When we Were Kings and Queens of the Road
A “Travel to School” project from Robert Burns and the Museum of Childhood Ireland Músaem Óige na hÉireann
Please click ‘Engagement Posts’ below to find all the stories to date or scroll down and find the stories beneath the images. Happy reading:
Original artwork by Leanne McDonagh
Photo: Eamon McArthur
Photo: Robert Burns
Robert Burns is a civil engineer and director of Fingal County Council. He grew up in the Monaghan countryside in the 70s and 80s, moving to Roscommon in the late 80s. He now lives and works in Dublin. Robert has a passion for creating safe, vibrant, attractive and sustainable public places and communities.
Photo: David O’Connor and Derek Farrelly
In his time as director with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Robert led on a range of projects to build new cycle lanes, create people-friendly public spaces, revitalise towns and villages and foster community input and engagement. He feels that our roads and streets are becoming increasingly hostile places for children as a result of the prevalence of cars, something that has changed dramatically since his own childhood. He argues for the reclamation of street space away from cars for the health, safety and enjoyment of children and the local community.
The project explores the various ways people travelled to school in the past, when there was less reliance on cars as a means of transport, where children could safely and freely cycle their bikes around the roads without high levels of imminent danger, and indeed when we turned more to physical or pedestrian modes of transport, or buses, rather than an increased use of cars.
Over the past few weeks we have shared memories, stories and anecdotes from a broad spectrum of Irish and International society, as we revisit the roads of our childhood, and open a discussion around the changes to travel and our environment in the years in between.
Walking to School. Warren McAllister with his mum. Milltown, Co Dublin 1959
On behalf of the Museum of Childhood Ireland, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Robert, and to all of our wonderful participants for their time and their stories. We are thrilled to be presenting this project and we hope you are enjoying the journey.
Sharing bikes to school. John and Aidan Herdman, Cabra 1944
If you would like to get involved, please contact us on our social media sites, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email my colleague Chloe on email@example.com – we would love to hear from you! Regards, Majella McAllister
Robert Burns and the Museum of Childhood Ireland intend to curate an online exhibition, physical exhibition and publication of a selection of the stories submitted in due course. Please note that any stories submitted may be used in such publications, exhibitions, and for relevant media interest. Every effort will be undertaken to ensure that such reproductions are true and authentic representations of the stories received!