Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The last writings from my mum's book 'Fatherless'

Although the committee members were not seen very often, those and the staff were responsible for the safety and confidence of every orphan who passed through the orphanage.It is great that through the Old Scholar Association it is able to continue the good work of Andrew Reed the founder.To keep the years and memories alive and still be able to help some children as we were helped.  Many since leaving the school have moved to various parts of the world and  have kept in contact with the association by producing all the memorabilia they had for the museum.

During the last few years at the orphanage the girls were allowed to grow and curl their hair.  After many experiences with styles the ones that became easy to handle was the pageboy style, this meant turning the curls under towards the face all the way round.

The routine was slightly different when becoming a prefect.  You became more aware of responsibilities and the upbringing over the years at the orphanage would be appreciated in adult life. There are some special memories which remain with Margo, one mistress Miss Norton she remembers mostly.  She must have felt for us children, as she was always very understanding and kind.  Another favourite was to take it in turns to get the juniors to bed at the required time.  Margo didn't mind doing this for the mistress as she always got on so well with the younger children.  She would tell them stories before settling them down and even taught them a prayer, which she knew, although she never has found out where she learned it.  The juniors say this prayer every night and would pass it on to new juniors from the infants.  I wonder if they taught their own children this prayer.

I have since read in a recent Rosabeam of an old scholar who taught her children and grandchildren this prayer.This has made me very proud.

Margo’s Prayer.
God Bless Mummy and Daddy and all my little friends and help me to be a good girl, For Jesus Christ Amen.

Ghostly stories would be a favourite even in the senior’s dormitory.  The girls would take it in turns to tell many at bed times.  Margo would make up some spooky stories and the next night the other girls wanted her to continue.  However she managed to continue her story no one will ever know, especially Margo herself.  Perhaps being young we have a more imaginary mind than when we are older.

I have wondered over the years about how the orphanage managed to continue with finances.  Helping orphans over the years obviously cannot be carried out without the help of monies.  Even now children still need help and it cannot be done without financial help.  Relatives would make some payments for their children and it has been learnt over the years since reading the history of the orphanage that charities have helped in many ways, charity runs were organised and monies have been donated.  Perhaps the farm crops were of help in that department.  So much good over many, many, years have continued helping children in need with somewhere to live owing to the loss of a family member.  As we live our lives and perhaps our children ask us about our times when a child, we may realise that being an orphan spending so many years living and being educated in a home without a family home, wasn't so bad after all.  My daughters would listen intently when they were younger to my stories and couldn't believe how different life was compared to their own childhood.  My husband and I have always been very close to our family, and I wanted our daughters to have the love I missed out from as a family. It can be understood that it isn't possible for teachers and mistresses to give out love to so many.

Chapter Five – Looking Back.
To look back over 52 years is hard to remember as an orphan how you came to terms with life at the school, sleeping, eating and being educated there.  It cannot be compared with a home life.  There were good times and bad times, rules and regulations we shall all remember.  Having a good education, a warm bed, regular meals, people looking after you teaching you good manners and respect, how to keep yourself clean, duties to show you how to make beds, darn socks etc, etc, maids, cooks, a sanitarium, a church and most of all – Your Number.  Don’t get me wrong we were being cared for because of situations.  We accepted the air raids like everyone else, planes dropping bombs, fire bells going off, sleeping in a shelter in the meadow and when home for a holiday, seeing peoples homes nothing but a heap of rubble.  Children adjust, we all know, but how would our children today cope with those happenings?  We many look back at our life at the orphanage with good or bad memories, but it was our home.  Now as old scholars we  try to keep those memories alive, keep in touch where possible with those we grew up.  Being thankful for a safe upbringing.  Today there are still children out there who need help and with our association we can give help to them knowing what it will mean to them in later life.

One day in March 1948 Margo was walking through the meadow for the last time heading along the path to the local railway station never to walk that path again.  She was leaving the orphanage to go out into the world.  She wondered what life was going to be like for her later on, what courage she would have to face beyond the school, would there be more rules and regulations to learn.  The world appeared to her very large and frightening and she did have some instances to overcome in her first job, but after about 18 months she made her first decision on what capacity of work she would want to do.  She wanted to work in an office.

Perhaps other orphans found life easy to deal with when leaving the orphanage, but Margo had found it very difficult to relax with the strange crowds of people when she left school.  She was working in a well-known London hotel learning hairdressing.  Her wages were 18/- a week and her bus fare over the week cost 10/- so after giving her mother some money she relied on tips from clients at the hotel.  The man teaching her was a Mr Gee.  He was a big dark haired man, very kind and popular with film stars who would follow him around to have their hair done.  American stars would bring their own shampoo and colours and always gave a good tip, which he would share with Margo.  One actress was the daughter of a family who owned theatres in London.  She was married to a well known comedian – George Robey, who would sit beside her while having her hair done.  Many times he would entertain the men in their department, but his wife wouldn't let him go out on his own as he would walk across the road without looking.  One girl, also learning at the London hotel became good friends with Margo, her name was Pamela.  They would both go dancing every week at the Streatham Lacarno where big bands of today would be playing.  After watching the dancers they quickly managed to get enough courage to stand waiting for offers to dance, which was great fun, and Margo met her first boyfriend there.  Her journey home meant a tram and two buses, which didn't always get her home when her mother wished and was always in trouble when she did get home.  Dancing was always an enjoyable outing for Margo and only gave it up when she got married, as her husband didn't dance.

One day Margo hadn't received a tip to make up her bus fare home.  Her mother had phoned and wanted Margo to go home early to pick up her sister from the nursery as her Aunt had died.  Margo had to get her bus fare home and was short of one penny, laughing she was asking the other staff to loan her that penny, “what are you laughing for” they were asking, not because her aunt had died, but because she wanted to borrow a penny.

The founder a Mr Reed after many a challenge to obtain ground, got the land and with financial help managed to get the building of the afore mentioned orphanage started.  The first stone was laid in 1841; this began the remarkable story, which allowed many orphans to spend their childhood there over the years.  I am honoured to be able to write about my years at the orphanage, which during then in 1939 to 1948 had all facilities available for the care of health, religion and education.  It obviously cannot compare with a home life, but we were lucky to be well looked after under difficult circumstances during that time.  The school continued until well in 1980 when unfortunately money became the problem and the history of the orphanage is being kept alive through the Old Scholars Association as I have already written about, so those of us who were fortunate enough to experience a safe childhood during the war must be forever grateful.  I am only speaking in my writings of my feelings, others might not feel the same about their childhood, but then I am writing my years as an orphan.

This journey on the bus Margo would take every day to the hotel, she would be thinking of the years she spent at the orphanage as she found if difficult not to, it had been her home for many years during her young life.  It was to be 50 years before her story was to be written.  Many mixed feelings were felt about those years and the girls she has grown up with, what was she to do now?  In time Margo did make friends although she has always kept in touch with two from the orphanage.

Chapter Six – My Employment and my Marriage.
Margo’s first office employment was in Kensington.  She began on the reception desk, dealing with all clients, taking telephone calls and passing them through to the various offices from a switchboard as it was then in the 1950’s.This is probably the beginning when Margo learnt to be at ease with people.  When her younger brother Freddy left the orphanage, he wanted Margo to help him find employment in London and it was then Margo was itching to change her job and get employment into accounts.  Together they looked in Westminster, London.  Margo saw a vacancy in Victoria Street to work with an accountant; she applied and got the job.  The company’s name was made up with part of both the two directors.  The company dealt with four companies including their own.  Margo’s first day at this company was quite a shock as the job involved sorting out the four companies invoices, which were piled up on the floor of the account’s office.  She was rather worried about that job,but actually enjoyed doing it as she learnt so much.  She had to sort out the paperwork into the different companies, then separate into bought and sales.  The next thing was to start the bookwork/system as it was back in the late 1940’s.  The director’s eventually sacked the accountant and took on a more mature man to take on the accountant’s position. Margo stayed with that company for many years as she thoroughly enjoyed working there.She would catch the workman,s train and get into the office before anyone else,sort out the mail and have it ready on everybody,s desk. A good system was carried out monthly on all four companies.Ledgers covering each company’s bought and sales.Balanced monthly, accounts paid, sales ledgers balanced monthly, statements sent out.  The directors were great to work for; they gave us a rise twice yearly and at Christmas would take us all out for a meal, and then back to the office for more celebrations.

When the family moved to Kent in 1949 whilst Margo was working for this company, she continued to travel backwards and forwards by train.  In 1953 Margo got married and the directors and staff gave her some wonderful presents.  As her husband had signed up in the Royal Air Force, it was later after a few months Margo left her job to move to Bath and be near her husband.  She took another accounts job until they were moved to Andover where their first daughter was born.

After four years Margo’s husband was out of the RAF and during the years that followed, in between having babies, she took other accounts jobs, but none could ever be compared with her first.

On a personal note and looking back again, it is hard for those growing up in a family environment to understand how different your life was living in a home with so many other children, only seeing your brother or sister from a distance.  Going home now and again to return after a few weeks, stirred up the emotions, which were always there.  As children it is natural for a disagreement, but with no mother to comfort you, maybe only girls feel that way.  If the reader was an orphan perhaps he or she can understand this explanation.

When Margo left school in 1948 there was never the closeness with her own mother, maybe the gap was because of those nine plus years growing up away from her.  Margo continually tried to get close, but found it very hard.  When her mother reached into her 80’s, she was always in touch by telephone for one reason or another as Margo lived in Sussex.  Eventually she chose to live near Margo and her husband, which gave her the chance to take care of her mother until her death in January 1999.

On a personal note, I think there were many many more untold stories that Mum would have liked to put down on paper but some were too painful.  I do hope that you have enjoyed my mums words and perhaps if you have a story to tell you should write it down for the world to share

My wonderful parents and Mum happy at last on her wedding day

Monday, 25 March 2013

Come visit my shop

Come visit my shop at

New items posted

Friday, 15 March 2013

Continuing the story of a fatherless orphan

I have had a lot going on in the family what with ill health and one thing and another and haven't posted for some time but have found a moment to continue with my mums story as written by her.

The story continues...........

Before I go further in my writing I would like to tell you – the reader, the great effort the founder of this past orphanage had in getting the money and land for what he wanted to do – to help all orphans.  His notes in 1853 read “At long last we have purchased an estate three miles from Croydon on the trunk line of the Dove and Brighton railway.It is paid for and the cost was £3,895.  We shall put our Asylum on the crown of the hill.” Thus the school was born and was named after him.  He died in 1962 but the school lived on and as money came forth the buildings were gradually added to the land.  Sadly money ran out and the school was pulled down in 1980.  Only the swimming pool is left for the resident to use that now live in their homes built on the land.

As I have recently mentioned the cottage was also left to live on and now has everything that has been saved, recovered or passed on by Old Scholars, so many school artefacts and memories to continue to live on for relatives to learn about their families history.

The Old Scholars of today continue to keep alive the history of their past with AGM’s and get together to encourage those whose home the school was.

Contact the children had with their families.
The children all wrote home every Sunday.  The girl’s letters were left open for the mistresses to read before sealing and posting them.  The money girls had was kept on record by the mistresses who paid out for the girl’s postage and sweets they had on Saturdays.  If money was short they were able to add a note or two in the girl’s letter.

Saturdays at 1400 the girls lined up when the whistle was blown.  Each girl was allowed a choice of one bag of sweets or a bar of chocolate, their weekly ration and the cost was deducted from the girl’s money. If the girl didn't have any money she was unable to line up for sweets.  Those girls’s who had been punished had no sweets to line up for, as that usually became the first punishment of the week.  As this was the only time sweets were seen, it was know to eat a Mars bar with a hair grip to make it last longer.  Margo remembers when she left school, the war was over and coupons were not required any more  All the shops which sold sweets had a continuous queue for people buying their stock until the shops were completely empty.

Each child when leaving the school at the age of 15, were all given money and coupons to start them off mainly to buy clothes.  Margo remembers when she left the fashion was short lengths.  She began with a Green coat, button up and the collar was Black, her dresses were short about knee length.

Coupons continued through the war until they were cancelled at some stage when the war over.

Chapter Four – The Seniors

The girls were probably 13 or 14 years of age when they went into the seniors.  Their dormitory was on the next floor up above the juniors.  The layout was about the same as the juniors.  The bathroom was on their floor, it had four baths each side curtained off, and one each side inside a cubicle.  The juniors had the use of this bathroom and certain days were given for taking baths.  The senior girls washroom was round like the juniors but they had two private toilets and a special private room for those girls who needed it certain times of the month.

When a senior girl was using this room they had to get their pad from the mistress who had to keep records when a girl was having a monthly.  This was difficult at times when waiting outside the mistress’s sitting room for a replacement to find she was at tea and the girl would have to wait for the mistresses to return.  It was also a great problem when a girl first started this monthly and still had to wait for the mistress to return, then go two large flights of stairs to the hygiene room.

