Cork Cycling Campaign Vice-Chairperson Kevin Long alongside the photographic exhibition taking place in Cork City Library on Grand Parade until 19 August.

Cycling through history

A photographic exhibition designed to make Cork fall in love with the bike again is now open at Cork City Library.

The exhibition, which is viewable daily until 19 August, was created by Cork Cycling Campaign to coincide with Cork for Heritage Week.

Opening the exhibition in Cork City Library last Saturday was Cork Cycling Campaign Vice-Chairperson Kevin Long who delivered a talk exploring the rich history of cycling on Leeside.

From Ireland’s first cycling club, the Lough Rovers, through its famous messenger boys and the shift changes at Fords, Kevin delivered the talk to a packed audience at the library.

In attendance was the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy, who praised Kevin’s knowledge of the city and the photos he had amassed for the project over several years.

Keving is hoping to join Munich, Johannesburg, and Rotterdam who have each published histories of their cities’ cycling heritage as part of the Europe-wide Cycling Cities Initiative.

Also in attendance at the talk was Farranree resident Finbarr Bevan who was a messenger boy at age 15 and who spoke about their importance for businesses in the area.

“I worked for Mr Bresnan, a butcher in the English Market. Every morning he’d give me nine pence and send me round the corner for a cup of hot milk and a scone. Then five or six of us would be sent up to Montenotte with meat,” said Mr Bevan.

Chairperson of Cork Cycling Campaign, Helen Guinan, said: “Kevin’s talk was inspiring. It highlighted how cycling was an important part of Cork society and a key means of transport for decades before the car took over.

“Looking back at how cycling was valued by the people of Cork can show us the way to appreciate the role of bikes into the future. For the sake of our congested city, we need to fall in love with the bike again in Cork,” Helen added.