John Campbell - Abstracts

John grew up on Pennywell Road opposite the Good Shepherd laundry. Here John shares childhood memories of the place.

We used to see people in and out, coming out of the gates - there was a big gate there near where you handed in the laundry. There used to be a Sister behind the dispatch, always a Sister, never anyone else only a Sister in full uniform. We used to play football on the street and occasionally the ball used to go in over the wall into the grounds. And there was at that time, as I recall, a chap that used to be a handyman come gardener and he used to come out through them gates occasionally with his horse and cart to deliver stuff or picking up stuff or running errands for the nuns. We wouldn't get our ball back for three or four days until we would see this chap coming out.

In the evenings in wintertime in Roxtown Terrace there was a corner and they called it 'the hot corner'. Because of the boilers in the laundry this particular place was always hot and after playing football we would always sit down there. It was known as the hot corner and walking past today the place is still there.

Sometimes of a Saturday afternoon when we were playing, residents of the Good Shepherd would come out and there would be a senior lady or a chaperone. I presume they were going up to do some shopping in the city. They all seemed to be happy as if they were getting certain release from detention. They would only be a small group, about six, not more than six, and a senior lady or a chaperone minding them. She was the eldest and she would be giving them instruction telling them 'come on now' or 'we have shopping to do' or words to that effect. You couldn't chat with them because I think it was all close knit. You couldn't make contact with them because that is why the senior lady was there to make sure there was no chatting with other people or conversation with other people.

Much later after my sister got married she came to live in Roxtown Terrrace, the Long Can– that's what it used to be called... We were talking about the poor misfortunes who resided in the Good Shepherd. She said she recalled listening to them coming over that bridge maybe half past five or six o clock in the evening - the bridge over the road. The clatter of feet walking across was all you would hear at the end of the day working in the laundry I suppose. You couldn't see them.

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