Derry nostalgia: A look at the Bishop area of the 1930s

Pat and Mary McGrory whose grandmother ran a small shop from the front room of No2 Mary Street, pictured back in 1938.
Pat and Mary McGrory whose grandmother ran a small shop from the front room of No2 Mary Street, pictured back in 1938.

These pictures show an old part of Derry back in the 1930s, specfically some streets running off Bishop Street. Pictured are two children, Mary and Pat of the McGrory family, who kindly passed these images on via Journal reader Thomas Elliott and whose grandmother ran a small shop in the front room of No2 Mary Street.

This images show Mary Street, which is off Miller Street in the Bishop Street distruct before Cooke Terrace was added back in 1938.

Pictured also in the 1930s in Mary Street before the addition of Cooke Terrace on the other side of the street in 1938. These pictures were kindly passed to the Journal by the McGrory family via Thomas Elliott.

Pictured also in the 1930s in Mary Street before the addition of Cooke Terrace on the other side of the street in 1938. These pictures were kindly passed to the Journal by the McGrory family via Thomas Elliott.

John G Bryson in his excellent book, The Streets of Derry, records that Mary Street

was built in 1901 and named after Lady Miller, wife of Sir William Miller.

The nearby Miller Street, built between 1902 and 1905, takes it’s name from a Dr William Miller MD (c1828-1900) who was a landowner and six times Mayor of Derry.

Cooke Terrace was added to Mary Street in 1938 and is named after the Cooke family of shipowners and merchants. The seven houses were built on part of the grounds of 164 Bishop Street, owned by Miss Esther Cooke until the the mid-1950s and now the Derry Diocesan Pastoral Centre.

Mary Street today.

Mary Street today.

The wall on the left of the photos was removed to build the houses. Planning in those days may have neen a bit more lax than it is these days, becuase with the addition of Cooke Terrace, both sides of Mary Street have different names, which causes confusion among a good few delivery drivers given that Mary Street is the only sign they see coming down Miller Street. The numbers of the houses are odd and even on each side. For example, there is no, No1 Mary Street, because No2 is the first house on that side of the street with No 1 beginning the Cooke Terrace side followed by No 3!