The past is present when you turn the pages of Donal Wyldeâ€™s new photographic book â€œThe Times and The Joysâ€- Images of Clonmel and Tipperary South Riding.
Compiled from images when he worked as staff photographer with â€˜The Nationalistâ€™ for about 14 years in the 1960s and 70s, the photographs are a gentle reminder of life and times in the Tipperary of that era.
He traversed the highways and byways of Tipperary South Riding, as the local government administrative area was known then.
At that time it was a separate entity from Tipperary North Riding, shortly to be united as one complete unit.
The photographs, some of which are on display at a free exhibition in the Tipperary County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, evoke thoughts of a simpler era, fondly remembered.
It is a companion volume of â€œThe Light of Other Daysâ€ (2011) which was a complete sell-out and is now a collectorâ€™s item.
As well as many more Clonmel images, Ardfinnan, Tipperary, Cahir, Cashel, Carrick-on-Suir, Fethard, Ballymacarbry, Bansha and Killenaule are also covered.
Old photographs generate memories. They bring back moments of pleasure and sadness, of fear, and wonder. They trigger sensations and experiences we have almost forgotten.
They show life as it was through the seasons; the time of day in streets and buildings by sunlight and shade.
Most of the time we feel good about the past and sometimes wish to have all over again.
But really, it is youth that we wish for and friends, of course, and relatives.
We forget the hardship, the drudgery, the poverty though not the values. From this distance, looking back on the Sixties and Seventies, as a way of life it appears decent and upright, and so much safer.
Donal Wyldeâ€™s black and white photographs bring back that era, and there is much to make us smile in this wonderful volume.
Passing comment on the book one local told the author recently : As Gay Byrne would say, â€œItâ€™s a thumping great readâ€.
And may we add an ideal Christmas gift for home or away.