Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Asylums, Poor Houses and the like.

Moderator: Global Moderators

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:15 am

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by gordo123 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:45 am

Hi, thanks for your message. I wouldn't want to upset anyone and would like to PM a message but don't really recognise anyone that I remember, apart from sone of the names of the nuns they are mentioning. It would be a lot of organising to arrange a reunion and would probably be better to be over a two year period when the girls attended. I did think about visiting and was going to telephone the convent to enquire. My apologies re. My typo's in my messages. I will wait to see if anyone contacts me who recognises any of the first names. People may have had different experiences as depending on when they were there and what was going on. I was there at two different periods and would need to enquire to find out exact dates. Thanks

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:07 pm

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by Annie10 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:54 pm

I was at St Euphrasia's training centre in 1971 aged 13. My time spent there holds lots of happy memories both of the girls,nuns,and teaching staff. Mother Sylvester( later changed to Sister Jane Marie) was my house mother,and what a wonderful kind woman she was.Yes they did have a punishment cell as I experienced it a few times, me being a rebel without a cause, it really did look like a prison cell...locked in from 12-24 hrs depending on what you had done..my bad
I can still hear Delrosa ringing her bell in the dorms to get us up to go down to chapel before school lessons...and I'll never forget the ugly pinifores we had to wear.
Mother Patricia who was the superior was Irish and had a way with words...funny woman! I also remember Miss Brown the typing teacher, oh how she despaired with me but never gave up on me. Father Diamond the priest another warm, kind, person...Mr McDade the caretaker who stayed at the top of the drive. For recreation in the week day evenings we stuffed envelopes for Kodak,wrote letters home,or done some sewing or knitting..on the weekend evenings we were allowed to let our hair down and dance to records in the big recreational hall...Happy days dancing to Suzi Quarto and The Rubettes. I heard of the place for unmarried mothers but did not know where it was. We were always treated with respect and kindness I never saw or heard of anyone being treated badly...apart from the punishment cell...it was a "cooling off room" as Mother Sylvester called it. Once in there a few times you learned to tow the line, I could go on and on just thought I would share some of my memories. I owe them all so much I am who I am today because of all the nuns and staff.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 5:41 pm

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by Alba1972 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:47 am

Hello Molly 56

I just wanted to reply to your comment about St. Gerards in Bishopton to say that for some of us this was not a positive nor rewarding experience.

I was placed there by social work in 1972 as I had nowhere to live at that time .. I was to find that the majority of young girls/women who were residing there were fee paying and of the 30 girls 28 had been there to have their babies adopted .. for me the decision was to keep my child .. however on a daily basis I was taken to see mother superior who would always give me the story about what was best for my child and how I should be placing the baby for adoption to a couple that would look after it and love it .. my consistent argument back was that she should not assume that I did not want or love my child and I would not be forced or bullied into putting the baby up for adoption.

With regards to the treatment within the unit .. my duties each morning were to be awakened before everyone else .. make my way to the kitchen to assist with the cooking of breakfast, head to morning mass then help serve the breakfast, following which after every else had their breakfast I got mine then helped with the washing of the crockery, cutlery etc that was then following by cleaning duties of the dining area .. buff and polish the wooden floor, clean the tables and chairs which included turning them upside down and cleaning the feet ... throughout the week other duties included cleaning the windows, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the baths [after all the others had theirs], clean the rooms which included removing the dust from the top of wardrobes and behind radiators .. helping wash the back stairs which were not wooden but stone and in those days it was with whitewash, scrubbing brush and cloth.

As for activities .. I was neither asked or encouraged to participate when the seamstress or knitting teacher came .. finances .. all my benefits were removed in order to pay for a layette which by the way they never did give me when I had my baby .. I was given enough back to allow me to purchase toothbrush, toothpaste and a bar of chocolate per week ..

Medical care .. unlike the ones paying to be there who were supported by plain dressed nuns to their appointments .. I was left to go on my own to Glasgow for my appointments .. friendships .. well less than pleasant .. plenty of snobbery, school yard bullies who thought it was ok to be nasty to someone who had been placed there by social worker and was not in their eyes of a class that could afford to pay to be there ..

So no .. my experience was far from pleasant .. the nuns yes there were a few decent ones but overall they were down right mean .. constantly bullying for me to give up my child .. the outcome .. I went on to have my fantastic daughter who I am so proud of .. she is aware of my life in the unit and the nastiness I was subjected to .. not to the same degree as the Magdalene units but none the less still as mentally horrible ... however following my experience and treatment not only by the unit but also social work I went on to become a social worker with the hope that I could help prevent this happening to some other vulnerable young girl/women who had done nothing wrong apart from being unmarried ..

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by lizhendrie » Mon May 29, 2017 8:30 am

Was in the convent. From 1964 to1966 mother Philip was in charge. I was in st Andrews house. Austin and keena were in the parlour. also l remember Mary Magdalene. Mother alohonsus. Mother mount Carmel was choir. Teacher. Any one remember. I also had a friend called rose from Edinburgh.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: st euphrasias training cemtre would love to hear

Post by lizhendrie » Wed May 31, 2017 5:50 pm

Would love to hear from anyone who was in the convent in64 to 66. My name was Elizabeth hendrie. l had a friend called rose. mother Philip wad in charge then. ](*,) ](*,)

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:28 am

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by jmccabe » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:17 am

robertsons wrote:
Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:00 am
st gerards home for unmarried mothers.in 1974 i was there for 4mths aged 15, till i had my son.there was a big building for doing laundry for hotels and i worked in there monday to thursday putting sheets through a massive press for the princely sum of 30pence an hour!two nuns rans the place,sister gertrude and sister catherine.a lady came in from bishopton to cook.
I know your post is very old now, but do the names Tess McDermott or Margaret McCabe mean anything to you? My mum (Margaret) worked there with Tess and Sisters Gertrude and Catherine (she was quite fond of Sister Gertrude, but not so keen on Catherine) and I'd sometimes have to come to work with her in the school holidays. I'm not sure if it was as early as 1974 though.

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:42 am

Re: Unmarried mother home or Convent in Bishopton

Post by Allan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Very interesting read on this thread.i was born in 1960.and was thankfully brought up by my grandparents.after my mother had me while staying here.it was August 1960.

Post Reply