AN URBAN VOYAGE
by Turtle Bunbury
DUBLIN’S DOCKLANDS, like much of Victorian Dublin itself, have given way to towers of glass and steel, the national conference centre, the Sean O’Casey Bridge (and now, the Samuel Beckett Bridge), sophisticated restaurants and bars, boutique hotels and the promise of theatres, galleries and what amounts to almost a whole new city beyond Butt Bridge. Turtle Bunbury’s Dublin Docklands: An Urban Voyage is a magnificent reminder of what was there before, and the stories attaching to the campshires (the spaces between roads and water), wharves and warehouses. It reaches back into the past, charts the present-day development, and looks to the future. Full of stories, anecdotes and personalities, with lavish illustrations, it makes for enlightening and rewarding reading.
Irish-based travel writer and historian Turtle Bunbury chronicles the rapidly changing face of the Dublin docklands, which has recently been redeveloped into a "blueprint for other cities around the world seeking to convert their run-down inner cities", writes Bunbury. This is a fascinating, visually-driven and insightful book full of facts and entertaining historical trivia. turtlebunbury.com
Book selected for 'If You Do One Thing This Week' column.
BEFORE IT VANISHES:
A member of that talented Rathvilly family, and neighbour to Baltinglass, Turtle Bunbury, is at it again.
Even while his latest book The Irish Pub is being readied at the printers for publication by Thames & Hudson on September 29, Turtle is off researching a new subject– Dublin’s docklands. Entitled 'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage’ [SIC] the book has been commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
As many of the old dockland buildings along the Liffey have already been replaced with grotty blocks of concrete and glass interspaced with a few artistic rubbish bins, Turtle’s book will be a timely collector’s volume for those who value Dublin’s past.
The 1921 fire in the Customs House destroyed a large quantity of irreplaceable historical parish records of births, marriages and deaths going back, in some cases, to the Middle Ages so at least it’s good to read that timely efforts are being made, this time, to preserve in pictures and words, a priceless part of old Dublin before it too vanishes forever.
'The history and evolution of the Dublin Docklands area has been captured impressively in this handsome publication. It is wonderful to have such a comprehensive record of the heritage of the area; the positive effect of recent development and the vision for the future of Docklands all combined in such an attractive book' - John Gormley, TD, Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
"A truly fascinating book which pulls together a wealth of information, past and present. Above all it is an excellent record of the way in which the Docklands area has evolved over generations ... and charts the amazing social and physical regeneration that has transformed the area. Turtle Bunbury deserves enormous credit as the person who pulled all the history, all the stories, all the facts and all the spirit of Docklands into a single comprehensive publication' - Paul Maloney, Chief Executive, Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
'Turtle Bunbury was appointed to produce a history of the Dublin Docklands by a public tender which attracted 14 submissions. During the course of researching and writing this book, he developed an in-depth understanding of the many facets of the Docklands project and created a work which comprehensively covers the history of the area, its people and industries. Most importantly the Docklands Authority and community were hugely impressed with this chronicle of the area, by its accuracy, its depth and presentation. The images, design and overall layout all added up to produce a very attractive publication. We would be delighted to recommend Mr. Bunbury for similar projects.' - Loretta Lambkin, Director of Arts & Marketing, Dublin Docklands Development Authority
'I would like to congratulate you on the release of 'Dublin Docklands'. I am from East Wall and have always been interested in its history. Having read your online pre-publishing research, I am amazed at the extent and thouroughness to which you have gone to, to bring names and stories which I had heard over the years, to life' - Paul Graham, East Wall.
'Heartiest congratulations on your hefty tome. I am a quintessential Dubliner with hundreds of years of Dublin on both my fathers and mothers sides. My education now seems to have had St. Laurence O'Toole air brushed out! One of the many pieces of information that I have picked up from your study. The book is now with my one remaining uncle aged 85, and who is absolutely loving every bit of it. Probably you will get more stories like this.' - John Butterly, Dublin.
