Vague Memories

A Memory of Broadstairs

I was sent to a convelecent home in Broadstairs but I don't know the name. I must have been 5 years old, I lived in London at the time. I remember being put on a coach and being seen off by my parents and wondering why they looked sad. I also can only remember being told I had a shadow on the lung. Regarding the home; I remember the dormitories the curtains used to frighten me because I could make out ugly, scary faces in the black and white design (always been aware of curtain patterns since). I also remember the long dining tables and being made to eat rabbit stew (were we made to have cod liver oil?) I don't remember any unkindness nor any particular kindness. I believe there were swings in the grounds and recall falling backwards on to the mud in my lovely new winter coat. We used to have walks in a 'crocodile fashion' and sing "I love to go a wandering". My parents would visit occasionally and take me out and I would always ask, "when am I coming home?". I can't remember lessons, maybe I was too young, nor making any friends. I have a feeling the girls in my dormitory where older than me. I was there for 8 weeks and I never went back to London as while I was away my family moved to Essex where I assume it was better for me. Thinking about it, it was quite a decision as my father worked in London; know their first child, a daughter, died at the age of 5 with TB. They then had two boys then me. Must have been a very worrying time for them.

Comments & feedback

Wed Oct 22nd 2014, at 10:19 am

Shirley Abraham commented:

I also was at this convelecent home (St Mary's)at the age of around 5 years old, back in the early 50's. I also had a shadow on my lungs. I hated it, the nuns were very hard. We had to make our own beds and stand beside it for the nuns to come and inspect it. If it was not to their liking we had to make it again. We had to wash our own hair and towel dry it. We all had to go to the toilet at the same time and sit there until we had performed. I remember the dining hall and table. The porridge was horrible (to this day I cannot eat it) made of mostly water, they forced me to eat it even though I had been sick all over the plate. They kept me there on my own after breakfast was finished. When our parents came to visit, they were made to all sit in a circle and we were brought out to them. I complained to my parents that my shoes hurt me, so they sent the home some money to buy new ones, but I never got them. In the dormitory I remember a Nurse Austin (hard as nails) who use to sleep in a room that over looked us. I can remember about once or twice being taken down some steps in the cliff to the beach. No, I was so unhappy there and after they did not buy me the shoes when my parents sent the money, they took me away. I never went to any other home after that.

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