Monday 6 September 2010

Minding the donkey

The message on the reverse of the card, mailed in September 1967, tells it all:
The load is peat or turf, of which much of Ireland seems to consist.  We see turf being cut and loaded by the roadside most places.  we saw a tiny toty wee power station bearing a brand "SOD PEAT BURNING ELECTRIC POWER STATION" and it seems that the Irish are going to skim off the turf, make power of it, and plant with crops where soil is suitable below.  There's enough turf to last a century even with mechanical cutting. (Please keep for collection)

The last part in brackets made me smile.  I bought the card just the other day, part of a collection that had been split up, possibly the very collection mentioned.

Peat forms in wetland bogs from partially decomposed vegetation.  When it is dried, it can be used as fuel.  It was traditionally cut by hand, from the edges of a deposit but now it is mechanically cut and removed in layers.  Most of the reclaimed bogland is now turned into wildlife reserves.

They expect to close the last peat-fired power station within the next 25 years because the bogs are now so depleted.  Several have already closed.  So much for there being enough "to last a century".


  1. Well, at least it was an alternative to oil, while it lasted!!!

  2. I absolutely adore this postcard! It's amazing how you are able to find them, I have spent years looking for one of O'Connell that was taken in the 1960's.

  3. Interesting article, has anyone looked a algae as an aletnative to oil based fuels.


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