Maureen Hunt remembers a woman who had been in the French Resistance

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 12th September 2011 by Liam Physick

Maureen Hunt remembers Swainbanks, a since-demolished second-hand shop at the top of Chatsworth Street, one of whose employees was a woman who had been in the French Resistance during the Second World War, and who would donate her flowers to the church in Overton Street every Sunday

Interviewee: Maureen Hunt

Interviewee Gender: Female

Interview Transcript

Maureen: I moved out in 57. I do remember at the top of Chatsworth Street, there was Swainbanks . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Maureen: . . . and there was a woman worked there after the War, and we called her, she was called Frenchie . . .

Jenny: Frenchie?

Maureen: Because, apparently, she was in the French Resistance . . .

Jenny: (sounds impressed) Oh, right!

Maureen: . . . she was built like a tank, but what a lovely, gentle lady she was, and she used to supply the church in Overbury Street, Overton Street, with all her flowers on a Sunday, and she used to go a buy them and give them me to take up there . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah!

Maureen: . . . but she was a gentle lady. How she worked with the Resistance I don’t know, and after they’d pulled all that down I don’t know what happened to that woman.

Jenny: Was she, was she from France or was she English?

Maureen: Oh, she was French . . .

Jenny: So she’d come, she’d ended up here . . .

Maureen: . . . so I don’t know whether she had to get out because a lot of people . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Maureen: . . . from the French Resistance were targeted, weren’t they, because they thought . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Maureen: . . . they . . .

Pat: Yeah . . .

Maureen: . . . they worked with the Germans . . .

Pat: . . . yeah, yeah.

Maureen: . . . and they got out, but she used to wear her hair, like a man’s, cut short . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Maureen: . . . whether that was done before I met the lady, I don’t know.

Jenny: So, she used to work at Swainbanks . . .

Maureen: Yeah.

Jenny: . . . and what was Swainbanks?

Maureen: It’s . . .

Pat: A furniture place.

Maureen: . . . a second-hand shop . . .

Jenny: A second . . . so . . .

Pat: Yeah, yeah.

Maureen: Furniture shop.

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: For . . .

Maureen: Antiques.

Pat: Well, it’s supposed to be for antique furniture, but . . .

Maureen: Yeah, it was, it was antique furniture, then . . .

Pat: Yeah, yeah.

Maureen: . . . cos we used to get all our pans and everything there, and me mam used to go down Smithdown Lane, which was only little, and that’s where I got all my nice clothes from, was in a nearly-new shop.

Jenny: Nearly new?

Maureen: It was second-hand stuff, but it was high-class stuff . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: Yeah, yeah.

Maureen: . . . and that’s where I got my clothes from, me mam used to go down there and get them. But you, you managed any way you could.

Tagged under: chatsworth street, overton street, swainbanks, overton street church, second-hand shop, french resistance

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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