My Stay At St Mary's

A Memory of Broadstairs

l think it was 1957 but am not sure. l remember my stay at St Mary's very much. After my first 2 weeks of being home-sick l loved it, the nuns and nurses were so kind. l remember beetroot with every meal and going down the steps to the sea. l was there for 6 weeks for Christmas and my birthday and we had a Christmas party and l also had a birthday party. The sea was so rough but it was great. l had never seen the sea before. We also went to a pantomime. Santa gave me a boy doll which l still have and l was the fairy as l was the only girl with a white dress. l can remember having sweets, we would choose one in the morning and have half in the morning and half after our afternoon nap, l always chose the slab of toffee with the banana flavour in the middle. l can remember a girl with a glass eye, she would put it in a glass on the mantlepiece by her bed every night and walk around with her eye shut. l suffered with eczema and every night the nuns would cover me with coal tar ointment and cover me with bandages then give me a spoonful of California syrup of figs. We would go down this long corridor on a Thursday to the tuck shop and then we would go into the hall by the chapel to buy items the nuns had made. l cannot remember any punishment going on. We went to the chapel every morning after breakfast and did not know what holy water or Catholics were as l went to the Wesleyan chapel at home. l can remember the fountain in the grounds and a very large summer house which to this day l don't now why but l was scared of it. l can remember the lighthouse too. l would have loved to go back to see it again when l was older but my husband would not take me. l understand that the BBC are doing a programme about it if anyone knows when it is to be shown can they let me know please.

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