Sunday 15 September 2019

Good old days on Stockwell Street

The Diary

Hubert Murphy

I came across a great piece from 1999 by Bridie Brennan and life in Stockwell Street.

'We lived in Stockwell Street for 24 years. We had the Singer Sewing Machine shop where Star Travel is now. Paddy died in 1966, but had been ill for a few years.

Stockwell Street was all private houses then - next door to me were Lena and Henry Somerville. Then there was Tom O'Donoghue from The Drogheda Independent, Paddy Woods the butcher, Tom Gaynor the cobbler, the Mullens, Mrs. Woods who kept paying guests and Gerry Campbell the taxi man. Across the road was Sheila Mullen the chiropodist, Kierans the hairdressers, and Lyons Bakery of course.

'I remember the horse drawn delivery vans up until the early '60s in Peter Lyons. There was great excitement when the first motor van was bought and it went out the country to deliver bread. The workers started at about 3 in the morning then. Paddy McKeown used to deliver milk to us on a horse and, cart. The milk was in a big can or bucket and he would measure it out with a mug!

It was a quiet little street really. The Ryans lived down at the bottom. Sr. Marie Ryan lived there. She is now in Ballymakenny girls school. She had a brother called Jim. The Ryans had a playroom and it was a great thing for a child to be invited in there!

I sold my house and shop in 1973 for £8,000. I moved into Glenmore Drive where I bought a house for £4,000! I sold it a few years ago because I was moving to Canada to live with my daughter, Mary, and her husband Joe Moran.

It's nice to come home, and I love Canada. I miss Ireland and all the people I used to know. On our arrival in Drogheda my daughter dropped me off to start visiting old friends immediately! I had a lifelong friend, Lizzie Carton , from King William's Glen who likcd to come to me for her dinner every Friday.

I was always active when I lived in Drogheda - I was in the ICA and we met in The Parochial Centre usually. I took up bridge, but wasn't suited to it. I joined the Widows' Association, and I used to go on all of Peggy O'Reilly's gardening trips. It was a great way of seeing the country.

If anything is going to happen it will happen to me! I was always very accident prone - one night I walking by Kierans' Corner where Hanratty's pub is now. Two cars collided and mounted the pavement and pinned me up against the wall. With that, a local man came over to me and kissed me because I was still alive!

The fire brigade and Gardai arrived and wanted me to walk to the ambulance, but I couldn't. The men present lifted me shoulder high.

'I remember the girls in Mell factory going on strike one Good Friday because they were not allowed to make a cup of tea because of the day that was in it! 14 girls arrived down to our house with their scissors in their hands!

All the shops along West Street have changed - I remember Eithne O'Carroll's antique shop, Andersons, Melvilles, O'Donnells, Sheridan's Pub where old Tom Sheridan would not serve ladies in the lounge - Patrick O'Hagan had a pub where the Town Centre is now - the music used to blare out of there into the back of our house all night!

Drogheda Independent