Cork’s cycling history on show in photo exhibition until August 19

A photographic exhibition of Cork’s cycling history can be viewed daily in the City Library on Grand Parade until next Saturday, August 19.

The exhibition was launched yesterday with Cork Cycling Campaign vice-chairperson Kevin Long giving a talk on the history of cycling in Cork for Heritage Week. The talk included an outline of Ireland’s first cycling club, the Lough Rovers, the city’s famous messenger boys and the volume of cyclists at shift changes at Ford.

The campaign said that Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy attended and praised Kevin’s research which has taken several years.

As part of the Europe-wide Cycling Cities Initiative, Long wants Cork to join Munich, Johannesburg and Rotterdam who have each published histories of their city’s cycling history as part of the project led by the University of Eindhoven. 

Chairperson of Cork Cycling Campaign, Helen Guinan, said: “Kevin’s talk was inspiring. It highlighted how cycling was an important part of Cork society and a key means of transport for decades before the car took over. Looking back at how cycling was valued by the people of Cork can show us the way to appreciate the role of bikes into the future. For the sake of our congested city, we need to fall in love with the bike again in  Cork.” 

Also in attendance at the launch was Farranree resident Finbarr Bevan, who was a messenger boy when he was fifteen.

He spoke to the Cork Cycling Campaign about the importance of messenger boys to businesses in the city. Bevan said: “I worked for Mr Bresnan, a butcher in the English Market. Every morning he’d give me nine pence and send me round the corner for a cup of hot milk and a scone. Then five or six of us would be sent up to Montenotte with meat.” 

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