Muriel The Half Caste Girl - a Memory of Whickham.
That's how most people outside of the Edith Brough Whickham home referred to me. My sister (Dorothy) and I were transferred from the South Shields home to the Whickham home when I was about 11 years old after I ran away from the Edward Brough South Shields home after one too many canings. Through the wonders of the internet, Betty (Elizabeth) Young and I were able to make contact with each other a few years ago and happily we still remain in touch. In 2008, while staying with my brother in London, I visited Gateshead to attend a reunion with Betty, her sister Margaret, and Rosemary Hughes . We stopped at the Whickham church on Front Street where we had worshipped as children. I have a wonderful memory of the four of us standing outside the church singing, "Yes, Jesus loves me" with curious onlookers probably wondering whether we were crazy or senile. I've been living in the United States in the San Francisco Bay Area since the late sixties.
I too remember Mary Waugh with the most beautiful red hair. Mary had burn scars on her back; I'm not sure how she acquired them. I remember shy near-sighted Paul Andrearson, Frankie and Johnny Skelly, Eleanor and and Marina Welch, and beautiful red-haired Sylvia Welch who frequently threatened to throw herself off the upstairs balcony whenever she was upset. Visiting day was agony, having to watch the kids with visitors enjoy chocolates, toffees and licorice allsorts, hoping they'd be kind enough to share.
The two "wardens" who glared at us at mealtime were Miss Jones, a miserable lady with white hair, a red face and starched blue uniform, and "Miss Mac" McCorquadale, a strict plump Scottish woman who constantly threatened to "smack our wee botties" if we misbehaved. I remember devouring from plates piled high with the beloved salty bread and dripping sandwiches. The kids who ate the fastest grabbed the most bread, so I learned to be an expert at speed eating.
Several girls on this site remember my sister Dorothy's beautiful singing voice. She played the role of Hansel in a successful local theatrical production of Hansel and Gretel. She's now retired and lives in the hills of San Francisco.
Thanks so much to everyone 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.