Many times when the girls would be taking their bath they would soak and talk not realising like youngsters do that time was running out before the whistle would go for tea.  They would be rushing around to get dry and tidy, go down the flights of stairs to find the girls had gone into the dining hall.  Very sheepishly they would enter the dining hall, make their apologies to the mistress who would speak to them after their meal.  Miss Norton Margo found would pass it without any comment.  The girls were quite fond of her and it was sad when she left.

I remember her returning to the school to visit the girls, now all prefects and we would be chatting about the antics we would put her through when she was a mistress.  Great memories!

The dormitories being large would need some sort of heating.  Pipes went all around the rooms at floor level and hot water kept the rooms from getting too cold.  The girls would hear mice running around the pipes at times.  One of the girls whose relatives were her aunt and uncle in Hereford, had a mice farm.  She returned one holiday with one of the tame white mice.  We were all very fond of that mouse until it got free and joined the other mice.  We tried to tempt it back out but to no avail.  Margo has never since been afraid of mice unlike some females.

Illness could spread very quickly round the school when children were sick with measles or mumps.  Obviously this would mean no one could go home for their holiday.  The infections would hit the school hard, as the sanitarium wasn't large enough to handle the numbers, which had fallen sick.  The sanitarium would only be able to take a few patients; therefore the dormitories became wards for the sick.

One holiday when Margo and her brothers were home in London during the war, Margo woke one morning covered in spots, which turned out to be chickenpox.  An ambulance came, changed her into another special gown and rushed her to the hospital, through all the traffic lights with the bells ringing.  The hospital immediately bathed her in a special bath and while she spent a number of weeks in hospital, even her mother wasn't allowed to visit.  When the hospital cleared her of chickenpox and allowed her to go home saying she could return to school, with just a few patches on her face her mother took her back to the orphanage, but they were not happy to let her return until the patches had cleared so she had to go back home for a further couple of weeks, much to her delight.  When she was allowed to return to the school the term was obviously much shorter and she had a story to tell the girls about where she had been all that time.

Margo’s brother Roy only stayed at the orphanage for about four years.He left at the age of about 15.  Eventually he joined the Royal Air Force as all boys had to do their service from the age of 18 for two years.  We didn’t see much of him during our holidays at home.  As already written Freddy had entered the school and spent a few years in the infants from 1940 until he reached the right age to move up to the boy’s side of the school.

As Margo and Freddy reached a certain age they were able to travel home by ourselves for holiday times. They would catch the train to Victoria and from there to Kensington via two buses or a taxi if they had enough cash.  Arriving at home they would climb through the window mother had left open. (in those days it was safe to do so) As it was dark and their home was below pavement  they would settle down and wait for mother to get home from her work.

Holidays were spent most days in Kensington Park just beyond the High Street.  It had a large pond, which was very popular in those days when young children like ourselves, with a jam jar and string tied around its neck and would fish for tiddlers.  Excitement surrounded any children who caught any.  The it would be a journey back home by bus without spilling any water, On the return to the school it was obvious we would hear the tiddlers had all died.   Other times Freddy would insist he was taken to the park to sail his boat, which was boring for Margo.  She would also have to take him to the pictures (nowadays called the cinema) to watch cowboy films.  This was always under duress and always a problem, as children were not allowed to go in without an adult.  Margo and Freddy would stand outside and ask couples to take them in, they would stand there for a while until a couple would agree to accompany them in, they would then pay for their ticket and go down to the front seats where Margo would have to endure all the boys screaming at the cowboy films they were enjoying.

In 1946 Margo and Freddy both had a letter from their mother to say she had a surprise for them.  All brothers and sisters would watch out for each other as they walked into the dining hall and would make signs with their eyes at each other.  At this time, Freddy’s duty was to take meals to the sanitarium for the patients as I have explained earlier.  Margo waited to see Freddy coming along the road to speak to him about their mother’s letter and her surprise.  They both thought their mother had bought a puppy, but were unable to find out until the next six week summer holiday.

When that time arrived which they had impatiently waited for, they were naturally excited and took the usual way home but instead of a bus they took a taxi as they had been given money which they had left with their mistress and master.  As the taxi drove through Kensington High Street they scanned the streets to see if they saw their mother.As the taxi passed through the High Street there she was with a neighbour, but pushing a pram.  As soon as they got home they climbed through the window, locking it after them, left their luggage in the front room, went straight out the front door locking it behind them and began to walk very quickly back to the High Street with the hope of catching up with their mother, both dying to know what the surprise was.

When they saw her coming towards them they ran until they reached her immediately wanting to know what the surprise was, she just pointed to the pram saying, “This is your baby sister Christine”.  They just gulped as they were convinced she had a puppy dog.  Margo and Freddy both returned to the orphanage after getting used to having a baby sister and chatted about it during the whole journey.

