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Cork children enjoying the pre Christmas buzz in the city, 1957. 
Cork children enjoying the pre Christmas buzz in the city, 1957. 
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Nostalgia: Cork's countdown to Christmas over the years

THE Christmas rush is now in full swing, with only four sleeps until the big day.

Cork residents are set to take to the streets in their droves today, with traders gearing up for what is typically one of the busiest weekends of the year. 

An Echo article from this day in 1934 conveys the sense of anticipation collectively felt by Cork residents, just a handful of days before Christmas. 

"Christmas is now only three days distant and the shopping frenzy is at its height.

"All classes of the community are engaged in the hurried business of purchasing presents whilst housewives are busily engaged in laying in the stores of seasonable fare which produce the well known after Christmas feeling of over eating."

Business was reported to be booming with grocery stores, in particular, experiencing a deluge of people through the doors.

Time for turkey, Christmas 1952. 
Time for turkey, Christmas 1952. 

"Strangely big must be appetites at this time of year if one is to believe the evidence of crowded grocery stores and vastly pleased shopkeepers who express entire satisfaction at the volume of trade experienced for the past few days."

As is tradition, volunteer fifth year students, donned in their distinctive yellow jackets are doing their utmost to raise as much money as possible for SHARE. 

Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly (SHARE) have been taking to the streets of Cork since the early 1970s. 

What began as a group of students from Presentation Brothers College has now widened to an extensive list of Cork secondary schools participating in the Christmas appeal. 

In December 1974, the street collectors managed to raise £7,011 for Cork's senior citizens and combined with money they had raised before December totalled a staggering £14,000. 

The earliest known picture of the SHARE students starting the Christmas collection from 1971 with Lord Mayor Timothy J. O'Sullivan. The students are: (Back Row L-R) Paddy Ridgeway, Terry O'Keeffe, Gary Johnson, Sean Quish, Sean Lyons, Ger O'Sullivan, Paddy Marron. (Front Row L-R) John Owens, Brendan Carey, Sean O'Flynn, Louise Hanley, Bob Kavanagh, Declan O'Sullivan
The earliest known picture of the SHARE students starting the Christmas collection from 1971 with Lord Mayor Timothy J. O'Sullivan. The students are: (Back Row L-R) Paddy Ridgeway, Terry O'Keeffe, Gary Johnson, Sean Quish, Sean Lyons, Ger O'Sullivan, Paddy Marron. (Front Row L-R) John Owens, Brendan Carey, Sean O'Flynn, Louise Hanley, Bob Kavanagh, Declan O'Sullivan

In a letter to The Echo, Chairman Niall O'Donovan stated:

"One cannot easily experience the standard of sharing which we witnessed last week and remain unaffected by it. 

"In fact, the whole response served as a lesson which we will not easily forget. 

"It was for us a humbling experience." 

Happy arrivals have been flooding into Cork in their droves this week, preparing to spend Christmas with their loved ones. 

The city has been decorated accordingly to welcome the many emigrants home, with more than 115,000 adorning the streets.

Princes St, 1984 with Christmas lights. There are now more than 115,000 Christmas lights glistening in the city.
Princes St, 1984 with Christmas lights. There are now more than 115,000 Christmas lights glistening in the city.

Cork City Council has installed over 45 Christmas trees throughout the city centre and its suburbs ahead of Christmas Day.

In total, 6.8 kilometres of lights are now glistening throughout our city.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan aptly described the festive atmosphere in the city ahead of Christmas stating:

"Cork is a very special place at Christmas, with fantastic Christmas food markets, choral performances, a 30-metre Ferris wheel and illuminations in Bishop Lucey Park, there is so much to see and do this year at GLOW. 

"The celebrations can be seen throughout the city with some fantastic events and displays to be seen like the Lough’s Christmas Crib display and the new Christmas Crib at the Butter Exchange in Shandon.

He continued

"Branch out this year and explore the wonderful Christmas displays dotted around our great city and remember to support Cork businesses and shop locally this Christmas."