By the middle of the 19th Century, around two thirds of the Irish pork products imported into London were coming from Waterford. The City and its surrounds were at that point huge manufacturers of sausages and bacon, largely due to the Denny’s factory, a family business passed from generation to generation.
Although Denny’s still exists today, the factory in Waterford shut in March 1972 – 50 years ago.
During its existence, the modern way we cure bacon was invented, and the practices at Dennys attracted interest from global manufacturers.
Airing half a century after its closure, Bringing Home the Bacon - A History of Denny's in Waterford looks at the story of the factory within the context of the social and economic fabric of the area at the time, and with a particular focus on the level of female employment at the factory.
The documentary also features the history of pig rearing and pig trading in the city, particularly in Ballybricken. And we hear the great story of how the famous Denny's Gold Medal ended up in a Waterford museum.
Throughout the documentary we hear the voices of historians, family members of former employees, a surviving worker at the plant, as well as the voices of those who have kept on the pork manufacturing tradition in Waterford.
You can listen to it in full via the link in this podcast.
For all podcasts on WLR, click here.
"Bringing Home the Bacon, a History of Denny's in Waterford" was made with funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, with the television license fee.