Thursday, August 24, 2023

Newtown and the Irish in Cardiff

 An edited comment on this post from the invaluable Facebook group about a family in Love Lane. The same Love Lane my paternal grandfather, PG's mother and, independently, my Aunt Philo - who married into the family on the maternal line, called home:

My grandfather Patrick Michael Wadden was a seaman worked for Neale and West's, in 1925 he left the family and made his way to Sydney, Australia. Leaving my grandmother and five children my mum the baby being a few weeks old. My grandmother cleaned Saint David's Cathedral and the presbytery attached to the cathedral to earn money for food. The house she rented in Love Lane was owned by the church so her rent was probably reduced. (I am assuming this). Still with four boys and her baby girl all under the age of seven, times were very hard. The Welfare man arrived and told my Gran that when the children sat down to eat she would be cooking and serving them so she did not need six seats but five would suffice. So sell the sixth seat and when you have I will come back to assess you then. My uncles and my mum all had a fear of being without and having to go to the welfare office. Carried this fear all their lives. Grandfather came back to Cardiff in '42 died a pauper in the workhouse later Saint David's hospital. The family did not know he had come back to Wales till years later. My gran died the year before him in 1941.

Heart wrenching. "Sell the sixth seat and when you have, I will come back to assess you then." I am not crying. I have just got something in my eye.

No comments: