That Beats Banagher Festival 9th to 12th July 2015
“Banagher in the time of Anthony Trollope”
As part of a community initiative for the town of Banagher, the inaugural That Beats Banagher Festival will be held this year from 9th to 12th July.
The initial focus of the festival will be the town’s association with the writer Anthony Trollope (1815 -1882) whose bicentenary occurs in 2015.
Trollope resided here for three years during which time his life was transformed from one of abject despair in London to that of a confident and sociable member of local society in West Offaly. It is also fully accepted among his biographers that the initial inspiration for his literary career came during this period.
Banagher in the time of Trollope (1841 – 44) will be the focus of the events planned for that weekend; a celebration of his time spent in Banagher, his work with the Post Office and his voluminous literary output.
The town will take a step back in time with events such as building a miniature post boxes, workshops in traditional skills of the time, readings, Victorian market with afternoon tea in period dress and much more.
An evening recalling Anthony Trollope’s years in Banagher will be held on Thursday 11th June in The Crank House, Banagher at 8p.m. Local Trollopian enthusiasts and historians will recall the writer’s life, give details of his improved lifestyle in Ireland and recount events he would have witnessed while in Banagher. Details of a weekend festival to be held in Banagher from 9th to 12th July coming will also be announced. Refreshments will be served and everybody is welcome.
Anthony Trollope was born just over 200 years ago on the 24th April 1815. Major commemorative events are being held throughout this year to celebrate his success as a renowned author and also to recall his career in the British Postal Service. After a hesitant start Trollope became a very prolific writer, publishing forty-seven novels, collections of short stories and several travel books. His most celebrated works include the Palliser and Barsetshire series, famous for their portrait of the ecclesiastical, political and landed classes in Victorian England.
Trollope’s postal career began in 1834 when he was appointed junior clerk in the General Post Office in London. His work was rather humdrum and over the following seven years he was frequently in bother with his superiors. In August 1841when he learned of a vacancy for a surveyor’s clerk in the west of Ireland he immediately applied for the position and was readily accepted. Within a matter of weeks he arrived in Banagher to work with James Drought, the Surveyor for the West of Ireland. Over the next few years the quality of his life greatly improved. His income was much increased by the addition of travel and living allowances. Mr. Drought kept a pack of hounds and within a short time Trollope had bought a hunter and became a regular participant in the local fox hunt. Trollope’s time in Banagher coincided with the building of the present bridge. Like some of the engineers involved in the construction work Trollope joined the local masonic lodge. He was a regular attender at meetings and was elevated to the degree of Royal Arch Mason before his departure in 1844.
During these years Trollope also became engaged and married to Rose Heseltine from Rotheram whom he met in Kingstown, (Dún Laoghaire). There was a new purpose to his endeavours at work where his duty was to inspect and not be inspected. Most important of all he began to write. His first novel, ‘The Macdermotts of Ballycloran’, was inspired by a working visit to Drumsna, County Leitrim in September 1843.
While there is always the danger of parochial exaggeration it can be rightly claimed that Trollope’s life significantly improved at this time. His enhanced financial status and renewed zest for work gave a greater purpose to his life. The following quotation from his autobiography underlines his transformation: ‘But from the day on which I set foot in Ireland all these evils went away from me. Since that time who has had a happier life than mine.’
This event is hosted by Banagher Development Group, and supported by Offaly Local Development Company, Offaly County Council and Fáilte Ireland.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE IN BANAGHER
An evening to celebrate the life and times of the great writer Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) will be held in Crank House on Thursday the 11th June at 8 p.m. Following a short presentation on Trollope’s life, particularly his years spent in Banagher, a preview of the forthcoming Anthony Trollope Festival in Banagher will be made.
This event will be held from the 9th to the 12th July and is part of a series of events commemorating the bicentenary of the author’s birth. Refreshments will be served and everybody is welcome. The festival is hosted by Banagher Development Group, and supported by Offaly Local Development Company, Offaly County Council and Fáilte Ireland.