Mary Considine (nee Collins) came from Tullamore and spent several years working in service at hotels and private colleges in England before settling in Leicester.
Agencies recruited staff in Ireland, gave them a room in staff houses and found them jobs. The agency paid the fare over from Ireland and the young recruits paid it back out of their wages. One of her jobs was at Lyon’s, Cadby Hall, High St Kensington. At the time the factory was preparing the meals for aeroplanes and Mary had to print out the labels using a sort of John Bull printing set.
Mary later worked at Ampleforth College, a large private Benedictine college for boys in York, between 1953 and1956. The college was run by monks and Mary’s job, along with the other women, was to look after the boys: set up tables for meals, serve food, clean, polish and make beds. They also took the priests their breakfast. The girls were not allowed to ever speak to the boys and would have been sent home if found out.
She next worked at the Gloucester Hotel in London and then the Hyde Park Rd. Hotel in Knightsbridge.
She met her husband Paul at a dance 1958 in Ealing Broadway and they married in 1960 at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Brook Green, Shepherds’ Bush. Mary went back home to Ireland the following year as she had a sick child and her father would not let her stay away from home: she was also pregnant with her second child, Timmy.
Paul stayed in England to work in Manchester and finally found work as a JCB driver in Leicester.
Mary and Paul first lived on 33 Medway St. and rented the ground floor of a terraced house for £3 a week. They rented from a Greek landlord who would come to the house to collect the rent on Saturdays. Mary thinks he had several properties around the area.
|Patrick, Mark, Dympna, Helen, Timmy and Paul Considine.|
Mary’s family had the front and middle downstairs rooms of the house and the use of the kitchen. The children’s bed was pushed up against the front door and so everyone come down the entry and through the back door. She washed the kids in the sink and dried them in front of the fire.The people upstairs would have to go through the living room to get to their flat!
Mary remembers that the morning post would drop on the heads of the children whose bed was pushed up against the front door.
The family then moved to 49 St. Saviours Rd to a ground floor flat: 1 bedroom, living room, kitchen. Another family had the top floor of the house of the house and they would come through Mary’s living room to go upstairs! Mary had 4 children by now and had to hit the walls of the house to scare away the mice before she went in.
They also lived in
45 St Stephen’s Rd: a 3 storey house from Woods the builders, £3 a week.
42 Evington Rd : a 3 storey house, damp with no back garden and
18 Henry Ave, Eyres Monsell.