Duties for the Seniors.
Margo was now in the seniors, which meant she was getting used to having a duty, which had to be done properly every day.  They consisted of sweeping all the corridors, sweeping and dusting the dormitories, cleaning the inside and outside toilets and washrooms.  At the beginning of every term each girl was to learn from the mistresses list the duty she was to be responsible for, and if the mistress didn't think it had been done properly, it had to be done again.

When Margo became one of the eldest girls and a prefect, her main duty with other prefects was to clear all the tables in the dining hall, clean the tables and re-lay them for the next meal and to help the maids in the washroom to wash all the dishes and cutlery, leaving the washroom clean and tidy.  This duty became quite a knack especially laying all the tables for the next meal. The girls had many tables they were responsible for.  Fast they would go laying knife, knife, knife, fork, fork, fork, and so on.  A pile of clean plates had to be put on the trolley at the end of each table.  The reason they would want to be quick when clearing the tea and laying for the next day,s breakfast was because the prefects wanted to listen to “Dick Barton, Special Agent” on the radio in their prefect’s room.

The boot room was another room to be kept tidy although there was not a lot to be done there.  Mr Joe Bristow was the master who would come round each week, check the girl’s shoes, arrange repairs and change shoes for those who needed them.  It wasn't always a time the girls looked forward to.

It was probably a very strict school for the orphans, but speaking for myself, none of it did us any harm, although it may have made us very particular in later life.  I know if left me house proud.

The senior girls were also responsible for looking after two of the juniors, making sure they kept their hair tidy, shoes clean and general appearance tidy.  The two girls Margo looked after were namely Sylvia Kill, a very quiet girl, always good and had the most beautiful blonde curly hair, blue eyes and fair complexion, and Madeline Penny, a gentle natured girl with dark hair.  They were both very good friends.

One day Madeline said Sylvia didn't feel well.  Margo took her to the mistress who told her to take Sylvia straight over to the sanitarium where the sister kept her in.  It was a sad day when all the girls were told a few days later that Sylvia had passed away.  We never knew what had been wrong with her.  The whole school felt her passing especially her brother who was still at the school and her sister who had also spent her years there.  Madeline was very quiet for a long time as it must be difficult as a child to lose a friend in that way.

Classes for the Seniors
Lessons for the seniors were taken in the classrooms over on the boy’s side of the school.  Margo was average with Maths although later in her career life, she loved figures so much she trained in accounts and stayed in it for various companies for over 40 years as already mentioned, before and after having her family.

Composition at the school was a lesson when the teacher gave the class to write a story on a subject of their choice although sometimes gave them a subject instead.  Perhaps this is the reason why Margo always wanted to write.  Her imagination would work overtime when writing a composition and has often wondered since what her marks were.

Art was a lesson Margo would enjoy, was always amazed by the high marks given to her work, she never thought she was any good at Art, but her teacher thought differently.  She can remember receiving 70 out of 100 for her Art.

Her worst lesson was history.  She never liked it and could never take it on board.  One year she returned after a spell in the sanitarium and exams were in the class for history, needless to say she only got 3 out of 100 which the teacher made a point of making sure when giving out to the class their marks, that everyone heard, which was followed by laughter.  That didn't bother Margo, but she was determined to prove she could do better, so to the teachers surprise her marks next year for history were better, she was given over 50 and the teacher made a point of making sure everyone heard the improvements.

It is well known how children can be cruel to others.  One of the girl’s for reasons known only to the boys at that time was called a name and every time they passed her in the corridors they would whisper the name to her in the hope it would hurt.It went on for quite a time.  Unknown to these few, this particular girl had great strength and the name calling just bounced off her shoulders, until one day in the dining hall a master joined in.  It was during a meal time before the children sat down to eat, this master who probably thought he was still training soldiers instead of looking after young orphans and guiding them into adult life, decided in front of all the children to make a statement directing it to this young girl.  Her inner strength and anger that this adult man could lower himself by including herself in this child like manner, immediately made her storm out of the dining hall, straight into the matron’s office to report his outburst.  The outcome to the delight of this girl was the next day this master had to retract his words in the dining hall in front of all the children.

