Remembering Richard Hayward: 1892-1964

Lough Ree Yacht Club – 22 October, 2014, 8pm

– talk by Paul Clements

Athlone, Shannon River

A modern view of the River Shannon running through Athlone

On the 22nd October 2014, at 8pm, the Society will host a talk by Paul Clements. Paul will show a rare film by Richard Hayward about his journey down the River Shannon in 1939.

This film, Where the Shannon Flows Down to the Sea, is a glimpse of a lost world.  The talk will be held at Lough Ree Yacht Club. Paul Clements has completed a biography of Richard Hayward. Romancing Ireland: Richard Hayward 1892-1964, Lilliput Press, Dublin, 2014.

Summary – Richard Hayward was a well-known author of many travel books dealing with different parts of Ireland including Where the River Shannon Flows George Herrap & Co. Ltd. London 1940. Hayward set out from Belfast on 16 August 1939 together with Germaine Berger in charge of the movie camera and Louis Morrison with still cameras, who had the task of illustrating the book. In the preface to the book he stated:

“Our objective was three fold: to make a travel picture of the River Shannon from its source to its mouth; to write a book of similar scope; and to enjoy ourselves. We enjoyed ourselves so much that the other two parts for mission were accomplished almost without conscious effort”

Paul Clements’s talk encompasses the use of slides, and will cover the long and varied career of Richard Hayward whose many books were illustrated by the renowned artist Raymond Piper. He will also show the film that Germaine Berger made while journeying along the river, containing footage of Athlone in 1939.

Speaker – Paul Clements is a journalist, broadcaster and writer based in Belfast. He is the author of three travel books about Ireland and major works of biography and criticism. His landmark biography on the Irish travel writer, Richard Hayward was published in 2014. Romancing Ireland, Richard Hayward 1892-1964 tells for the first time the fascinating life story of one of Ireland’s leading cultural figures of the mid-twentieth century. His remarkable journey around every county in Ireland in search of the highest point is recounted in the best-selling book The Height of Nonsense in 2005. His odyssey through the Burren in Co Clare is captured in the lyrical Burren Country, Travels through an Irish limestone landscape, published in 2011, and his book on the coast of Ireland, Irish Shores: A Journey Round the Rim of Ireland came out in 1993.

His special interests are peoples’ connection to the landscape and the oral tradition, as well as built heritage and natural history. Since 2007, after leaving the BBC where he was a journalist in Belfast and London, Paul has co-written guidebooks to Ireland for Fodor’s, Insight and the Rough Guide. A regular contributor to The Irish Times, he has written more than 25 ‘Irishman’s Diaries’ as well as other features on cultural life, the arts and heritage. He has also written widely about the much-acclaimed travel writer Jan Morris, including a critical study, and in 2006 edited a book of 80th birthday tributes to her.

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