‘A great book. A lovely book. I was going to frame it! I brought it over to my brother in England’ – Betty Dempsey, who grew up in Docklands.
'A fabulous production' - Brendan Palmer, former Dublin Chairman and National PRO for the Irish Road Haulage Association.
'A thoroughly interesting and extremely well researched book' - Evan Musgrave, Dublin.
'A fine piece of work,showing considerable application and ability on the author's part. So,chapeaux to Turtle' - Ronan Sheehan, Dublin.
'Very delightful' - Christopher Moriarty, Society of Friends.
'I really enjoyed reading the book- I learnt a lot myself! Congratulations on it - great achievement!' - Lar Bradshaw, Dublin.
'Many congrats on yet another wonderful publication' - Fred Hanna, Florida.
'A stunning book,it's making its way 'round my family and East Wall - I know, they should go out and buy their own-thanks again for signing it' - Brendan Laird, Dublin.
'A splendid tour de force' - Cormac F. Lowth, Maritime Institute of Ireland.
'Well done, it is a work for the generations' - Michael Purcell, Carlow.
'Excellent' - Ann Mullen, Dublin.
'I love it, lots of little gems in it and so interesting to read about the area and people in it or gone from it!' - Muriel Kellett, Dublin.
'Wonderful' - Joe Walsh, Dublin.
'I just want you to know that I am getting none of my weekend objectives achieved as I am getting so much pleasure reading your book in depth. So wonderfully written and such a trove of wonderful history and information ... have been reading all to my mum and she says thank you and well done too!!' - Sarah Owens, Dublin.
'A wonderful book about the Dublin Docklands. Truely a great historical read' - Steven Rowe, Dublin.
'Excellent piece of work!' - Michael Brennan, Carlow Website
'Looks great - well done - top marks' - Stu Carroll, Eden Quay, Dublin.
'Intriguing and very readable. Amazing what can happen once you wall the river. They should provide you with a grace and favour flat for all the work you put into the research!' - Sir Richard Butler, Carlow.
'Beautifully produced' - Catherine Anne Heaney, Dublin.
'I am extremely pleased with it - the quality of the print is terrific' - Barry Keogh, Dublin.
'I recently read your Dublin Docklands book and enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially the story about the Crimean Banquet - for all the returning soldiers - not the high ranking ones as is more usual, but the rank and file. Well done!' - Sharon Oddie Brown, Canada.
'I am really happy with the book. It looks very good ... very informative ... urban project like the Dublin Docklands always have my interest and it is great to see and read all the history behind it. I am very proud that I could contribute to it and I am showing it to all my friends/colleagues and family!' - Arco Ardon, The Netherlands.
'Looks fantastic and I'm sure when I get the chance to read it, I'll be able to say the same for the stories' - Adam Green, Celbridge.
'A very nice production' - John Wallace, Dublin.
'I just want to tell you how very much i enjoy reading your docklands book. What a great amount of research went into that. Thanks again and congratulations' - Meike Blackwell, Co Mayo.
'Love the book, very good design indeed, top job' - Hugo Jellett, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
'A very impressive publication' - Colleen McFadden, Dublin.
'An amazing achievement' - Lochlann O'Mearain, Co Mayo.
'Beautifully presented ... a fantastic and important historical representation of an area rich with history and folklore. As you read about the various Community’s around the docklands you realise it was an area long neglected and now has been much restored and renewed. I hope the DDDA give a copy to all schools and Community’s around the city. I think its a book you can be very proud of and will be important not only as a excellent read but as a research tool for anyone looking to write about the Docklands' - Aiden McCabe, Irish Ships and Shipping, Dublin.
'Excellent' - Joe Mooney, East Wall, Dublin.
'Super' - David Moloney, Dubin City.
'My mother and my sister (who worked on the B&I ferries for a few years) would not let me have the book until they had finished reading it. I was delighted by your book and it is something that I would have loved to have done myself' - William Murphy, Dublin.
'Loved the book, well done, its a cracker' - Terry Fagan, Dublin Folklore.