|Overall Developmental Approach: 2011
to Dalkey TidyTowns on celebrating twenty five years of involvement
with the TidyTowns movement. Your Céad Míle Fáilte
to this year’s competition is a special one. Thank you for your
comprehensive submission. Of greatest assistance in the submission
is the series of photos showing how a little corner has been transformed
over a number of years to the delight that exists to-day. One then
argues from that particular instance to the general village and realises
what an achievement of labour and of love the present appearance of
Dalkey is. As regards your involvement with various agencies and schools
over the years sufficient to say that your combined achievement is
to the credit to all involved. You continue to plan so you see your
work as ongoing. Very good. And those plans reflect each category
of the present competition format. Just a word of concern. This adjudicator
would wish your submission to follow the format of the TidyTowns entry
form. One wondered at the purpose of including your perception of
press attitudes to Dalkey and your belief that such comment influences
the County Council. Surely this is a matter to be discussed with the
council and not a matter for the adjudicator. Thank you for your consideration
in enclosing a visitor pass to your Heritage Centre. The adjudicator
did not avail of the invitation in order to protect his identity.
It is my intention to visit during a proposed trip to Dalkey in August.
But thank you.
|The Built Environment: 2011
heart misses a beat when one comes on Castle Street. One could not
have expected to experience such a rich built environment inheritance
in one hundred yards of street. In a sense that reaction is unfair
to the many residential areas of the town that contribute to that
rich inheritance. The glorious thing is that these buildings on Castle
Street not only still enliven the streetscape but they perform a worthwhile
activity in the modern era as if to justify their existence. How many
towns have destroyed such buildings in the name of modernisation.
So someone deservers credit for their preservation. The Queens has
been established since 1745 and is still creating that relaxed atmosphere,
oil table clothes an’ all. The adjudicator first tasted the
possibilities of Dalkey when coming on the entrance to Castle Park
School. The junction around the post office does not have the same
atmosphere as that up the street. The clutter on the post office window
did not help. One wondered what the name stone Termon was referring
to but being stationed near the Church one wondered was this area
once known as ‘Tearmann’, how appropriate that would be.
The street lanterns are delightful. The street signs on the buildings
further reinforced the sense of the past in the style of lettering.
St Patrick’s Road is announced on a plate at the gable end,
Sráid Naomh Phádraig. One has to look up to see and
admire. This plate is a gem and deserves to have a cherry picker visit
it for an hour. Names of the streets reflect the priorities of times
past as in those referring to the convent and the railway. Mention
of the railway sparks a memory of the traditional design of the railway
station, a quaint sight as one drives along the road. The modern should
not be brushed aside. The Corner Note café may not be as ancient
as the Queens but the façade and colouring deserve a laudatory
mention and this building is not out of place at its junction. This
town centre seems to bear no relationship to its sister centre of
activity down at the marina. The fuss here is of the seaside variety.
It seems so strange that two places so close to one another could
be so different in appearance and in priorities. The built environment
has strayed from the heritage richness of Castle Street. But if this
road had been overlooked then the treat that is the Church of Ireland
complex would have been missed and thereby slighted. The favourite
street of the adjudicator was that on which the Garda Station resides.
you were lucky enough to have been born in Dalkey then you remember
that there were many trees in the days of your youth. If you came
to live here more recently you recall that there were trees when you
arrived. Trees are ever present in Dalkey, seemingly renewing themselves
year in year out. But of course that is not the case. Residents of
estates and private houses have contributed to the tree population.
One is a little disappointed to note that there are no plans for tree
planting in your submission, as far as the adjudicator can ascertain.
But there is evidence of recent enough tree planting. There are many
landscaping plans and all are laudable. But in Dalkey the tree is
as natural and native to the landscape as the hill and the sea. One
loved the planters outside the Heritage Centre but one could also
argue that this building does not need embellishment. Or that embellishment
distracts from the appearance of the buildings. One could make a similar
argument regarding the hanging baskets on the attractive street lanterns.
Is there sufficient colour anyway in this area. The grounds of the
Church, dedicated in 1841, certainly add to the religious ambience
of the area. The sign, telling the times of Masses, adds further to
the sacredness of this site. The grounds surrounding the castle are
|Wildlife and Natural Amenities: 2011
must have tired over the years of reading adjudicators’ reports
ranting on about the rich biodiversity of Dalkey. Appendix Heritage
is your well researched, considered response and colourful also. The
adjudicator regrets not being a fisherman but did check out your bait
suggestions with a fishing friend! One compliments you in your engagement
with the Boys Primary School in the planting of hedging to promote
wildlife. The rock, the trees, the open spaces, the picnic area, the
information board, the parking, the man playing with his dog. What
an amenity. This is Dalkey Hill.
|Litter Control: 2011
the longer term column of you 3 year Plan for litter the adjudicator
smiled at you highlighted bold ambition: No longer needed. You are
referring to litter picks. Well done on your present patrols, on your
anti-litter awareness strategies and your engagement with schools.
There is some litter but the adjudicator had to make a point of looking
in its direction.
|Waste Minimisation: 2011
TidyTowns Committee have really got stuck into this section especially
at the domestic end of waste minimisation. Those twelve apostles of
tips on reduction should be part of the school curriculum. One hopes
that your residents visit your website. Wonderful. The Bring Centre
at the hill car park is as neat and tidy as can be. But one wonders
if people go to the bother of bringing their bottles all that distance.
Or is it there to service week end parties
is such a fuss of building style along the street that Dalkey could
not present in a tidy manner. Or so one would expect. But that is
not so. Is it that the oil cloths and summer living, in the rain,
at The Queens brings that relaxed factor to such a hive of activity.
