Movietone News Reel

A lot of us have been enjoying the Pathe news reels. Michael Wood sends in another link to Movietone news reel, which is really something special. The video shows the son of the 8th Viscount, soon to be 9th Viscount, with his new wife Sheila Wingfield arriving at Powerscourt in 1933. They are drawn up the avenue by some tenants, and both the groom and his father give speeches to the tenantry gathered there. The 8th Viscount mentions that a similar welcome was given to the 7th Viscount for his arrival home after his marriage in 1864. Interestingly, he says one of those present in 1933 was also present in 1864 – does anyone know who this might be?

The Irish Times* reported that on 6th of July, 1864, there were “Rejoicings at Enniskerry” with a reception to welcome home the newlywed couple and that:

every tenant on the estate seemed determined to show by the zeal and warmth with which he took part in the demonstration, his respect and admiration for his young lord… No stronger evidence could be had of the esteem with which the family is regarded than the grand ovation which was made in honour of his first appearance of the bride of Lord Powerscourt at the home of his ancestors. It was a reception worthy the days of Ireland’s happiest times, when the brides of Irish chieftains were met by whole clans, and escorted to their future homes, with all the pomp and honour befitting their rank.

The route from the Scalp had a series of triumphal arches “bearing mottoes appropriate to the occasion“. The article mentions Powerscourt Arms, which had the arms of both Leicester and Powerscourt displayed (the Viscountess was the daughter of the Duke of Leicester, and the Leicester Arms would later be an inn in the village), the house of Mr Buckley, Mr John Byrne and Mr John Williams. Mr Thomas Walker, aged over 90, was the oldest tenant on the estate, and made the opening address. In the August 10th, 1864 issue, the newly wed Powerscourts threw a ball to thank the tenantry for their welcoming celebrations: “Workmen had engaged to erect a large tent, and this, adjoining the mansion, formed a very handsome ballroom, which was decorated with festoons of flowers“. Over 500 tenants, “including wives sons and daughters” were invited.

The link to the site is here – you need to register, but this is free. Once registered, search for Powerscourt, and the movie is number 2240 – “Irish Couple Receive Medieval Welcome“. It is a real treat.

While on the topic of Sheila Wingfield, featured in this movie, here is a link to an RTE radio interview with Anne Roper and Penny Perrick, who made a documentary and wrote a book, respectively, on Sheila’s life. It is a really interesting interview (see entry for Tuesday 20th February) – you need to have Real Player on your computer to play RTE podcasts. The interview starts about 5 minutes in.

*The Irish Times, 6 Jul, 1864, page 3; 11 Aug, 1864, page 4.

9 thoughts on “Movietone News Reel

  1. Love the site especially the school photos my brother Brendan Murphy (rip) in one of them. Also see my neighbours Noel and Kevin Keogh in them. I also was one of the chosen by Miss Smithers. I used to do her shopping after school and got a brown truppence on friday or if she was in good mood got a sixpence. She also liked to humiliate me in front of the whole class by making me sing and I hadn’t a note in my head. Mary Tracey in the Acton’s Post Office used to get us to delivery telegrams and we got a whole bar of chocolate for it, lovely memory. Do you remember the Processions down the village from the Church and the prayers around the Town Clock and you got to wear your Communion clothes again, ah it was lovely at the time.

    Does anyone remember Miss Sweeney in the Library. She was some piece of work. You really got a hiding from her if she was in a mood.

    Once again thank you for the site and its nice to visit it from time to time.


    Kathleen O’Rourke ( nee Murphy of Cookstown)

    • Hi Kathleen
      I do remember being in the procession down around the Townclock throwing petals along the road from little baskets we held.

      It was Mrs Cameron (was she a Carr before she was married?) in the library when we were growing up.

      great to hear your memories

      Úna (Wogan)

      • I remember the procession very well. I was an alterboy then along with Seamus Doyle, John Murphy (rip) SeanWoodcock and Jack Behan, it was in the early fifties. My father (Tom) was the one who would build the little alter at the top of the steps facing the school and Magees butchers shop. Father Doyle was the cc. then and Canon Kennedy the pp.
        Tommy Delaney.

  2. I remember the procession to the Town clock very well, it would have been in the early fifties. I was an alterboy along with Seamus Doyle, Jack Behan, John Murphy (rip) and Sean Woodcock.Father Doyle was the curate then and Canon kennedy was the pp. My father (also Tom) was the one who would build the little alter up on the clock steps facing Magees and the school, he also for many years assembled the nativity scene in the doorway leading into the belfry inside the front door of the chapel.
    Tommy Delaney.

    • Just noticed this web site – I remember being an alter boy in
      Enniskerry with others mentioned – Happy Days – also recall
      cermony in “town clock” with Fr Doyle celebrant. Many years
      later I often saw him going in and out of Beaumont Conv Home near where I live. Enniskerry still one of the nicest
      villages around. JB.

  3. I remember the procession to the town clock both as alterboy and one time as a member of the guard of honer from the F.C.A.BRAY.I once seen a pohto of the guard of honer on the day.I wounder if anyone has it

  4. Hi,
    Does anybody here have any info/history of the house, now called Scalp Farm, on Barnaslingan Lane. I would love any stories or info on who lived there etc. The house is accross the valley from the start off Killegar near the Scalp, a granite house which now has large Scots Pines to the front and coach house to the back.

    If anybody knows anything I would love to hear.

    Thanking you,


  5. Just logged on and saw Jack Behans comments on alter boys and growing up in Enniskerry in the fifties, “yes Jack they happy times” I was glad to see your reply.

    Tommy Delaney.

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