The Story of Bray’s Factories by Philip Byrne

Industrial Yarns

When people think of Bray’s history it’s usually as a Victorian seaside resort. For generations of people from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, Bray was associated with the sea and summer holidays. Indeed since the mid-19th century that’s what it was, the premier resort for people to ‘take the sea air’. It was a town of sand castles, fish ‘n chips and candy floss. However while all this merriment was taking place, Bray was an industrial town for many of its residents. Bray people lived, loved and worked as employees of the many factories in the area. Industrial Yarns – The Story of Bray’s Factories tells the story not only of these factories but more importantly the story of the people who worked in them – Solus, Industrial Yarns, Haughtons, Kennymore Sweets, Fiacla, Miller’s Coffin Makers, Braycott Biscuits, Koss and quite a few more.

The exhibition concentrates on the oral history of these factories as told by the people themselves. Hear about the ghost of Corke Abbey, the savings clubs, the working conditions and above all the craic that people had while working often in very difficult conditions. They say that we see our past through rose tinted glasses. So what! This is an exhibition about the people who lived and worked in Bray during the 50s, 60s and 70s. All traces of many
factories have long since disappeared but their memory lives on through the exhibition and the words, images and memorabilia of that generation who were ‘pure Bray’.

Industrial Yarns is kindly supported by The Heritage Council, the Heritage Office at Wicklow Council Council, Bray Town Lirbary and Wicklow County COuncil Library Services.