At first I thought I had heard thunder. Later I realised that the low, rumbling noise was from Snowcream, which is about 200 metres from Ardkeen Shopping Centre. Snowcream was finally being demolished and the site cleared.
It was a different noise that caught my attention decades before, as I played my childish games outside the house where I grew up, close to here. Occasionally the breeze would carry a musical sort of clanging sound which I liked but couldn’t identify. In time I realised that it was the sound of empty milk churns being loaded onto trucks. This was before the era of the milk tanker!
When I was young, milk came from Snowcream. In bottles, of course! Crates of milk were delivered to the shop every morning and, since it was early and the shop would not be open yet, they had to be covered to be protected from jackdaws. (Pecking the foil tops of milk bottles was every jackdaw’s favourite activity in those days!)
And so it was that for over 40 years, 7 days a week, Snowcream delivered fresh milk and cream to our shop until it closed in 2008 and production moved to the Glanbia plant in Ballyragget.
Snowcream occupied a site formerly belonging to the Glenville Estate and included some beautiful old coach houses. Over more recent years these have been allowed to fall into disrepair and have now been demolished. A company with the resources of Glanbia should be ashamed that these lovely old buildings have been so disrespected.
Also on this site are the remains of some formal gardens, including a pond. This is all completely overgrown now but some significant trees remain, at least for now.
A short piece on the history of Snowcream can be found here: http://www.munster-express.ie/opinion/views-from-the-brasscock/snowcream-%E2%80%93end-of-an-era/
It is, as they say, “the end of an era”!