Cashel Heritage Centre last Saturday: Joanne Hughes looked up from a table spattered with glitter, “it’s been brilliant” she said as yet another child came forward to make a salt dough decoration.
“I baked 120 of the decorations and so far” she looked down to see how many were left “we have had 108 children through the workshop in the last two hours.” Joanne had been working flat out since noon when herself and Sean Laffey of the Cashel Biodiversity Group took a walking tour to the town walls in John’s Street to see the Hackett effigies.
Back in the Heritage Centre Mary Walsh on the table next to Joanne’s was equally busy and splattered in glitter herself, her forte was ‘caligraphy with kids’ and she was surrounded by little ones making festive book marks and paper angels for the tops of Christmas trees. Out in the corridor Jean O’ Gorman and her daughter were assembling table displays from holly, ivy and stuff you’ll find growing wild around the town. She was busy, “we ran out of oases for the flower arranging by 3 o’clock and had to call to Cashel Flowers for more, the response has been amazing” she told us.
Just then a very tall person stopped by, the brightest green fairy I’ve ever seen, she was on her way out to the plaza where the Cork Circus had been entertaining crowds of children since midday.
We caught up with Danger Boy, perched on a monocycle, looking like Jedward on a bad hair day, he was juggling some handy looking knives. The Cashel Arts fest backed by the Chamber of Commerce had brought this very colourful street theatre to the town and the weather was ideal for their shows, which ran for four hours.
The plaza was ringing out to the sounds of Christmas music, Cashel Community School’s CD being the musical hit of the afternoon.
It was a chance for Sean Leahy to try out the newly purchased PA system , one of the legacy items from this year’s EU Rural Charter. He thanked Tipperary Leader for their help in buying the equipment and from what we heard on Saturday it produces a superb and very clear sound.
Back indoors, Geraldine Laffey was making pomanders, which she told us were medieval air fresheners, made from fresh oranges and cloves, they gave the Heritage Centre a seasonal scent. She was busy too and twice ran out of jaffas. Petra Leonard was knee deep in corn dollies, showing children how decorations where made in the middle ages, using brown paper and raffia instead of straw and each child got to take away a paper angel.
Sean Laffey was working with children making miniature stained glass windows and painting jam jars to the same effect.
“The idea was to get over the notion that in the middle ages the only place to see vivid colour and the best light show was in the church.” Many children walked away from Sean’s table with a Caroler’s Lamp, made from recycled jam jars, each with a candle to shine through the coloured panels the kids had made on the sides.”
It was great to see a number of teenagers helping out with those craft workshops, thanks to Louise, Ciara and Heather for putting in the effort. Olivia Quinlan of the Heritage Trust was on hand to thank everyone, especially Carmel and Michael and all staff of the Heritage Centre who were on hand to help with the workshops. ”They were so generous with their time that it gave a true sense true sense of Christmas to the event.”
Olivia had special thanks to South Tipperary County Council, Cashel Arts Fest and the Cashel Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring and organizing the out door events on the Plaza.
She said Centre’s Indoor Heritage day and the Town Walls Walk, was sponsored by Tipperary County Council under their adopt a Monument Scheme and the Heritage Council for their continuing support of heritage events in Cashel.
She wished every one a safe and happy Christmas from the Cashel Heritage Trust and said there would be more Heritage and Monument days in the town in 2012.