Two Terrible Weeks In Yarrow

A Memory of Broadstairs

In October 1958 I was sent to Yarrow for two weeks to recover from a complicated operation. I have a sense of dread about my time there; my arrival into the panelled and imposing hall as my dad disappeared down the long drive, still haunts me and none of the staff helped me to feel any better - they were unfriendly and at times very unkind. The atmosphere was heavy with lots of silence and I never stopped feeling fearful, lonely and very cut off from my family and friends. I can still remember walking to the school room in the grounds of the big house with dread as the teacher was scarry and the classroom full of children I didn't know - not a place to learn anything!
The friends I made often disappeared to the sanitorium, which was out of bounds and again very imposing - I was very intrigued and rather un-nerved by the locked door and no-entry sign. I remember being made to undress to underwear and sit in a 'huge' darkened room, with this weird machine, ultra-violet treatment. Sundays were the most miserable day for me as we had to walk through housing estates to the local church and everyone seemed to be enjoying their family day except me. I was very homesick and phoned my parents to ask if I could come home but was told no.

Back at home I became very depressed, unable to sleep or go to school for months and cried a lot about my time at Yarrow

I have very troubled and difficult memories about things which happened at Yarrow - does anyone else?

A memory shared by Jill Hooper , on May 20th, 2013.

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