Pat Moffat remembers life on Smithdown Road when she was a girl

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

Pat Moffat reminisces about her childhood on Smithdown Road. She explains that it was a multicultural area but everybody got on well, although her sister Donna was terrified when she saw a turban for the first time! She fondly recalls the smells from the herbs and spices shop on Grampy Street

Interview Transcript

Jenny: And what’s your memories then of Smithdown Road, and the shops, and . . . ?

Pat: Oh, gosh . . . I can remember the first time we, we, we’d ever come up, and my younger sister Donna, she’s 10 years younger than me, so she’d be two coming up, and screaming, cos she saw a man with a turban on (Jenny laughs), we’d never seen anybody like that ever in our lives. My mum was known as Black Annie, so, the, the black skins . . .

Jenny: She’s dark, yeah.

Pat: . . . of, of people never frightened us, it, it, it was the costumes they wore, the clothing, turbans on their head, and men wearing dresses over trousers, I mean, we, we couldn’t get our heads round it, you know, and we weren’t, we were brought up not to stare at people, so you’d kind of be looking out of the side of your eye, but we were frightened at the same time cos we were never told in school . . .

Jenny: It was different.

Pat: . . . about people with other cultures, me mum done her best with religion, that kind of a culture, but we weren’t taught about what people wore or nothing,  and the highlight of our week used to be going down to Grampy Street . . .

Jenny: Oh, yeah.

Pat: . . . to get all the herbs and spices, cos me mum cooked everything Italian . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . and we’d go down there and the smells, you know, were, oh, they were gorgeous . . .

Jenny: Oh, wow!

Pat: . . . I mean, there was a lot of people, you see, on Grampy Street, but at one time, it was such a cosmopolitan street, and there was no bitterness or anything else, it was just the smells and . . . oh, it was lovely, you could but everything down there, coffee beans, and the man would grind them for you, the flour as well . . .

Jenny: Wow!

Pat: . . . one, one of the shops had a, a flour grinder, and you, you’d near choke to death watching him, cos he used to just throw it on, and you’d have your head over . . (Jenny laughs), you’d get a face full of flour dust!

Jenny: Oh, wow, so that was all goods . . .

Pat: Yeah . . .

Jenny: . . . coming in from the docks . . . ?

Pat: . . . yeah, yeah.

Jenny: . . . and things like that?

Tagged under: docks, smithdown road, grampy street

Categorised under: Social Life

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