Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Castle Dreams $1.00

What if you could buy a castle and turn it into a beautiful fiber center complete with classes, museum, yarn shop, cafe ... and, what if, for a single buck, you could purchase a piece of history just for that purpose?  ... my Mother recently shared a story with me of when she used to to hike up to a castle in the Danbury area when she was a youngster.  She said she was fascinated by the castle.  Ever since she sent me the link to the images of the castle from her childhood I have been having such wonderful dreams of visiting such a place. Maybe you all would like to share in my dream, yes?  What would you envision with this castle that is reportedly for sale for a single dollar? 

February 12th I wrote an entry about a school (coincidentally?) located near Castlebar in Ireland that is in need of our help in preserving history.  I sent an email to the school and pledged $100US towards the cause.  I received the following letter from Helen Moreau, Chairperson:

"Dear Dee,
thank you so much for your kind email.  We had our cake sale on Sunday and
it was a great success.
We shall gratefully accept donations and your offer is most generous. We do
intend setting up an online arrangement such as paypal, in the meantime
donations can be forwarded to me, made out to;      Fis na Muingi-Iorras    
   (which is our registered name)

          helen Moreau,
          Fis na Muingi-Iorras,
          Barnatra Post Office,
          Ballina, Co Mayo,

As you can see we do not have post/zip codes in Ireland.

I shall log into your blog with great interest. On the 14th and 16th of February our application for a feasibility study grant will be presented to the Leader board, Belmullet. We have passed the first and most important hurdle so fingers cross the rest will go well.

It is vitally important that projects such as ours in areas such as ours should succeed.  The so called celtic tiger has not done much good, with fast prosperity comes the death knell to an already dwindling repertoire of skills, there is often an attitude of leave the past alone.

In the short time we have been set up as a committee, we have had to deal with hostility and ignorance but I would say that we have now turned a corner whereby people are realizing that there can be no future without acknowledgement of the past, no matter how painful. When people have been poor for a long time fast money becomes the addictive aim, the baby goes out with the bathwater, so to speak.

The old laceschools of Erris were vital to the local economy for the best part of 100 years, the conditions of work were often harsh and demanding, some people did not take kindly to that, however apart from emigration there was no alternative; these unhappy people still put in the work to standard and kept the home fires burning.They, even in their unhappiness created beautiful things admired all over the world.

We, in our endeavours have to embrace all aspects of the Erris laceschools,( including the harsher aspects) and present them in the full context of their environment and time. You will appreciate that the beautiful work made for the laceschools was mostly for export, so that very little was made for local usage, earnings had to come first. At our launch we had a small and most amazing display of  heritage lace made here in Erris, all of it in private hands, many people were very surprised that even that much remained in the area. One of our big undertakings will be the collection of locally made lace donations. Other textiles are important also and were usually made to cover needs rather than luxury, nothing was ever wasted.

The present older generation here, often say "weren't the old people great"
and they were, that generation had to turn their hands to anything and

So once again many thanks"

And in checking back at their website,, they've done just that;  online donations are now being accepted using Paypal.  Shortly I'll be headed back to my blogging hiatus, but first I want to send my pledge in.  So I ask, can you spare a dollar to help preserve the dreams of those people from the past who's crochet stitches we follow today?  If you can, then please do.  If you can't, that's OK.  Why not send them an email of encouragement?  Think of it as a way of spreading National Crochet Month Cheer ...    J

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