Previously unseen photos from the 1954 Moby Dick production and from other landmark events spanning over 100 years in the town’s history, are featured in a new exhibition at Youghal library, writes Christy Parker.

The exhibition draws from a vast array of film, photo and artefact material, notably from collections by Kilmacthomas’s Andy Kelly, The Horgan Collection, the late Mikey Roche, the James Burke Collection, Colm Keane, Kevin Linehan, Cork Movie Memories and Jimmy Flanagan

The event is principally driven by local photographer Michael Hussey. The UCC film studies graduate says it evolved from UCC film and screen lecturer Gwnda Young’s Cork Movie Memories weekend last November, which featured a two-day display of similar memorabilia in the Mall Arts Centre.

“We had so much material and it proved so popular that it was suggested it deserved a longer display on its own”, he explains. “So here we are”.

The library proved a willing host as Michael assisted by Andy Kelly, other contributors and Gwenda, set up the exhibits.

Every item has its own story and nothing spins tales like the 1954 summer of Moby Dick, which is afforded a big splash for the occasion.

There is Noel Purcell signing autographs, Gardaí corralling a vast crowd of star-struck movie fans at the Market Square, locals enjoying the ultimate fancy dress party and a wonderful off-screen moment capturing Richard Basehart in the supporting role of lighting up a cigarette for local senator Paddy O’Gorman.

Alongside the posturing Gregory Peck, the stately Orson Welles and the blissful swell of locals, original promo photos from the Warner Brothers studio portray the action from Ahab’s quest.

Read the full article inside the latest issue of Youghal News.