St. Angela’s National School, The Lawn, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
A snapshot of the entries from Nicaomh Jordan, Saorise McCabe, and Katie Padden.
Nicaomh Jordan, 5th class.
Holy Communion: We had to learn Our Father, Hail Mary, Act of Contrition and a few chapters of the Short Catehism (Questions and answers). Sometimes Confirmation and communions were the same year. The Bishop only came every three years so when pupils were making their Communion they often made it the same year as their confirmation.
Shop: The nearest shop was three miles away it but there were some travelling shops. They carried groceries and animal food stuff. Otherwise you had to go to Crossmolina it was the nearest town it was eight miles away.
Food: People bought their meat from the butcher. Not much people ate sausages, as it was considered for townspeople. A lot of people grew their own vegetables and had hens. Vegetables were used much more back then. Beef and lamb was usually at the weekends. Fish was on Fridays or eggs. Rice was only used to make desserts like rice pudding. We had bacon and cabbage frequently.
Midwifery: Emmigrants to England usually travelled by boat. When I went to England, I travelled by boat, It was actually quite comfortable. It took nine hours to get from Dublin to Liverpool and then to Leeds (by boat). Many Irish nurses did the same. Most of the counties in Ireland were represented by nurses that worked in the same hospital as I did. Especially people from Mayo, Cork, Meath and Galway. Nursing was very enjoyable we nurses lived in the nurses home attached to the hospital. There were a lot of Irish girls there. Graduation was a big celebration. Our prizes were presented by the Duchess of Harewood. My midwifery training on District was very interesting. The mothers stayed at home for their child’s brith. We did six months in Districts and six months in hospitals. We travelled to the patients houses by bus, train and if were on night duty a taxi drove us to the patients house. The house and patents were very nice. They treated us like royalty. I enjoyed midwifery and nursing.
Extracts from Saoirse and Katie’s entries below: