When We Were Kings and Queens of the Road: Pierce Turner

At eight a.m. I could hear my mother shouting my name up the stairs to the third floor where I lay in bed fast asleep. The call would be for my brothers Paddy and Seamus as well, and of course my sisters Breda and Bernie, who were on a lower floor. Everyone would move before me, they had jobs to go to, but I felt no compulsion to move with haste. Around half eight my second call would come, this time with impatience, and a hint of annoyance.

Reluctantly I would roll out of the warm bed on to the cold floor, quickly dress and tear down the stairs, two steps at a time for the warmth of the kitchen where everyone was already having breakfast.

The CBS School, known as The Bokar to us, was at the south end of town, while we were on the north.

Pierce in his schooldays.

Wexford is built on a steep hill that slopes down to the harbour, where the River Slaney pours into the sea. The school was at the top of the hill and our house was on the Quayside. So my entire trip to school was uphill, and to the south end.

I liked to daydream my way, by pretending that I was on a horse, smacking the horse (my bum) gently every now and then and galloping on the straits that weren’t uphill. It would be a twenty minute walk at least, I made it in ten, which was essential, because I had to run back and forth during the lunch break.

Pierce Turner is a renowned Irish Singer-Songwriter Living In New York. Turner grew up in the port town of Wexford, where his mother ran a retail outlet that sold recorded music, and led her own band.

More about Pierce Turner here.

On behalf of the Museum of Childhood Ireland and Robert Burns, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our wonderful participants for their time and their stories. We are thrilled to be presenting this project and we hope you will enjoy following along with us in the coming weeks.

Have a story on this topic and want to get involved? Contact us on our social media sites, or email us at cbrowne@museumofchildhood.ie – we would love to hear from you!

By Chloe Browne

Chloe Browne is an Irish writer, curator and Art Historian, with a keen interest in objects and social history.