Patrick is from Straide, County Mayo and came to England in October 1945. When he left home he caught a train from Mayo to Dublin and then travelled on the Princess Maud, which he describes as “the worst boat in the world” as it rocked so much on the journey across the sea to his destination at Holyhead in Wales. He caught another train and travelled to London, where he found the experience terrible as he felt completely lost and struggled to find his way to St Albans where he had arranged a job and accommodation.
Prior to leaving Ireland the only job he knew how do to was working on a farm. Soon after he arrived in England he was employed as a milkman for a dairy based in St Albans and worked in this role during the Big Snow in 1947, one of the most severe European winters on record.
Also in that year a new factory owned by Ballito opened manufacturing hosiery and silks, Patrick left his job as a milkman to work there where he stayed for the next thirty years. He was trained up to be a hosiery knitter but by the 1970s cheaper nylon tights were becoming more popular with women. He moved to Luton in 1977 and worked for the Ballito factory in Dallow Road for three years making knitwear and thick tights before the site was closed down and he was made redundant.
He found another job immediately working for Luton Borough Council in the airport security department. He thought the council was a very good employer and he remained in this role until he retired aged 65.
He met his wife Joan at a Sunday dance at St Stephen’s Church in St Albans fifty years ago. Her grandparents emigrated from Ireland but she was raised in Manchester. Joan and her friends Joan Tasker and Josie Toady started the Sacred Heart Social Club fifteen years ago and it is still going today with over sixty-two members attending every week.