Pat Moffat recalls the time she had to walk home from school

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 9th September 2011 by Liam Physick

Pat Moffat recounts how she attended Mary Help of Christians, a Catholic school, until one day when she was forced to walk home because of the bus strike of the 1960s - it took her five hours to complete the journey. Pat then began attending Blessed Margaret Clitherow, the nearest school, which she preferred because, unlike at Mary, she was not beaten there for being left-handed. However, the earlier beatings did have a positive effect - she became ambidextrous!

Interviewee: Pat Moffat

Interviewee Gender: Female

Interview Transcript

Jenny: What school did you go to, then, Pat?

Pat: I went to St. Francis, I was at the deaf school, originally, I done three days at the deaf school, which was in Myrtle, just behind Myrtle Gardens off Myrtle Street . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Pat: . . . and then I do two at mainstream, and as became . . . . as I grew up and became older, it reversed, then I was just going for speech therapy, for signing, on one day a week, but I’m, I passed me 11 plus in John Baddock Hospital, with a nun, sat with me, making sure I didn’t cheat, and I went to Mary Help of Christians in Stonebridge, until the bus strike of the 60s . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Pat: . . .  and the trains went funny as well . . .

Jenny: (in a sympathetic voice) Really, aw!

Pat: . . . at the same time, I think they’d come out in unison with them, and then I went to Blessed Margaret Clitherow which was in Sefton Park . . .

Jenny: So, in the, the Stonebridge school, it was too far for you to walk . . . ?

Pat: Yeah . . .

Jenny: . . . so . . . ?

Pat: . . . oh, I had to walk home the first day of the strike, because, I’d, I’d gone to school as normal . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and it was about three o’clock in the afternoon we were told all the buses had gone off and I don’t think the teachers realised how far away I lived, I walked with two of the girls to Old Swan, and then I walked from Old Swan to Smithdown Road. Eight o’clock, I got home . . .

Jenny: (sounds horrified) Oh!

Pat: . . . and me mum wasn’t worried (Jenny laughs in astonishment), I were, like, crying, cos starving, hungry . . .

Jenny: Yeah, yeah . . .

Pat: . . . cos I hadn’t eaten since lunchtime . . .

Jenny: . . . having to walk that far!

Pat: . . .  and I dursn’t spend me bus fare, dursn’t spend it, had to give that back to me mum, and I was absolutely starving and I got in all tears and everything and . . .

Jenny: Aw!

Pat: . . . “Where have you been til now?” “I had to walk home!”

Jenny: So how long was the bus strike on for!

Pat: Oh, God, about 16 weeks it was a long time, I ended up going to Blessed Margaret Clitherow, because it was the nearest school, and I think the bus strike finished the week after, but I was made up I’d gone to Blessed Margaret Clitherow . . .

Jenny: Really?

Pat: . . . because there was no nuns there, teaching us, they weren’t . . . I was left-handed originally, and they used to tie me hand to me waist to make me use me right hand, cos the left hand was the hand of the Devil.

Jenny: That’s shocking, but when you went, moved to this school, they . . .

Pat: Oh, yeah, it didn’t bother, I can now write with both hands. (she and Jenny laugh)

Jenny: Oh, well . . .

Pat: Yeah, they taught me some things, they did, they taught me something.

Jenny: It’s crazy though, isn’t it . . .

Pat: Yeah.

Jenny: . . . that they would go that far, how it’s changed.

Tagged under: myrtle gardens, sefton park, myrtle street, blessed margaret clitherow school, 1960s bus strike, mary help of christians school, john baddock hospital, st. francis of assisi school, stonebridge lane

Categorised under: Social Life

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