Diamond Valley

The Gypsies on the Slang
Author Colbert Martin in his book 'A Drink from Broderick's Well' describes a colourful scene in the Valley of Diamonds in 1928 summertime. The location he describes is 'The Slang' that part of the Dargle river located just across from today's Diamond Valley apartments.

“The advent of the Summer heralded the coming of the gypsies usually encamped on the ‘Slang’ on the banks of the Dargle River opposite Blind Lane, their annual arrival brought a splash of colour into the lives of the people. The gipsy women folk with their long black shining hair, coloured headscarves, glittering earrings and multicoloured dresses went from door to door selling their wares…Their brightly painted caravans seemed to appear and disappear as if by magic. They seldom stayed more than a week or ten days before moving on to another town or village.”

Irish 1930's Gypsy Bowtop Caravan

1930s Irish Bowtop Caravan

 

Fairgreen Bray

Site of the old Fair Green near the Bray end of the People's Park

 

John Faulkner RHA

The Scalp, Sheep in a Landscape, Co. Wicklow. Watercolour by John Faulkner RHA (1835-1894)

 

Fair Day in Bray

Filmmaker and writer Éamon de Buitléar spent most of his life in the Valley of Diamonds. In his autobiography ' A Life in the Wild' he describes a 1930s scene in the valley as drovers and livestock made their way down from the mountains to the monthly fair in Bray.

"The noisy procession passed by our gate on the first Monday of every month. We could hear it coming as we played along the banks of the River Dargle where our family lived. We clambered up excitedly to watch the spectacle from our garden wall. Flocks of sheep, groups of cattle and a few horse carts carrying litters of piglets and young lambs all had to pass down our road on their way to the fairground near Bray. We were very small boys, my two brothers and I, and we weren't sure where these animals came from, but we wouldn't miss the excitement for anything."