In this extract Betty Watson remembers that she has worked throughout her life beginning when she was 3 weeks short of her 14th birthday. She remembers that she had to stop work when she got married but that she restarted in her married name. Significantly she remembers selling her stamps at that time and then working intermittently after she began to have children.

Item Type



Were you ever in paid work?

I was, I was in paid work, and in a way… I… when do you mean now? Young?

Throughout your life

I always worked throughout my life, in some form of paid work

And when did you start?

When, when I was 14 I went to work, 3 weeks short of 14, and then I got married at 20, and I had to stop working then and restart, cause you had to… sell your stamps, you literally had to leave, women had to leave work at that stage, and em, restart in my married name

Ok right

So I went back to work in my married name

Did you take a break in-between?

No… then when I had my first baby I took... I stopped working in that job and I went back to work eh, well I went to do a cleaning job em after she was born and then I had a second child quite quickly, year and 11 months between them and em I went to work after the second child much quicker than I did after the first child, but it was cleaning jobs... and the times too, you know at the time



About this item


Dublin City Life, Work and Family, Work

Date Added



"Betty Watson notes that she has worked throughout her life beginning when she was 14.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #84 (accessed February 21 2018, 7:30 am)