Monday, 2 January 2012

Extract from In Conversation with Johnny Lin and Georgie Quarless L1 Oral History Chinatown Moira Kenny 2005 To be continued PROJECT CHINATOWN newspaper publication

My name is John Lin I was  born in 113 Pitt Street 30/07/1929 I was reared up here in Pitt Street until the War finished and we was bombed and we had to move. My mother and father, well my mother’s father had the laundry in 113 Pitt Street at that time from there we moved to Clarabelle Street off Upper Warwick Street Liverpool 8 because it had been condemned because the bombing was on. From there the air raid at that time, my mother’s twin died and so she was left looking after ten of us in Liverpool. She reared the ten of us in 18 A Kent Gardens all the local neighbourhood were dispersed all over Liverpool, Skelmesdale, Netherley, Kirkby, Norris Green everywhere but we happened to remain in Kent Gardens until the redevelopment came about from Gresham Street. 
When my mother and father died I went to live in Wavertree by Sandown Railway Club and I remained there for, Oh how long? And then it was condemned, they had a preservation order but they got by the preservation order. So I moved to off Rathbone Road, Piggy Lane and I was in a bungalow there for three or four years. From there, I was there for three or four years and one night I was at a social down here and I go’s home one night and find out that they had taken out a window out of my bedroom so from there, as it happened that's how I got back in Liverpool by St Vincent’s church it used to be called Prince Albert Gardens now it is called Prince Albert Mews.

My younger sister lives in New Zealand she has been there around thirty years my nephews and that they live in Australia in Melbourne but still keep in contact with one another, my other nephew works for the Metropolitan Cathedral and he has been there a while now. It is much better now being in ‘Old Chinatown’ well that is what we call it because you had no vandalism or what you have got the present day it is a pity when the bombing moved the place we weren’t moved into the same community, okay.

My name is George Quarless I was born on August 21st 1921 I was born in 14 Kent Street which has been renamed Frederick Street now. I am the youngest of, I am not quite sure now; I think it was a family of twelve and then I am the only one left now. My father was Chief Steward and we had our own property in Kent Street and I have always been connected with St Michaels Church which I am now as well. I have never lived out of the area. We moved from 14 Kent Street to Nile Street in 1939 the day before War was declared on the Sunday; no we moved up on the Monday, War was declared on the Sunday. 30 Nile Street that is the farthest I have been in the area so I think I am the oldest in the area that has never moved out of it. All my relatives lived in the area all around about, aunties and cousins whatever.

If you go back to my school days though one of the aspects of that was we used to see immigrants coming up from the Pier Head and some of them used to walk up in groups you know  and they used to have an old fashioned charabanc with no hood on, some of them would be in that and that was driven by a Mr Skeleskie he used to live in Pitt Street opposite our St Michael’s Church, the old church, the church that was bombed in the May blitz in 1941 and he was the driver and he used to take them up to St George’s Square to the houses further on from the Doctor’s where the Medical Centre is now and do you see the Façade that is still up there now? Well them big houses he used to put them in there. They came from Poland and all around there, some were from Germany and they put them in there and they would leave them in there for a couple of weeks until they moved on to America and then they would put another load in.