Friday, 8 February 2013

Bakewell St

Etta Burns came from Forkhill, South Armagh to Leicester in 1957. She came for work and lived with family at 49 Upper Kent St. until she got married. 

41-47 Upper Kent St

Her uncle, Tommy Burns, had come over in 1939. He used to work at St. Pat’s club, Abbey St so she would spend a lot of time there and loved it.

She met Patrick Grady at a Co-op Hall dance but had seen him around at St. Pat’s and other places and decided that he was the one. However, she does say that the girls could have their pick of the fellas, have dates with no-strings attached and even have a couple "on the go" before you made up your mind! She married Patrick Grady in 1960 and was married for 50 yrs.

Etta and Patrick at The Palais.

Etta and Patrick first lived in a flat on Nottingham Rd, near Imperial Typewriters which cost £2/10. She remembers being happy and busy and having a good life.

She first worked in Woolworth’s, where she was paid £4/18, but didn’t like having to work Saturdays. After Woolworth's she worked at Abbey bakeries, then Castle Lloyd's Printing, and Imperial Typewriters. She stopped work once she got married.

Patrick worked for Sowden's Building Contractors, based on Tudor Road. He was a pipe layer then and always stuck to the ground work up to when he retired.

Patrick Grady and his son Brendan in the back yard of Bakewell St.

Etta and Patrick had one son, Brendan, who was born in 1961 after they had just moved to Bakewell St. They had bought their first house at 58 Bakewell St for £900 and moved to the Uppingham Rd area in 1969.

Etta, Patrick and Brendan in his pram on Bakewell St.
For a while in the 1960s, Etta worked with Alice McCreesh selling tea towels, mist cloths, soaps etc on behalf of the blind and disabled. The work was door to door, 6-9 in the evenings: they were paid £3 a week but had to, at least, sell that amount of stuff. After that they were on commission. 

“We would call to the council houses at the weekend, when they had money, and the private ones in the week.

Etta says she would go home twice a year when she was single and once a year once she was married and had a family. The only time she missed was the year she had her son.

Patrick, Etta and Brendan in the back yard of Bakewell St.

Upper Kent St has now gone and  would have been where Maidstone Rd now stands. Thanks to Dennis Calow at Vanished Leicester for the photo.

Vanished Leicester is part of a fantastic resource, My Leicestershire , which is part of The East Midlands Oral History archive

 If you'd like to be involved contact us on 0116 276 9186 or pop in to:

The Emerald Centre, Gipsy Lane, Leicester. LE5 OTB

We're now also on Twitter: follow me on  @irishleicester or join The Irish in Leicester group on Facebook.
Click here to view a map of The Irish in Leicester.

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