Our heritage wall is taking shape

BILL BROWNE

Published 11/07/2013 | 05:26

Willie and Davy Keane restoring the railway axles ahead of their being incorporated into the new memorial wall.

WORK is nearing completion on a memorial wall in Fermoy celebrating the town's rich sub aquatic and history, and its links with the railway.

WORK is nearing completion on a memorial wall in Fermoy celebrating the town's rich sub aquatic and history, and its links with the railway.

The idea for the wall, which will be situated adjacent to the Blackwater Sub Aqua Clubhouse on the Rathealy Road, was first mooted following the recent discovery of a number of items by divers on the bed of the River Blackwater.

Over the years club members have discovered many items of historical interest in the river ranging from old medicine bottles to coins to wooden beams believed to have come from the original Fermoy Bridge.

Recent finds have also include an axle and wheels from an old railway cart discovered under the old Fermoy Viaduct and an old headstone found close to the local weir.

It is believed that the axle and wheels may have come from a horse drawn work carriage that would have carried out maintenance on the old Fermoy to Mallow railway line prior to its closure in 1967.

While it has proven difficult to date the headstone due to its worn condition, experts believe that it may have been used in the construction of a stone bride over the river as had been the custom in the past.

These items will be incorporated into the wall along with a storyboard containing background information into the finds and photographs of their recovery and restoration.

Club spokesman Timmy Carey said a group of dedicated volunteers had been worked hard over recent weeks to build the wall and restore the old items that will be incorporated into it.

"It has been an interesting project to work on and our thanks go in particular to Eamon Nelligan who has helped build the wall on a voluntary basis and John Fenton who sandblasted the axle and wheels prior to painting," said Timmy.

"Our finances are limited so the club greatly appreciates the voluntary efforts of everyone who has helped out with this project," he added.

Timmy said the wall is two-thirds completed and it is hoped to officially unveil it at a family fun day before the end of the summer.

"While this wall will be of huge advantage to the club in terms of access and egress to the river for our boats, it will also celebrate part of Fermoy's rich heritage and greatly enhance of the key approach roads into the town," he said.

Corkman

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