Some of the Pictures and the inspiration for this piece came from and Facebook correspondents from around the world dedicated to family like Majad Mzjaje. This is just a short piece composed on a bank holiday but I would like to expand this and thought this could be a "framework" where other present and former Garston residents might like to propose additions.
They all had a different something, often a smell, the Tannery was the most pungent. I remember the Bottle works and the Bobbin Works (were they the same place?). People would bring home strange shaped bottles which sometimes became ornaments. Odd shaped pieces of wood also appeared in the houses of friends and relatives. My Mum used the odd looking bottles for flowers that she grew in her Windfield Road "Hollywood" garden. Mum (Winnie Murray) had grown up in that house, joined the Army, married my father only to lose him in an accident a year later. Despite an ailing father and mother she qualified as a nurse, nursed her father and mother, married again aquiring three more chilren before she and new husband Les Curtis had a child of their own. Windfield Road and the estate around it were council houses built to very high standards with gardens front and back and "almost" inside toilets. Built in the 1930's, denizens of more traditional Victorian housing nearby would call the estate Hollywood as a result of its comparative opulence. My maternal Grandfather, Patrick Murray, was the first tenant at 67 and the family remained there until I had left to join the RAF in the early 70's.
The Matchworks felt the most self contained and permanent place along with the Docks. I could see the Matchworks field and distant factory from Holy Trinity playground and, of course, the eternal presence (seemingly) of the Gasworks immediately and noisily adjacent on the other side.
Growing up in Garston, still called to this day Garston Village or Under The Bridge Garston or even "Home to the Mud Men"; was an earthy, human and rich experience.
|Patrick Murray 1911|
My Grandfather (my first surrogate Father, my own died the month I was born) worked on the docks. He had built (I thought at the time single-handedly) Queens Drive, won the Irish Grand National (still checking this one out) and was born and raised on Elphin Street, Strokestown, County Roscommon. He drank in the Clarence at the top of York Street (where he would deposit me on the step) en-route from the bookies having already collected his wages/pension. I owe him my faith and a belief in honour, romance, love of Ireland, fairness and humour.
|Bertha & Jimmy Brind 1933|
|SS Lucania launched in 1909|
|The Dock Road as Paddy Murray would have known it in the 60's.|
|18 Derby Street in 1911|
|Bobbin Girls 1912|
|Fr Darragh & The Under Tens 1963|
|Staff at Blessed John Almonds with |
Mr McGuiness far left seated
Blessed John Almonds was also a wonderful experience for me and I enjoyed the company and conversation it brought. In fact I was a late developer and only after acquired the education I would need but they gave me a thirst for knowledge that I have never lost. I still talk by phone to 93 year old Mr McGuiness who with Sister Anne is reckoned to be the last survivor of that era.