This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at

Tag: May Naylor

Aprons and Whiskey Jars

Photo: Helen Vaughan, Mallow Camera Club


Aprons, a Short History

I am revisiting Cyril Kelly’s charming picture of his late mother, May Naylor in her Church Street shop.

The display in the background is a line of aprons of the type many women wore in the 1950s and 60s.

Aprons are now a thing of the past. Here, from the internet, I’m posting a history of aprons.

“I don’t think most children today know what an apron is. The principle use of Mom’s or Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.

Along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the henhouse, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the range.

When visitors came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, she wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot stove. Turf and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples. When unexpected visitors drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: Mom’s and Grandma’s used to set hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love.”

(Source Facebook page…A Slice of Life)


Ship Ahoy!

Photo and caption by Ita Hannon

Sarah M anchored off Scattery. A livestock carrier from Turkey.


Whiskey Jars

Last week I included some of Dan Hartnett’s collection of whiskey jars. Then I’m strolling on William Street and there in Behan’s window is another display of these fascinating containers. They must have been a nightmare to wash out . The opening is very small. All in all they seem to me to be badly designed with no spout for pouring or handles for lifting.

This one is super sized


Listowel Youth Club

Dave O’Sullivan delved into the papers and came up with a few stories about Listowel’s Youth Club.



Patricia Jones and her husband and family historian, David, are very grateful to everyone who took an interest in their search for information on Patricia’s Listowel Connection. David is busy exploring the lines suggested by you, Kay and Eily. He is now back on track after a little wander into Moran rather than Horan territory.

The joys of genealogy!


Ballybunion and Listowel

Ballybunion at Christmas 2021


Neighbours and Friends

Cyril Kelly sent the photo to Eamonn Dillon and Eamonn sent it to me. It’s a picture of Church Street neighbours and shopkeepers, Liam Dillon (Eamonn’s father) and Mai Naylor (Cyril’s mother).


Sign of the Times

Lynch’s Coffee Shop is now reopened


New Business on Leahy’s Corner


A Poem of Hope for an End to This

Covid Sonnet

John McGrath (published in John’s anthology, After Closing)

The world has pinned us with a warning glance,

the kind our mothers gave us long ago,

the look that was designed to let us know

that this might be our last and final chance.

So grounded, we can only hope and pray 

as, day by day, we inch away from fear

and tiptoe towards a future far from clear

our wounded planet showing us the way,

that voices raised in ignorance and greed

may yet be drowned by kindnesses and care,

together we may rise above despair,

united we will find the strength we need

as, all for one, we reach beyond the pain

and dare to dream tomorrow once again.


The Holy Season closes in St. Mary’s, Listowel


Memories of the Movies

News that the cinema has closed brought up some cinema memories for blog followers.

So sad to see the Astor closing . It was a huge part of growing up for me . Introduced us to a fantasy world where we believe we were Cowboys / Indians ie The Durango Kid, Johnny McBrown , The Lone Ranger or Tonto, Elvis movies always guaranteed a full house . I remember a Chubby Checker Movie where every one was on their feet doing the Twist. Peter Cushing , Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff scaring us to death. What a great time it was. Noel Roche

I accompanied my grandmother to the matinee every Sunday. It was her outing. But for me on Monday at school the question was who went to the cinema yesterday. I had to stand up then my hands were put on the desk palm side down and I got wacked with the bamboo across my knuckles. That was my punishment for watching Hoppalong Cassidy with my gran. Not good memories. Maria Sham

So sad I remember in my day it was a great meeting place and we did not have much else going on in Listowel at night. It is definitely a sign of the times. Frankie Chute Phillips


Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén