Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Raphoe Volt House - Work

I worked in Earle Whyte’s drapery shop in Ballybofey. I was just filling in a gap while I was waiting to do nursing, It was quite pleasant, I was a messenger. I also worked in Strabane and smuggled material across the border. – Jean Wilson

My first job was in a restaurant where I was a cashier and serving coffee. I got my coffee every day and there was a bakery attached so I could eat what I wanted. The hours were long but I got lots of pocket money. You used to get things like custard slices and there were loads of different types of pies. – Jean Wray

I did work in an old peoples home doing accounts in the morning. I got under £2 a week. It was lovely and the staff were lovely but I was stuck in an office. I went to London in 1964 to work in the Institute of Bankers. I remember at the time the computer filled the whole room. It was used to store the records of the people who did their exams there. The computers worked on binary code with cards and lights. – Ann Kavanagh

I just left before the exams started in the royal. My first job was ‘dropping’ potatoes (planting) out of an apron. You got a bag and made it into an apron and you got the potatoes into it. The drills were open in the ground and you walked along and dropped the potatoes. When you were finished you would fill the bag again. You would cut the potato in two to get the seed and plant them then. It was all manual labour. You would have been sowing the corn and making ready the ground for turnips. There was no precision sowers at that time, it sowed thick at the time and you had to go along after it and thin it out. – John Patterson

My first job was a primary school teacher in Killygordon. I earned £28 a month. I taught with Gretta Maxwell. – Anne Thompson

When we came back from Australia we bought a brand new Volkswagon beetle. It cost £810. To go from Lifford from Dublin cost £22 return. – Anne Kavanagh

When I left school I went to work for my uncle at the threshing. It was just at the stage where it was coming to the end of the threshing. I loved the work, I really enjoyed it, it was hard work but it was great fun because neighbours gathered round and helped each other. At that time the men were all fed where they were threshing at. Whenever I was growing up there was always about ten men at the dinner, everybody ate together in the room at the big table. There was both Catholic and Protestants. Whenever I was going out to work with my uncle the class division came about, men were divided up between the rooms based on class distinction, for example land owners and farmers. I was getting about £5 a week at the time. I did that for a few years in the early 60's then the combine harvester took over. I started to farm then on my own. Farming then was always great fun, it was always cheery. Now farming has become a very lonely occupation. – Harry Wallace

I worked as a social worker in Strabane. When I got the job I needed a driving licence, you couldn’t drive on your own in the north, I practiced with my father at the time. The third week I was working there I was made to make the tea, I went to make the tea, and lo and behold there was man with a gun behind me. He told me they’d planted a bomb and to get out. So we got out and told a police officer, but he hadn’t the authority to close the road so we stopped the traffic ourselves and then the bomb went off. My wee car which I had to borrow money for had four or five holes in the roof of it. Then we moved into a gate lodge at Greenfield. We were trying to sort it out for ages, there were no heaters there, and the men didn’t know how to change the plugs. We were only there a fortnight when we were blown up again. We had to work from home then, it was difficult, all our records were destroyed. In saying that I found it a very interesting job. I went to the door to a man in Aghyaran. I started to say my name and he stopped me and said ‘say no more!’ He asked his wife to come and asked her who did I look like, and she said my mother’s name, who used to call around visiting the sick 25 years before! – Heather Cromie

My first job was on a poultry farm, where the owners studied different methods of rearing hens. They had houses with hens in battery cages, houses with hens in deep litter and pens of free range hens. There was also a hatcher from where day old chicks were sold. One of my jobs would have been grading and coding eggs and looking after the incubators. The farm was beside a river and the local dump and when a flood came it was a day’s sport for the owner, his dog and the male employees shooting at the rats as the rising waters invaded their homes. I lived with the family in their supposedly haunted home and was paid £7 10s 0dd per week. – Mary Carlin

'I used to babysit a lot at the weekends in a big farmhouse (Rankin's) when I was 13. I worked in Davey McCrabbs sweet shop each lunch time from 1 until 2 Monday to Friday while at The Tech in Raphoe (renamed Deele College). There was just the three of us helping to give the student's sweets. The shop had a wooden floor and counter, there was no till you just counted all the money. Davey done all the weighing of the sweets. The sweets were all on shelves in big glass jars, they sold cola cubes, pink and white bon bons, midget gems, tayto crisps, love hearts, candy cigarettes...he sold real cigarettes too, mostly in singles. I really enjoyed my time in the shop I got paid £1.00 each day.' - Teresa Duffy

1 comment:

  1. Hello, came across your website today and really enjoyed reading it! Well done and I wish you lots of success with the project.

    I have happy memories of my time at Sion Mills primary school!