Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Memory of a 3 year old Marie

The corner you see in the picture is one of those corners I mentioned earlier when I referred to The Four Corners of Hell. In this photo you can see one of the pubs (this one was "The Green Kilt") that stood at the four corners -- the other three corners are out of picture. Summerhill is the street in picture and the side of the pub is in Lower Gardiner Street, 5 doors from where Marie was born. (The pub is No 121 Lr Gardiner St. Marie was born in No 116 five doors to the left, out of picture)

Our Gran used to sell fruit and sweets from a stall at that corner of Summerhill and Gardiner Street. The 'stall' was one of those old high prams with the big springs and different sized wheels back and front. The fruit and bags of sweets were set out on a board, usually a breadboard, stretched across the pram and passers by bought apples and pears for one penny each and a bag of broken rock was two pence.

She used to go to sweet factories and buy big lumps of boiled rock that had spilled over the edge of the boiled-sweet making machine. Rock that had gone hard and all out of shape. (Rock is that round stick of toffee that you see on sale at seasides) She would bring these slabs of rock home where she had this little hammer that she used to break it into smaller pieces, small enough to fit in your mouth. Then she would fill small paper bags or sometimes paper cones made of a newspaper page and that's how the sweets were presented for sale.

Click to see Gran here: "The Mother of all the Leonards"

And here's where Gran used to buy the fruit, at the Fruit Market.

Now on with Marie's memories.....

"I remember when I was about 3 years old my gran would take me to the fruit market with her. We would have to go to the markets very early in the morning before the fruit was sold out, and she would push me along on a big old pram that she would put all her boxes of fruit on. Because she used to sell the fruit we did not get any free samples, but to see the big apples and the oranges god did they make my mouth run water.

As I say, she used to sell sweets as well. I loved her weighing scales and I remember she bought me a toy one. It was yellow and red. One day when I was in her basement flat, I think it was beside The 27 Steps, I wanted to weigh her sweets on my weighing scales and she would not let me so I threw a tantrum and smashed my weighing scales. Well all hell broke loose then. God did I get into trouble for that. My mam said, "Mary dont give her anything else she is too bold." Mary was my Grans name.

But she was very hard on us sometimes my Gran,and then at other times she was very good.

I remember another time I was walking down Sean McDermot street with her and the priest was passing us and because I did not genuflect to the priest I got a wallop across the head and was told, "You are to always respect the priest!" God if only we knew what was to come out in later years about the priests I wonder would I have got that smack in the head.

Anyway if we where bold, like I often was, I was told I would be brought to the priest and he would stick me to the floor. We where so afraid of the priests power. Or we would be told we would be put in the Magdalen Home and never allowed out again. The things we would be told was scary.

But best of all I loved when my Gran would bring me into Willie Barratt's (a shop two doors away from where I lived in Gardiner Street) and buy me a glass of milk and snow cake. I loved that. When I think back the cake would melt in my mouth and the milk was lovely because it was in a real glass not a jam jar."

Ah sure they were the days.....


Mike S said...

Great post of a nice memory you two. We had hard candy and milk chocolate that was overflow from the factory across the river in Canada. That was the best candy I ever remember tasting. An old man sold it from a stall near the International Bridge 24/7 every day but Christmas. Strange how Irish memories so closely parallel my own at times, even though an ocean apart. Thanks again for another great memory:)

Mies said...

Hello Jim & Marie, I love this story. Marie you did a great job in telling your memory...I really enjoyed it...Thank you, Mies

Anonymous said...

my mother went to ruthland street school around 1938 her name was lizzy laird her mother had a shop around the aera not to sure where her best friend was maggie murphy my mother was an only child she went on to have 12 herself she grew up around foley street she moved to 55 coropation street when she married leo meredith she moved to crumlin in the 50s she would have made her coummion in the tin church i am looking for any one who remembers her or my dad my dad went on to own a chipper again not to sure where but it would have been around the eara his sister annie ran the chipper i am lokking for anyone who would have any photos of them or where i should look