The 1940s to 1960s saw huge developments in the use of electrical appliances in households across Ireland, and the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area was no exception. The radio would soon find itself competing with the television. Often rented rather than purchased, viewing special events was a huge social occasion for the community, with neighbours flocking to those few households lucky enough to have a TV set. The introduction of fridge freezers would also have a gradual but significant impact on how people shopped, slowly but surely making the ‘ritual’ daily visit to your local butcher, fishmonger or greengrocer unnecessary. This shift in shopping habits would not only have an economic impact on small, local businesses, but also on the community as a whole, with many people missing their daily chat with fellow locals and opportunity to catch up on local news.
“A lot of us only got tellies in the 60s. We listened to the radio. The Kennedys of Castleross was widely listened to and agony aunt Frankie Byrne.” – Shankill Day Care Centre Member
“We were the first ones to get a telly on our road. It was for the Queen getting married. The house was full. Everybody came to have a look…They all sat around. And the gas part was you could hardly see with all the sparks (static). They’d say “Oh isn’t that lovely”, and the next thing you wouldn’t be able to see anything.” – Beaufort Day Care Centre Member
“We got a fridge; one of the small ones you put up on (the counter). It was only a little thing, you know? It got around the place that we had a fridge. Next door said first of all, “Can we put ice-cream in your fridge? It’s for after the dinner”. So I said ok. Then the other neighbours came knocking at the door, “I have a chicken for the dinner. Would you put it in the fridge”? I said alright. Now, we had to walk down to Monkstown Church at the time. Our church wasn’t built. But we forgot about the chicken. We didn’t do it deliberately at all. We had to walk up from Monkstown and it was a good walk. And when we got home she was saying, “What happened to my chicken? Me husband’s dying of the hunger”! We were mortified, but it was very funny at the time. I don’t think they asked us to mind anything else after that.” – Beaufort Day Care Centre Member
Right: ‘Your Refrigerator at Last.’ Advertisement courtesy of ESB Archives
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