Anne Morris

Born: 29th October 1942

Dublin, Ireland

Date of interview: 20th July 2006

Map showing where Anne Morris came from

And what are your memories of Ireland?

Well yes I grew up there well I ... we had a ... it was lovely really growing up in Ireland but, as a child you probably weren't aware of perhaps the economic difficulties that, you know, the adults had. It was lovely and free and, I was educated at a convent which was very strict, very, very strict in comparison to these days. Yes I suppose we all say that the school days are the best days of our lives but, not really, because I used to miss my parents desperately when I would go back at the beginning of term. My best subject at school was Music. I did my, which will be familiar to Irish people, my Intermediate Certificate in the secondary school and I did Music as well. So I, Music was my best subject and I did extremely well at piano. I didn't stay on to finish my education in Ireland because my parents had emigrated so I came over here when, as I say, I was eighteen and, came to England and it was, I have to say, a complete shock to me. It was nothing as I had expected it would be.

I imagined from my History and my Geography that England would be all industry, houses absolutely everywhere not a, you know a sign of any green fields. And my parents had actually settled in a little village, Whitchurch in Pangbourne. I remember my father and mother picking me up and we drove back to Whitchurch near Pangbourne and I could not believe, the country is so beautiful I was really, you know, amazed. And the next morning I remember going down, walking down from Whitchurch down into Pangbourne, which was just about five minutes, and you had to walk down, and there was a toll bridge, which is still there, and it was so pretty, the bridge goes over the Thames. It was absolutely beautiful and I really couldn't believe the beauty of the place, it really was amazing. And I was expecting just factories and its just your, you know your perception of things really, isn't it? But I was, I was amazed and it was beautiful. Having said that, when I look back now, I think if my parents weren't there I wouldn't have stayed here but having your family around you it was very comforting and very reassuring.

But when I came over here I just couldn't wait to get a job; I was so anxious to get a job to earn money obviously and I remember getting the, what was it called the Reading Chronicle then, I used to get it and look for jobs. I always remember my father saying to me, 'Anne, don't be in such a hurry to get a job, because once you start working Anne you will be working for the rest of your life' and he's quite true, he was so true. Eventually I did get a job, there was a job advertised in a company called Underwood's Typewriters in Station Road, Reading.