“Always have the right change for the bus…”
At first sight, Bridget Whelan’s is a simple tale. Girl born to Irish parents makes her way in Fleet Street, writes novel and then helps others to do the same – a storyteller passing on the baton.
But first sights are not always the clearest. It’s also a story of change not just for the Irish in Britain – though there’s plenty of that here and Bridget cites a specific moment when things changed for the diaspora in the eyes of the world – but also in newspapers and, more broadly, in British society itself. It’s a tale of how the institutions that had a sense of care and community gave up on that responsibility in the pursuit of greater profit. It’s also the tale of her parents, a sense of place and the safety of home.
On first listening – as deceptive as its visual counterpart – you’d think that the 45 minutes you hear on the podcast (whether full or in its two mini segments) is the whole story, but the Unwrapped version, with all its tics and hesitations, tells much more than that. It won’t be out for a few weeks yet (we have a sense of the dramatic here at Plastic Towers) but when it does, do yourselves a favour and take the time for a full listen.
Bridget is a gifted conversationalist and at one level she made editing the podcast easy: I could just let her talk for fifteen minutes and – hey presto! – there’s a section. But she also made it difficult because of the quality of thought and observation I had to cut.
But the same could be said of all of my interviewees. They have so much more to tell. So take a listen to the Full Plastics. Then in a few weeks’ time, listen to some more.
You won’t regret it.
For more of Bridget’s writing go to: https://bridgetwhelan.com/
Review and links for “A Good Confession”: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5501210-a-good-confession
“Across The Water: Irish Women’s Lives in Britain” can be found by clicking: https://www.bookfinder.com/book/9780860688747/