Eileen recalls taking a friend to visit St Patrick’s Church at a time when Catholics and Protestants were often in conflict.
We all went to St Patricks. The church was always packed on a Sunday; people would have to stand in the porch it was that packed. When you went in; all the men would go on one side and sit, and all the women on the other side, and upstairs in the gallery men and women would go. They had private pews by the altar but you could go in the pews if you wanted to and it was very nice. The pews were from the well off families, years before. They weren’t so well off in my time. St Patrick had his fingers broken years ago when the Orange Lodge tried to pull the statue down. That was before my time.
Chrissy Miller was my mate a few doors away. She wasn’t a Catholic. They had a big family and Emmy, her sister, was with me one day when we were passing St Patricks Church, and I said to her,
‘You’ve never been in our church have you?’
And she said, ‘No’.
I think it might have been the Exposition on; – all the flowers you know.
I said, ‘Come and Have a look’.
And she said, ‘No, I’m not allowed!’
I said ‘Come upstairs in the gallery’.
We went upstairs, – and she was Orange you know, and when she came down the stairs she fell!
We hadn’t seen the Millers since we left there in the 1930s and then when we first came to Runcorn our Mikey was showing us round. He said. ‘Come and see these bungalows, the gardens are lovely.’ We passed the bungalows at the back and Cissie went round with him and she seen a woman hanging washing out and our Mikey said,
And she said, ‘Yes. How do you know?’
He said. ‘Don’t you know us?’
And our Cissie said, ‘Cissie Lamb!’
Emmy and Chrissie used to come up to Runcorn now and again to see Rosie, and Emmy said to me,
‘Remember when I went in your church?’
I bet she said to herself, ‘I shouldn’t have been there!’