OUR TOWN c. 1850 - 2000


This picture was taken in 1996 prior to the development of Hinds* Square.

In 1850, the immediate lessor of this property was Mrs Harriet O'Brien, evidently a lady of some means as she also had four other properties in this terrace. Between the 1850's and 1880, the house on this site was occupied by John Hensy and also a Daniel Delaney (probably the tailor of that name listed in a directory from 1870). From at least 1884, Stephen Brandon - whose family had been in business in the town since at least 1837 - had a harness-making business here. In 1901, his son Charles, a saddler, lived here with his wife Margaret (a native of Castlecomer), his mother Martha and brother George. The business employed two apprentices; Andrew Carter and Joseph Haslam, both Maryborough natives.

From 1909 to 1916 the area occupied by Hinds Square today was known as Coffey’s Yard where Ballyragget native Michael Coffey (formerly of the Marble Works at Mount Jerome Cemetery) operated the Maryborough Monumental Works. In 1917 the business was taken over by James Lloyd & Co, Architectural and Monumental sculptors, but, in 1923, was put up for sale.

The gateway in the picture subsequently led into Hinds' farmyard. I have no memory of this, but more than one of my informants recalled cattle being driven from Hinds' land on the Old Knockmay Road - around what is today KeaLew Business Park and eir (formerly the Irish Worsted Mills building) - out on to Grattan Street, through the Square, down Main Street, into that farmyard for milking.

But what I do remember are the advertising hoardings overlooking that gate. Mounted on the gables of the houses on either side, - or were they free-standing? Anyone remember? – they advertised coming attractions in the Coliseum Cinema in Bull Lane (aka Coliseum Lane) straight across the street. New posters − large colourful lettering only, no images − went up each week and I can still see your man climbing the ladder, armed with a bucket of paste and a sweeping brush....


*   The name frequently appears online as 'Hynds' Square. I don't know who came up with that, because the commemorated family was always ‘Hinds’. Those of you as old as myself will remember that eminent townie ‘Griff’ Hinds who lived at 27, Church Street and died in 1973 aged 100