In this extract Hugh Smullen recollects the sounds that were common place when he was young. He remembers the noise of the city trams on the street where he grew up and the sound of the horses hooves clipping along the street. He talks about the taxi cabs of the time which were horse drawn and were used by the wealthy people in the city. He remembers he used to "scut" on the taxi cabs, this meant that he would hitch a lift on them by sitting on the axle of the cab.

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And what were the sounds of your childhood? Was it, like, cars or trains or horses?

Ah, yeah, the sound, well the sound now on Blessington Street was the trams, the trams used to go up and down Blessington Street, they’d be going to the Phoenix Park and they’d thunder along, you’d be in bed at eight o’clock, you had to go to bed at eight o’clock and they’d be thundering along and I used to sleep in what they called the front parlour and they thunder along, the noise of them was something terrible but you’d get used to it, you didn’t mind, then the sound of the horses’ hooves, clippity clopping along there, you know, you’d hear all that and then the … there wasn’t so many taxis as horse cabs then and they used to use them for funerals or people who could afford them to go from one place to another, they were two wheels again and this cab … it had two big wheels on it and a guy up with a big whip, like, with the horse and there was a big axle at the back and we used to scut, sit on that axle then as kids, we’d jump up on that axle and sit on it and get a lift! That was great and he’d lash the whip to get you off.

Oh he’d see you!

Yeah but he wouldn’t want to hit you with it, just to frighten you, you know, and that was the type of thing we went on …


4:31.8 - 6:00.0

About this item


Dublin City Life, Community, Street life



Date Added



"Hugh Smullen recollects the sounds that were common place when he was young.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #184 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:50 am)