School: Wilkinstown (roll number 1917)

Wilkinstown, Co. Meath
Máire Ní Failcheallaigh

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Old Crafts - making of Rush Candles

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0711, Page 098

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Old Crafts: Making of Rush Candles.

In olden times people of this district did much work in their homes, in the way of manufacturing things required for the farm and housework. These old trades are not now carried on.
The lights of the present day - such as electric, gas and oil lamps - were not in use many years ago and the people had to provide light for themselves. Rush candles were the form of lighting most commonly used and they were made by the people in their own homes.
A lot of fat of any kind was put on the fire, to melt, in a vessel called a "grisset". While it was melting, some good long rushes were got and peeled. Only one narrow strip of the green skin was left adhering to the while substances of the rush. When the grease was ready, it was poured into a flat vessel and the prepared rush was drawn through it, till sufficient grease had gathered round it. This was left up to dry and in about five minutes, the "candle" was ready for use.
A wooden candle-stick was used. It was something like a walking-stick, being of the same shape and rather long, but having a hollow middle. At the top of it, there were two "jaws", resembling the top of

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Dolours Sheridan
Wilkinstown, Co. Meath
Laurence Crahan
Wilkinstown, Co. Meath