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.

Muriel Padmore

 Comments & Feedback

Sun Oct 25th 2015, at 3:06 pm
trevor.milne commented:
Hello Muriel,
My name was Lilian Tooley and my friend and I were at Baring Street with your sister Dorothy, Dorothy and Norma Robertson were lovely singers and both were in the school musicals Toad of Toad Hall and Hansel and Gretal.
Every year Baring street girls and Ocean Road Boys have a school reuinion and you both are always mentioned by the girls. No wonder we could not trace you living in America, strangely enough I was in San Fransisco a couple of years ago, it woulld have been lovely to have met up with you . Anyhow give Dorothy my regards and ask her to drop me a line so that I can inform her old school mates of how she is doing.
There would be so much to talk about.
Best Wishes
Lilian Tooley ( Milne)
Fri Feb 20th 2015, at 3:12 pm
mandjhenderson commented:
Do you remember Margaret Davis. We worked together at C&T Harris. We used to sing Everley Brothers songs
Been dying to know how your life panned out. Happily I hope. Margaret
Tue Oct 7th 2014, at 4:28 pm
kwne17139 commented:
hi Mue you have been great at jogging my memory. Whickham School Reunion is mid October which I, Margaret and Rosemary will be going. I wish you were too. ps I still eat fast now as you know!

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