McMaster Street in the 1950s

Patricia Massey was brought up in McMaster Street, and contacted Hearth during the restoration of the houses there to pass on information about her memories of the street in the 1950s.

Patricia's grandparents, aunt and uncles
Mr & Mrs Logan
Mr and Mrs Logan about 1940
Her grandfather had lived on the Shankhill but worked in the shipyard, and when her father (TW Logan, who was born in 1913) married in 1939, he set up house at 42 McMaster Street, where she and her brother were born. Her father worked at McGroran's printing works in Bank Street  but his hobby was the Cable Street Dart Club on the other side of Newtownards Road.
the Dart Club

In her childhood the Parlour was used for visitors and formal occasions only, and it had the gas meter to the right of the fireplace, with a full height cupboard above it, with a settee (doubling as a fold-out bed for visitors) and two armchairs covered in artificial leather. In the hall there was a coatstand in dark wood occupying the arched niche. The back room was called the kitchen, and it had a gateleg table at the window, folding out for meals, along with another settle and two armchairs, and a full height cabinet beside the fire. In her day there was a Devon grate, but she remembers a neighbour Mrs Leckey had the old range and gas lights.

The scullery had a jawbox sink with brass taps on the window wall, a panelled back door, and a gas cooker on the party wall. She remembers the jawbox being replaced by a sink unit that was put on the back wall. There was a cabinet with a mesh screen to one compartment to hold meat or butter. The mangle sat out in the yard, and the tin bath was hung on the yard wall. The yard wall was whitewashed up to first floor height with a tarred base. There was the outside loo, and a coal hole beyond it. Coal was also kept under the stairs for convenience.

At first the parents slept in the front bedroom, but when they were older the children were moved into it, with a curtain down the middle of the room and the parents moved to the smaller back room. The fires would be lit in cold weather, by bringing "a shovelful of hot coals" up from the kitchen and setting them in the cast iron bedroom grates with a few fresh coals. There was a wardrobe in the alcove at the top of the stairs.
with friend

Initially they used gas and oil lamps, but when they were presented with an electric clock they had to get the electric in. Patricia had happy memories of McMaster Street, and was delighted to have the opportunity of revisiting the house before it was handed over to the new tenant for the next chapter in its story.


Hearth would like to thank Patricia Massey for her interest in the restoration of McMaster Street and for providing this information and photographs.

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