OAP finds first pay packet 62 years after handing it to his mum

A Greenock pensioner unearthed his first ever pay packet - 62 years after giving it to his mother for safekeeping.

Michael Doherty, 77, from Greenock, has found his first pay packet 62 years after giving it to his mother Margaret, 104, for safekeeping. Picture: SWNS

Michael Doherty, 77, made the discovery when he was clearing out his mother’s home after she was transferred to a nearby care home.

After his first week of work as an apprentice builder in 1955 he went straight home and gave his mother his two pounds, 15 shillings, and ninepence worth of wages, roughly £67 in today’s money.

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At the time his mum Margaret, 104, said she would keep hold of the money and give it back to Michael “one day”.

The two pounds, 15 shillings, and ninepence worth of wages. Picture: SWNS

But the wages were forgotten and Michael was surprised to find the small brown envelope 62 years after taking it home.

He said: “My mother was taken into a care home so I started clearing out her house.

“I was looking through some of the old stuff when I stumbled across the envelope which was an old pay poke of mine - I couldn’t believe it.”

Michael said he left St Mary’s School and “walked straight into” a job as an apprentice builder at the age of 15.

The two pounds, 15 shillings, and ninepence worth of wages. Picture: SWNS

“I finished school at 12pm and headed over the road to the builder’s yard at Robert Kirkwood’s”, he said.

“There was a great crowd of men who worked there at the time.”

After a week of work, Michael got his first set of wages from his boss at the time Jimmy Hill.

His workmates tried to tempt him to spend his wages at the pub, but Michael wasn’t swayed and instead took them straight home to his mum.

He said: “At the end of the week my workmates asked if I was going to buy them a pint, but I just took my wages home and gave it all to my mum.

“She was so good to us growing up and I just wanted her to have them.

“Back then, to a 15-year-old, two pounds, 15 shillings, and ninepence was a lot of money.

“Especially when it was your first pay after leaving school - you thought it was a lot of money.

“Back then a pint was only 9p - so when you look at it like that - it was a lot of money.

“Although looking at the cost of pint these days it isn’t worth much now.”

The great-grandfather said he has no intention of spending his 62-year-old wages.

“I won’t be spending my wages, I just want to keep them. It’s a good memory to have.”

Michael grew up in the family home in Ann Street, Greenock, with his mum, dad Michael, and sisters Evelyn and Veronica.

The great-grandfather said he learned his great work ethic from his dad, who worked in the ropeworks, and mum who was a cleaner.

After his apprenticeship, Michael, a trained as a stone mason and spent the rest of his working life in the building trade - mainly as a bricklayer.

Michael visits his mother, who is coming up for 105, at the Alt-na-Craig care home every day.

In 1955, the average weekly wage was £9.25 and the average house was worth £2,064.