Muriel Padmore The Half Caste Girl - a Memory of Whickham.
Yes, that's how most people outside of the Whickham home referred to me. My sister and I (Muriel and Dorothy Padmore) were transferred to Whickham from South Shields when I was about 11 years old after I ran away from the Edward Brough South Shields home. Through the wonders of the internet, Betty (Elizabeth) Young and I were miraculously able to make contact with each other a few years ago and happily still remain in touch. In 2008, Betty, her sister Margaret, Rosemary Hughes and I visited the Whickham church where we had worshipped as children, and I have a wonderful memory of the four of us standing outside of the church singing, "Yes, Jesus loves me" with curious onlookers probably wondering if we were crazy or senile. I've been living in the States in the San Francisco Bay Area since the late sixties.
I too remember Mary Waugh with the beautiful red hair and fire-scarred back. I also remember the shy short-sighted Paul Andrearson, and beautiful Sylvia Welch who frequently threatened to throw herself off the balcony. Visiting day was agony, having to watch those with visitors enjoy chocolates and toffees and hoping they'd be kind enough to share.
The two "wardens" who supervised us while we ate our meals were Miss Jones (miserable lady with a red face who wore a starched dark blue uniform) and the Scottish plump white-haired Miss Mac (McCorquadale) who often threatened to "smack our wee botties" if we misbehaved. I remember devouring from plates piled high with dripping and bread; the kids who were able to eat the fastest, got the most bread, so I learned to be really good at speed eating.
My sister Dorothy had a beautiful singing voice and played the role of Hansel in a local theatrical production of Hansel & Gretel. She also lives in San Francisco and we contact each other on a daily basis.
Thanks so much for sharing your memories.
Tips & Ideas
Not sure what to write? It's easy - just think of an important place in your life and ask yourself:
How does it feature in your personal history?
What are your best memories of this place?
How has it changed over the years?
How does it feel, seeing these places again?
Do you remember stories about the community, its history and people?
This week's Places
Here are some of the places people are talking about in our Share Your Memories community this week:
...and hundreds more! Enjoy browsing more recent contributions now.