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Talking Pictures Week 15: Cork, like!

299-P J Butts View of Cork

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday.

About the artwork


This painting was created around the year 1750 by the artist John Butts. You can see the city of Cork at a time when it was a lot smaller. You can also see the old Custom House which is now the Crawford Art Gallery. A Custom House was where goods were checked and taxed on their way in or out of the city. The tallest building you can see is St. Anne’s Church or the ‘Shandon Bells’, a famous symbol of Cork city to this day.

Look closely

Look closely at the painting… Can you see how much Cork has changed? Do you recognise any of the buildings or places in the picture? What other details can you see? Do you like the colours in the painting? What colours can you see?

Let’s sing a song!

This lovely painting could inspire you to sing a love song to Cork! We’re going to sing a famous Cork song called ‘The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee’. Maybe you have learned this song in school or maybe your parents know it. Here is the first verse for you to sing and you could find the rest of the song online.

‘The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee’ by Dick Forbes and J.C. Flanahan

How oft do my thoughts in their fancy take flight
To the home of my childhood away,
To the days when each patriot's vision seem'd bright
Ere I dreamed that those joys should decay.
When my heart was as light as the wild winds that blow
Down the Mardyke through each elm tree,
Where we sported and play'd 'neath each green leafy shade
On the banks of my own lovely Lee,
Where we sported and play'd 'neath each green leafy shade
On the banks of my own lovely Lee.

This song is all about a man remembering where he used to play when he was a child, ‘neath the green leafy shade’ meaning under the trees, in the Mardyke in Cork city. Where is your favourite place to play? If you live in Cork city do you go for walks by the Marina? Do you go to the Lough to feed the ducks? Do you walk down the Mardyke to play in Fitzgerald’s Park and cross the Shakey Bridge? If you live outside of Cork city maybe you go for walks in a forest park, or at the beach or in the countryside?

What do you like about these places you visit?

What do you see and hear?

Are there animals in this place?

What games do you play?

Maybe you could write your own song about your favourite place to play!

Let’s Play Picky!

In the past, Cork youngsters would play a game on the streets called Picky, kind of like hopscotch. You can play too by first marking out the six squares with chalk or tape and then following the instructions on the picture below. It’s harder than you’d think! Have fun!


Cork Slang Words Quiz

Can you match the Cork slang words to the pictures? Maybe ask an older Cork person, like a neighbour or a grandparent, to help you. Answers in next week’s Talking Pictures.

Cork Slang

Bazzer             Gatch              Feen                Balm out         Beoir               Sconce Rasa                Ecca                 Hopper        Ucks                Pana

What other Cork slang words can you find out? Can you find out the meaning of ‘Up for the ba’? It’s a good one!

Let’s Imagine!

Now that you know some Cork words, can you imagine what these two ye olde Cork feens are saying to each other? Use the words above to tell us what they were saying.


You can see the iconic St. Anne’s Church in the painting, known locally as the ‘Shandon Bells’. This is a bell tower with 4 clocks and a golden fish at the very top, known as the ‘Goldie Fish’. Nearby the tower is the Cork Butter Museum, where you can learn about the history of butter making and selling around Cork.

Now let’s make our own goldie fish, using a goldie butter wrapper!

Goldie fish drawing

First, take a butter wrapper and cut off a piece to make it into a square shape. Next, smooth out the creases with your hand.


Then follow this video by PaperFoldingChannel to make a simple origami fish.

At the end you can draw in an eye or add a googly eye if you have one.

Kerrygold Fish

Now that you have your own Goldie Fish you can imagine taking them on an adventure around Cork City!

Origami paper folding is from Japan, not Cork, and there are lots of other origami animals you can make by following Youtube videos if you have enjoyed making this fish.

See you next week for more Talking Pictures!

Activities devised and designed by Hazel Hurley unless otherwise stated.
Song Credit: ‘The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee’ by Dick Forbes and J.C. Flanahan.
Picky Game Credit: “Grattan Street Stories” by Cork Folklore Project, Kieran Murphy.
Cork Slang words consultant: Tadhg Dennehy.
Origami Fish Video Credit: PaperFoldingChannel.

We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Answers to last week’s bug word scramble:

eeb = bee

sinla = snail

apws = wasp

ydadrbli = ladybird

edirsp = spider

rtybftuel = butterfly

hmto = moth

citralelrpa = caterpillar

etlebe = beetle

tan = ant

Were you able to unscramble them all?

We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Please share:

Emmett Place, Cork, Ireland
T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042

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