Friday, 4 September 2009

Marjorie tells of her mother's experiences

Since my mum died in 2007 I have found myself wanting to visit places that played a part in her life and one of those places was "The Marguerite Home" or "The Crippled Children's Hospital" as she referred to it. Mum died just 2 weeks before her 93rd birthday. I guess mum worked in the kitchen. She would tell us how she slept in huts away from the main buildings and she would be woken at 4 am by a very stern lady whose voice she would imitate when recalling the memory. She then had to go across the field to the kitchen and light the fire to heat the water and the stove. She would prepare the vegetables and I seem to remember her describing how she would skin rabbits also for the meals.

Amongst my mum's correspondence I have found a letter (see below) dated Dec 1963 from E Young, Hospital Secretary, acknowledging mum's letter saying "I was very pleased and delighted that the recording on BBC was a means of reviving happy memories for you of the Hospital....." He also enclosed a souvenir brochure of the history of the Hospital which was published for the Golden Jubilee in 1960. I note from the booklet that the name was changed to Marguerite Hepton Memorial Orthopaedic Hospital in 1936 and I calculate that mum must have worked at Marguerite Home round about 1934-5 when she was 19-20 years old. Her maiden name was Gladys Wilson.

(Marjorie has very kindly loaned us the souvenir brochure and extracts from it are to follow - Fred Dubber)