Certainly one is not distracted by the ugliness of weeds or dirty
signs or cables. Mind you, one wonders how planning was granted for
one or two of the name signs at shop fronts and one is inclined to
ask: ‘What was you committee doing when that sign went up’.
There is a responsibility on every retailer to conform to the image
of the heritage town. Throughout Dalkey there are no kerbside weeds,
few cables, some graffiti but not a contagion of the stuff. Advertising
is attractive and, with one exception, there are no big bill boards
promoting products. There are a couple of signs that need a washing..
|Residential Areas: 2011
housing stock of old Dalkey seems to settle into its environs as naturally
as the hill sweeps down to the sea. These houses seem to have been
here forever and, maybe, sinking into the hill an inch a year. Or
is it that the trees grew by a few inches every year. It seems that
as soon as the house was built that the trees were planted or the
hedge was planted. In one estate visited the houses were completely
shielded from view by strong, healthy hedging in South Winds. The
residential areas of Dalkey not only plant trees but colourful shrubs
and summer bedding also. The roads through these residential areas
have tree planting where it is possible, have weed free kerbs and
one notices very little litter. Boundary walls and gates create an
aura of recent antiquity. All adding to the image Dalkey wishes for
itself as the heritage town. Then as one arrives at the hill one delights
to find terraces of cottages and do they appear proud of their standing.
One can guess how these cottages came to be and how one hopes they
are part of any heritage trail. Small clusters of houses form charming
estates as at Castle Park Close. One loved the Gaeilge which was ‘foirleathan’
and had an authentic air as in Bailtíní an Chaisleáin.
|Roads, Streets and Back Areas: 2011
a country boy accustomed to travelling from village to village with
strictly defined borders to each area, it is strange to find the width
of a street between two entrants in this competition. But there is
the breed of that countryman in you too. You set out your borders
without equivocation. There we plant our name stone. And how gracefully
it is done. You stake your territory and you define your identity.
In some cases your approach roads are a seamless extension of your
neighbours except on one glorious route. How the adjudicator wished
to have arrived from the southern approach. What beauty. One of the
features of the road network in Dalkey is the number of lanes that
exist. These lanes make access by foot or bicycle to the village centre
so easy but also so enjoyable as at Ormond Drive or the lane from
the railway bridge. There is an aesthetic experience in travelling
that path that arrives in the Church car park from The Metals, most
likely. he town centre of this village is so busy and full of life
that there is created a serenity. The traffic seems tolerant and unrushed
as if enjoying the surrounding activity. The paths are well maintained
for the most part.
|General Impression: 2011
would wish to be on a TidyTowns Committee in Dalkey for you have an
exciting town with which to work. A hill is a wonderful start from
which to set out. But a hill overlooking the sea instead of a hill
overlooking another hill is a wonder that adds to the excitement.
The hill overlooking the sea is what attracted all that attention
from your forebears for decades, leaving you with your heritage town
as a canvas to work on. The folk back then appreciated what they had
too. Ard Aoibhinn is no ‘makey uppy’ name but an expression
of appreciation. Then the ‘coup de grace’. The houses
that people made their homes in this exotic location, amidst all that
history, keeping look-out over Dublin Bay. No wonder preservation
is such a priority. Beautification has already been completed. One
senses your pride in your lovely town in all of the categories of
this competition. Well done. One also senses the steel in your attitude.
You are determined to pass on an even more enriched Dalkey to the
|Second Round Adjudication: 2011
this adjudicator would like to echo the congratulations above and
welcome you to this very important year of the competition for your
group. Further congratulations are due for the submission of an excellent
entry. For a voluntary group this was a very professional submission
which was focused as well as comprehensive. However, there is agreement
with the comments of the first adjudicator in relation to submitting
information which is surplus to requirements. This can cause the important
detail of which you gave much to be overlooked. The bookmark was a
clever idea. The map with a suggested route was perfect for use. Well
done on your several awards. This Heritage Town was busy on day of
visit. The castles were being admired by many, including the adjudicator.
The quiet landscaping with bench beside Archibold’s Castle was
a favourite. The staff of the Heritage Centre were informative and
helpful and tours were underway. Castle Street looked fantastic in
the sunshine. A couple of TV aerials protrude into the skyline and
spoil the effect a little. Numerous shop fronts were admired. Use
of Irish in signage is scarce but the adjudicator would baulk at the
thought of altering some of these great pieces of work. Traffic, though
ever-present was calm. This adjudicator would think that there is
room for improvement at the front of the car-park opposite the heritage
centre. Cables snake unnecessarily across the front of a camera shop
and there are graffiti beside the library. The frontage of the Spar
was very poor by comparison with many of the smaller businesses and
should be addressed. The approach road and side streets were explored.
It should be stated that road-works were underway on Dalkey Avenue
on day of visit. The Cuala Centre is in a prominent position and could
be much better. St. Patrick’s Square is indeed a gem. The Metals
provided a challenging bicycle ride but it was worth it to once again
visit the quarry. This was full of training climbers and other visitors
but amazingly- no litter or campfire remains! The adjudicator was
surprised, though, that the interpretation board had no wildlife information.
The adjudicator saw at least two species of dragonfly at a pond which
would also be excellent newt habitat. The Dart station is possibly
the best presented of any the adjudicator has seen. New pavement was
noted here. New surfacing on Ardbrugh Road was appreciated. There
were numerous other cyclists on day of visit - are there enough bike-parking
spaces? Those at the crossroads, with its lovely planting and outdoor
seating were noted. Be careful that you are using the information
boards to best effect- remove old notices and make sure that the heritage
panels fit properly. Colliemore Harbour looked really well on day
of visit with landscaping that is new to the adjudicator. This approach
road has to be one of the finest imaginable for any town, given the
twin backdrops. Does the name stone do it justice or adequately prepare
the visitor for what lies ahead?