Pat Moffat talks about her family member who worked on the railway

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

Pat Moffat mentions her family background, of how her Uncle Jackie worked on the railway, and how her father trained for the same job, but was ruled out when found to be colour blind, but still socialised with his railway-worker friends. Uncle Jackie, meanwhile, had both legs amputated after being hit by a train, but got a job in the ticket office, which enabled him to buy fish and chips for his colleagues. Pat also reveals how her mother was cleaner for Louis Caplan, Lord Mayor of Liverpool from 1964 to 1965

Interviewee: Pat Moffat

Interviewee Gender: Female

Interview Transcript

so you grew up . . .

Pat: I, I was born in Derrick Gardens, Scotland Road . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . .  me dad’s family were Irish, came over during the Potato Famine, and me mum, Sicilian, her family were Sicilian. My nan came originally to south Wales, she married a soldier, and he left her pregnant, and it took her six months to get from Sicily over to the United Kingdom, and when she turned up, because they’re all fairly dark skinned, they weren’t accepted by the Welsh chapel, cos Grandad was Welsh chapel, and Nanny was Catholic, so he got the offer of a job in Liverpool, came up to Scotland Road, and me mum lived in Eldon Street, and me dad lived in Burlington Street. His family was a huge family of, of me dad’s, me dad’s mum was a local money lender . . .

Jenny: Oh, right.

Pat: . . . yeah, with little hard men behind her when people didn’t pay up and such like, and we moved up to Smithdown Road when I was 11, which would have been 1965, and me mum at the time was cleaning for a Mr. and Mrs. Caplan, who later became the Lord and Lady Mayoress . . .

Jenny: (sounds intrigued) Right, yeah.

Pat: . . .  and we got a lot of posh food, and all of the flowers, she got some beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets, she give them to me, to take to the local Catholic Church which was St. Francis Xavier’s – SFX – and my dad had friends who worked on the railway cos he’d been trained as a fireman, or a boiler man . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . they were called, he done all of his training and he found out he was colour blind, he couldn’t distinguish red from green . . .

Jenny: Right.

Pat: . . . so they found him a job in Sefton General Hospital . . .

Jenny: Oh, the railway did?

Pat: Yeah . . .

Jenny: Oh, right!

Pat: . . . yeah, because they couldn’t sack him as such . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . because, I don’t know, he hadn’t had a medical or something, this condition wasn’t found, it was only when he was taking further training after he learnt about the steam engines, for the signals, and they found him a job in Sefton General, but he had mates that worked on the railway, and every Saturday, he’d go to the loco club in Sandown Lane, and it was a big thing, they used to queue up to get in cos they had all the best turns on, apparently . . .

Jenny: Oh, right!

Pat: . . . but they all paid subs . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . they had this little card, and you had to have this, like, was it boiler makers’ union or something, used to have to show that in order to get in, but Uncle Jackie, he worked on the railways, he had both of his legs amputated here (Jenny makes a tutting noise), two trains, he was on the sidings, and as he’s crossing the rail . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . the trains hit him, and he lost both of his legs . . .

Jenny: Aw, no!

Pat: . . . so he ended up in the ticket office, but he used to get all cheap fish and everything from, cos everyone, this was a good job . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . as well as a, a . . .

Jenny: Passenger station.

Pat: . . . passenger, so when any of the boxes or the bags, sacks, got accidentally opened, the men who worked round here were really popular, because they got first pick of whatever was going, and the fish was always a pint-buyer, if you know what I mean, cos they’d go in with boxes of fish and . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . you know, “Here you are, you have a couple of these and . . .”

Jenny: Yeah.

Pat: . . . me dad always made sure he had the Echo in his back pocket to wrap anything that he’d got.

Tagged under: edge hill station, railway workers, firemen, lord mayor of liverpool, sefton general hospital, scotland road, sandown lane, burlington street, eldon street, st. francis xavier's church

Categorised under: Work & Industry

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