A choice in the top class of the school was given to the girls to learn the art of shorthand.  Margo has always regretted not taking this up, especially as she made her career in an office later on.  Shorthand would have come in very handy then so she taught herself a self-course of taking dictation by  abbreviation it had a title which has been forgotten,but which helped Margo in her work.  She also tried an evening course in shorthand but found that very difficult while working full time with three children as well.  However, accounts were always an interesting job, which Margo found very satisfying.

Every Sunday church services were carried out, sometimes one in the morning and another in the afternoon.  A master or one of the boys would play the organ while a second boy would spend the service at the back, pumping the pipes enabling the organ to be played.  Priests would come from a local church for our services and give the lesson.  Our church had a very large bible, which did get lost when the school was demolished, but happily it has been found and was returned to the museum in the year 2002.  One Sunday the lesson read was about a young boy who could not swim.  Margo listened intently to this, as she couldn’t swim either no matter how she tried.  The lesson continued.  The young boy was told to have faith and when he was thrown into the water he remembered what he had been told – to have faith, to his surprise he was swimming.

The next evening when it was the girl’s time to use the swimming pool, Margo remembered the lesson and decided she was going to learn to swim, with faith.  She pushed back from the side and swimming her arms forward, out and back towards the side of the pool with her feet doing a circular movement, she was swimming, to be sure she wasn't dreaming she thought “if I can turn round and swim to the other side” and that is what she did.  Now all the time another girl namely she thinks was Eileen Hall, who wanted to jump off the board as she had learnt to swim, had been waiting for Margo to join her.  As soon as she could swim Margo went to join Eileen on the board and when she plucked up courage to jump from it into the pool Eileen  was right behind her– Great Joy.

The church was also used for prize giving presentations.  Other times a choir would join the school for their service.  The church had a lovely altar and the girl’s were responsible for keeping the church Clean.  Margo had this as one of her duties, which she found very interesting and since has always liked to visit Cathedrals during her and her husband’s travels.

There were many times when some girl’s would become fed up and home sick.  They would cadge some food from the store man  go up the steps on the back road and through the door back of the orchard to the local village, not sure where they would be going,but would always be found by a senior girl sent out to find them and bring them back to the school.  However, some time two sisters did succeed.  They ran away and reached their home in London.  Margo at one time was extremely home sick and with a few other girls’ ran away, they also managed to obtain some fruit to ease their hunger, but didn't get very far from the school. As was always the case they were found wandering around nowhere special, they just wanted to get away.  The sad thing about these situations is a hug and a quiet chat into why the girl’s were feeling unhappy, would have been a great healing factors, but they were punished instead which didn't make them feel any better as punishments were always the answer.  The punishment this time was each girl sat on a spare table completely on their own for their meals, for a number of weeks which meant the whole school knew what their punishment was for.  This didn't help those children; they just got on with punishments – another thing they just accepted.
Girls feel the loss of comfort as a child and young boys must feel something,but as adults although we were well looked after what are those feelings?

The Final Term.
Returning to the orphanage from their last holiday filled Margo with some excitement and relief.  Three months and those girls were all discussing what they might be doing when they leave.  Their final education and examinations were to be of great importance although Margo wasn't sure what she would be doing when she left, but her mother had said she would get her employment in hairdressing.

Now was also the time Margo was having her first thoughts about her father.  What happened to him and where was his body?  She decided she was going to talk to her mother when the time was right and find her father’s grave and trace back to his relatives.  This she did.
The girls had all lost their fathers, some both parents.  It was known throughout the school that some brothers had lost both parents who died in front of them; needless to say it was very difficult for them to act without aggression.  Another child had been born when the parents were in their car and a blast from a bomb blinded them, the full true story wasn't known, but the child began it’s life at the school in the sanitarium until it was old enough to join the infants.  One girl a friend of Margo,s at the school had two brothers and an older sister.  The youngest brother joined his brother and sister at the school as a baby, he was there for a full 12 years.  They were mentioned earlier in my writings, as their mother was very kind to Margo and her younger brother. I remember him saying to us at the AGM meeting in 2002 that he knew nothing else as a child and was very happy at the school.

There were many sad stories of how the orphans lost their parents.Margo,s father drove Worthing buses and it was the turning of the handle at the front of the bus which flicked back hard onto his arm which caused cancer.The doctors could not save him or his arm.It would have been very difficult for single mothers in those days with the war on to bring up their children,so the orphanage was a good home and most of us will probably always be grateful for spending our childhood there,although as children we would have felt very different.

This is a picture of Margo'd dad behind his bus and is one of only a few photos she has of her father

This was a prize recognition for Music

 and another prise for Proficiency