Thursday, July 8, 2010
Where are you Tonge and Taggart?
This has been staring me in the face for some time, being on the front steps. The cover for the hole, where in the old days, coal would be delivered. Nowadays, this seldom if ever happens. I thought that tracking down the foundry would be a relatively easy task but it turned out differently. I did discover that the company itself was owned by Tonge and Taggart Ltd, which has now passed into the hands of the Smurfit Group, and that the Foundry was in Bishop Street, not too far from St Stephen's Green. Unsurprisingly, iron has a common symbolic heritage meaning hard, durable, unyielding and so on. Yet the symbol is not a universal one. It is at the same time an instrument of good and evil, light and dark. Foundries were often depicted as Satanic environments, yet the instruments they forged could be for peace or war. Iron tools were forbidden in the making of Solomon's temple for example. And iron earned itself a reputation as the substance of materialism - brute force and ignorance comes to mind. But what happened to the South Dublin Foundry and what remains? Precious little by the look of the Google map - so in the end, the foundry was not so durable. Change is loss argued one of my old tutors and it is sad to see these manufacturers disappear. But if you want to change, then to be sure, some old ways will have to go. They will be missed because they were familiar.