Friday, 16 March 2012

Jermyn St

Chris Moloney was born in County Limerick and came to Leicester in 1964. He had been working in London “in the shoe” but had two children and was looking for somewhere better to live. He was on 3 housing waiting lists in London and was trying to buy a house in Luton when his boss persuaded him to talk to the Company Director. At the time he worked for Curtis Shoes which, along with 6 other companies, was about to become part of the British Shoe Company and Chris was offered a job in Leicester.

He looked at buying a Jelson house off Braunstone Lane, with the promise that it would be ready by Xmas that year. It was not ready until March so the company set him up with temporary accommodation in Jermyn St, off Melton Rd and his wife, Kay, and the children joined him later. This was a shared terraced house and the family had access to the upstairs floor through a front corridor. BSC may have paid the rent for a couple of months to get them started and gave him £750 moving allowance.He only intended to stay in Leicester for a few months but the housing situation made it an attractive proposition. He remembers the lady downstairs offering to babysit so that he and Kay could go out and they went to see the Sound of Music at the pictures!

 He worked long hours and caught a bus into town to get the work’s bus up to the new factory at Leicester Forest East. The original BSC building had been built to provide work for the young women of New Parks and Braunstone He didn’t have the time to get to the barbers but remembers having a good crew cut that would last a while, somewhere near the Clock Tower.

Kay did know a little a bit about Leicester before they came up: she had come over from Leamington Spa and knew that Leicester had a Speedway and Banger racing. She worked as A Nursing Auxiliary at the Royal Infirmary at weekends and was working at Foxes Glacier Mints, Oxford St. when they moved up to Braunstone.

Chris would go back to London every 6 weeks to see friends.The M1 was still a dual carriageway and only reached as far as Luton. He remembers his 4 yr. old son calling it “Stinky London” and so decided that the family would stay in Leicester. They finally moved to the new Jelson Estate and have lived there for 22 years.

Chris remembers tea dances at The Grand Hotel.
He is a life member of the Braunstone Victoria Working Men’s club.
In the 70s Chris acted as an agent for a transport agency. He would be helping up to 3 families a week to move back home, mainly to Mayo and West Cork.
Mrs. Walsh ran a licensed boarding house, 47-49 Highfield St, facing the Catholic Club

Chris and Kay’s children went to Christ the King and Winstanley.
His grandchildren go to English Martyrs.

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