Castlebar factories revisited in new radio series

Another exciting series of radio documentaries on the different aspects of Castlebar town will commence shortly on CRCfm. This new series is a follow-up to the highly successful Hey Days & Ould Stocks. In total four documentaries will be broadcast that will trace the history of Castlebar’s bacon factory, hat factory, the town’s cinemas and dance halls.

The first programme is to be broadcast on Thursday November 27 and will focus on the Castlebar hat factory. The following Thursday (December 4 ) a documentary on Castlebar’s bacon factory is to be broadcast with the programmes on the town’s cinemas and dance hall being aired on December 11 and 18 respectively.

Listeners will be treated to some interesting tales and stories about the make-up of Castlebar during these times and with a wide range of contributors the programme makers are confident that the series will prove to be extremely popular.

Series producer Ronan Courell has said that a significant amount of research and pre-production work has gone into the project and the four programmes will be a lasting testament to the importance of these various aspects of life in Castlebar for its people.

“Details on how the bacon factory and hat factory actually operated have been fairly undocumented in audio form up to now and our priority was to talk to the people who were at the coal face of both the hat factory and bacon factory. Their stories are fascinating in many respects and I hope that in decades to come the information they imparted to us will prove valuable from an archival perspective.”

Mr Courell went on to say that the programmes on both the dance hall and cinema scene in Castlebar are an intriguing insight into the social scene in Castlebar during the 50s and 60s in particular as the town’s residents enjoyed an array of entertainment during what were predominantly bleak times in the west of Ireland.

“I think the element of simplicity comes through in the programmes on the cinemas and dance halls around Castlebar at that time. Money might well have been scarce but the locals made the most of things and they certainly made sure that their social lives didn’t suffer as a result.”

Transmission times of the programmes are as follows:

November 27 at 5pm The Hat Factory

December 4 at 5 pm Castlebar Bacon Factory

December 11 at 5pm The Cinemas of Castlebar

December 18 at 5pm The Dance Halls of Castlebar.

Further details on the series are available by contacting Ronan Courell by email [email protected] or www.radiomayo.com The project was supported by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland Sound and Vision Fund.

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