Pat Moffat recounts moving house from Earle Road to Webb Close

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

Pat Moffat recalls how she had to move from Earle Road to Webb Close. At first, she was not made welcome by the existing residents, who looked down on anyone not born in that area, and Pat herself remembers she was very upset at having to move. After six years, however, Pat cared for a neighbour who had fallen down, and relations with the rest of the estate began to improve, a process also helped by the deaths of the older residents

Interviewee: Pat Moffat

Interviewee Gender: Female

Interview Transcript

Pat: The area was very clannish, so you had Smithdown Road, Earle Road, going to Lawrence Road, that was one triangle; then you had Tunnel Road, which went from Parliament Street to Wavertree Road, that went down to Crown Street; and then you had this area, the station, which went over the Edge Lane . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and that took another area in, and when Myrtle Gardens, Myrtle House, Entwistle Lights and Milliner House come down, they, they were all tenemented or multi-occupants flats . . .

Jenny: Yeah, yeah.

Pat: . . . when they came down the people stayed in the area, but when a property came empty, there’d be a key, and it, it wasn’t a case of you went the landlord . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . you went the landlord with a key, and that gave you the first stabs on that property . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Pat: . . . so it stayed, the property stayed with them families . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . so we were, we, we were offered a house over on Crosfield in 1986 . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and because people from the Gardens had all moved up there we thought, “No, we’re just not moving, we’ll stay in Cantsfield Street”, and then in 88, I got offered another house and it was a case of having to move, I had . . .

Jenny: Where, where was Cantsfield Street?

Pat: Just off Earle Road . . .

Jenny: Right. Is it still there?

Pat: No . . .

Jenny: No.

Pat: . . . it got pulled down, about six months ago.

Jenny: Oh, right.

Pat: One side of Tunstall is our, our family home when we came up from Scotland Road, that’s just standing . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . but all of the streets are all down now . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and the schools have gone, and we, we, we came up, it was in the January, and it was MIH then, who was the landlord, it was the . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Pat: . . . Corporation, private landlords or it was MIH . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and we met the housing officer and I went, “Don’t really want to live here”, and he went, “Why not?”, I said, “Well, we, we weren’t brought up round Myrtle Street”, and he went, “That doesn’t make a difference”, and I went, “Oh, it does”, and, apparently, the people who’ve moved on to the estate when it was first built, they weren’t from the tennies, they left, whether they were bullied out or what . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . I, I, I don’t know, and now, it’s, it’s a really nice community, the new houses that have gone up are bringing new blood in, it’s . . .

Jenny: So, did you have any trouble when you first moved in, then?

Pat: Not, not trouble as such, it was a case of, “Oh, no, she, she doesn’t come from round here” or “They’re (indecipherable)” . . .

Jenny: Yeah, what . . .

Pat: . . . Tunnel Road was known as the Bridge, Lodge Lane was known as the Lane . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and Earle Road was known as the Cooey. They’re all . . .

Jenny: The Cooey?

Pat: Yeah, the Cooey, because Earle Road was the cooey for the railway station or going through to Plezzy’s, which was the automatic or Littlewood’s or . . .

Jenny: Oh, right.

Pat: . . . or Dunlop’s, any of them, all of the workers from predominantly Earle Road, Smithdown Road, so you’d see hordes of people coming up Spofforth Road of a morning, either coming the railway or going to the gasworks or one of the other businesses, but it, it was, it wasn’t a case of we, we, we were shunted. It took me, I stopped crying after six years, to be honest, I couldn’t settle in the house, I’d get up of a morning, Steve would go to work, I’d get the two boys ready for school, and I’d stay down Earle Road until they came out of school . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and then, we’d come home, and I just . . . I never associated with anybody for about six years, and one of the neighbours had a bad fall, and I stayed with her, sent Steven to the phone box on Wavertree Road, and that seemed to melt them a little bit then . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . I was kind of, “Oh hi, yeah are you all right?”, you know . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . .  but up until that stage you were ostracised in, in a way. I mean, they weren’t nasty, just, no one bothered with you . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . because the clannish bit was . . .

Jenny: Still there.

Pat: . . . was still there, yeah.

Jenny: Six years, it’s a long time.

Pat: Yeah, it is. I just hated the house, I wanted to go back to Earle Road where people were more friendly and . . . I mean, they’re nice now . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . they, they are, they’re absolutely lovely, but an awful lot of the people that caused it have, have died, they seemed to bring the attitude with them, you know, “Oh, it’s only for us and us alone”, type of thing, and “We don’t want outsiders coming in” . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . because they all knew each other, and they were all related . . .

Jenny: (very quietly) Yeah.

Pat: . . . I mean, in our close, we had Mrs. Johnson, who had, I think it was 15 children, and eight of them lived on the estate, and she had four grandchildren that lived on the estate, so, she, when, when she died, the others, kind of, they’d moved off, I think we’re down to, we’ve got Marie, Tommy, Anne, living there, so, they’re the three . . .

Jenny: Of the 15?

Pat: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The rest have all moved on after their mum died, she died about three years ago now, Mrs. Johnson, she was the eldest resident on the estate.

Tagged under: wavertree road, tunnel road, demolition, earle road, smithdown road, myrtle gardens, edge lane, lodge lane, crown street, myrtle street

Categorised under: Change & Communities

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