing machine. They hadn’t yet come into vogue. My husband said I could have one or the other.
Our estate looks so well today, with all due thanks to our Roebuck Residents’ Association. Back in the 1950‘s I don’t recall any garden centres. We went to Watson’s of Killiney to buy plants (dwarf conifers for example).
We always had a car provided by the firm my husband worked for, so transport was never a problem. Later we had a spare car, a Prefect, in the garage that I could use. There was very little traffic on the road then, or in the estate. A few Anglias, Morris Minors, Hillman Imps, and Baby Austins. No Hondas etc. in those days. We didn’t have much traffic overhead either. We didn’t have the big jumbo jets we have now.
Before Rosemount estate was built we used to walk through a lane on Farmhill Drive across the fields towards the end of Taney Road and up to Holy Cross Church Dundrum to mass on Sunday. Christchurch Taney was opposite Taney Rise, as we now know it. It had a large successful congregation. My husband attended it, and he loved it.
Think of schools. There was no such one as Our Lady’s Grove. St. Anne’s Convent Miltown and The Sacred Heart School Mount Anville Road were the nearest. Of course Dundrum Parish School was always there.
Just to mention, there was a sign in a field on Goatstown Road called Harlech which read “Beware of the Bull”. I have a photo to prove this.
Other memoirs, photos, essays etc. welcome!