No. 26 Nursery Street was the house my Grandparents moved to; the end house in the street overlooking an area of the Londes which had been turned into waste ground at the start of the demolition of North Street in the late 1950’s. But for at least 100 years prior to the end of the first World war it was the site of four small one roomed houses and the Colonel Vernon Pub fronting North Street.
Here is a picture of my four Aunts and my cousin, photographed in 1931 above the four Hovels in the Londes.
To gain access to these back-to-back houses below my Grandads abode, you had to descend a flight of steps which led directly from the Londes into a courtyard.
My father recalling an Irish family that lived in the court told me of a visit to the Mulraney’s; he told me that you had to enter through the single door into the one and only downstairs room, there was no other entrance.
Inside there was a large open fireplace, no cooker only the open fire, and in the corner a sink and tap. There was a sparsely filled cupboard in the recess of the fireplace, a scrub topped table, one old armchair and a couple of wooden ones tucked in under the table. From this one room, stairs led to a single room above to the familys only sleeping are with the only form of lighting in the home, candles or paraffin lamps.
A little way from the houses were the communal toilet facilities and the shared cold water tap. These were the entire facilities for a families who lived in the Londes.
These few hovels were left as waste ground in the mid 1920’s and remained so.