Maura O'Shea (Nee Bird)

Maura was born and lived in the area of town known as the Gloucester Diamond in a street named Graham’s Court. She moved to no. 41, Lr Mayor Street as her father worked in the B&I and he was offered one of the companies houses on Mayor Street, which was next door to the salt factory. She was one of four siblings the eldest one of whom died of diphtheria at age three.

As a young woman Maura worked in Lever Brothers, where many of the local community worked. There she met her true love Dennis O’Shea, my mother’s first cousin, who also worked there. They married in the 60’s and moved into what would become their forever home. They were one of the most devoted couples that I have ever met.

Maura left work to become a full time home-maker. Her home was known as a place of great parties where there was always a welcome for everyone. She was a terrific cook and hostess. She loved knitting and all kinds of crafting, which was not unusual for women from our community.  She was an industrious home maker and crafter. Her kindness was legendary. She worked tirelessly for the local meals on wheels service. Whenever new babies were born, Maura appeared with a bundle of hand knitted baby cardigans for the new arrival. She attended all family celebrations, no matter how small with a gift in hand. She was a woman of her community as were all of the women in Sheriff St. If there was a tragedy or need in the local community, she was on hand to help and community member knew that about her an would often reach out to her for help. She is one of the kindest, most fun-loving women that I’ve ever met.

Unfortunately, in her later years she developed Alzheimer’s Disease. She was cared for at home by her lovely daughter Geraldine. We lost Maura on the 3rd May 2023 shortly after this photo was taken. I’m very proud to have known her as my aunt and a woman of Sheriff Street.

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