Liverpool became home to thousands of Irish migrants by the end of the great potato famine in 1851 with some 90,000 setting up home in the city.

One of the digital history older peoples group, Paul, a writer and ex-teacher told us the story of the McDermot families transit to the port.

‘When my father’s family came to Liverpool during the diaspora which followed the Famine in Ireland, all the family’s possessions were loaded on an open cart, pulled by a horse.

They settled in Boaler Street, right on the ‘boundary’ of Everton & Vauxhall and he traded as a Coal Merchant. My father was born in 1922, but when his father died c. 1930, my father’s schooling effectively ended. His widowed mother had to sell the coal business and move to Dovecot. My father had to WALK from there to an Orphanage next to the present site of St. Edwards College in West Derby,

To make ends meet, he would sing to entertain queues waiting to go into the Gaumont and other cinemas & theatres along West Derby Road. He remembers when there were frequent visits from live Circuses at the Grafton Rooms. He and his friends would try to ‘sneak in’ at the back, past the animal cages, and would also sweep up ‘fresh droppings’ from the roads to sell to gardeners’

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