Oral History collection: William Quigley (born 16 Sep. 1907) interviewed by R. T. Price about Memories of the Greenhill area of Swansea.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 TH 91ii
  • Dates of Creation
      27 Dec. 1988
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 audio recording

Scope and Content

TH91ii Track 1. [00:00:20] Community: William Quigley talking about Greenhill area (Dyfatty). [00:00:53] Community: Names Streets in Greenhill. [00:01:39] Community: Greenhill was an area of Irish Settlement. [00:02:42] Community: More Irish than Welsh living there. [00:03:00] Community: Born in 1907 and 6 years later moved to Port Tennant to live with grandmother who was Irish. [00:04:21] Community: Reason that Irish settled there was that they worked in the Cwmfelin Tin Works or the Docks. [00:05:31] Community: The women used to help in the docks on the potato and onion boats. [00:06:30] Community: Also there were French people there. [00:06:45] Social: Irish Gaelic was spoken between the Irish. [00:07:41] Social: Recalls some Irish phrases taught as a child. [00:08:56] Social: Prayers were in Irish Gaelic. [00:09:45] Social: Latin was taught in schools - no Irish or Welsh!. [00:10:03] Social: St Josephs School, taught by Sister Mary Bridgett. [00:10:12] Social: Knew all the answers to questions on Irish geography. [00:11:49] Community: Most of the Irish immigrants came form the Cork area. [00:12:54] Community: Very strict discipline in school. [00:13:17] Community: No Welsh children in St Josephs school, but in St Illtyds there were a few Welsh children and French children. [00:14:40] Community: No anti Irish animosity at all. Only fighting was when the Irish men got thrown out of the Pubs. [00:15:20] Community: Names pubs in the Greenhill area. Tended to have 'Irish' pubs. [00:16:35] Community: Played Irish music and had Irish songs singing. If your name wasn't Murphy you were not Irish!. Just like being in Ireland. [00:17:50] Social: The Priest would keep things in order so the Police were not involved. [00:18:30] Social: The Priest gave references for employment. [00:19:00] Community: Left school at 13yrs of age. Got a job in the Docks in the ship breaking yard (1921). [00:19:50] Community: Started work in the ship yard before he told his mother. 7 shillings and six pence a week. [00:20:31] Social: Told his mother after three weeks! His sister was working in Baldwins - he went and asked for a job and started work there for 13 shillings a week. [00:21:15] Social: 1926 - he went to the Parish hall, no money, mother a widow, gave him 10 shillings. [00:22:41] Social: Went to naval Office and joined up as going to the Parish office was humiliating. Did 26 years in the navy. [00:23:24] Social: Came out of Navy and had three months leave. Went to Weavers to work after leaving Navy. [00:24:10] Social: Laid off from Weavers, went to the Sand and Gravel company, worked there for 2 and a half years and got laid off again. [00:25:42] Social: Then went to Trinity House for 25 years, working on light houses and boats. [00:27:20] Social: Goes quiet for a while after reminisicing about The Troubles in Northern Ireland. [00:29:03] Social: Went on the Blue Funnel line in Scotland. [00:29:47] Second World War: Served in the War in the Pacific for two years. [00:30:36] Second World War: Escorted a convoy down to South Africa when War was declared.