Well I had been working in Luton for a time before this came up. I found a job at NAAFI somewhere in London. I can't quite remember where but I know I got off the bus at Vauxhall. So for me to go home on weekends was a real pain in the butt but at that time I really didn't mind it because I got to live in London. From home I would walk to the bus stop in the village (lugging suit case) and get a bus to Luton train station (1/2 hour) and then the train to St Pancras in London. From there the underground to Putney Bridge and a bus to Wimbledon Common. Several hours to make the trip most times. I would go home Friday night straight from work and back again Sunday night.
I had to have a good excuse not to go home. A special occasion.
Heathlands as it is now, a retirement home. At least it has not been pulled down but it's not as beautiful as it was. Its been added to with really modern structures.
Miss Marjorie Tyson and the cook Miss Nellie Ewens.... At the retirement of Miss Tyson from her task of being mother to hundreds of girls.
There were two staircases one that led up to the first floor rooms and another servants staircase that went down to the kitchens. There was a basement that was rather creepy all white tile. The ladies would hang up the dedicates to dry on lines. Twice we had guys break in and steal underwear from the lines. It was around that time that we heard of "The Michigan Murders" where young nurses were killed in a basement much like that one.
The bedrooms were either double occupants or four beds and the room I chose that was a dorm. We had two beds with a wardrobe each and night stands. A curtain ran around the two beds so we could close off our area to be private and keep a light on and read without disturbing others. I loved it because during the day the curtains would all be open and we could all talk together. One night One of the girls woke up to see flash lights and police dogs in our rooms, they shone a light on each of us and the dogs checked us out. I didn,t wake up. One girl did, she sat up and saw all that and was told to go back to sleep. She did and thought she dreamed it. Someone had broken in and stolen the safe from Miss Tysons office.
They had some awesome claw foot tubs that were so deep you could not see over the rims. The windows had stained glass and the paneling was wonderful. Some of the doors had crests on them. One day I was leaning against a wall talking with someone and what I thought was a crest moved..........a huge spider. They heard the scream for miles I think. It fell down and I walloped it with a shoe pounding the poor thing into the rug. I was very proud of myself and told Miss Tyson what I did she said "yes we heard you all the way down here"
We had a cook, and I loved going down for breakfast. Meals were provided and were good. Someone cleaned the place no doubt while we were all at work. When we got back from a weekend there were clean sheets for us to make our bed up again.
Next 3 taken at California Cliffs....on the beach
Margaret and me
Sheila and me
Sheila at that time was engaged to be married, but Margaret and I were open to seeking out boys. We had good radar we thought. One day we met two guys who were walking on the beach and who came over to chat with us. Graham and his friend Len. We hit it off and saw each other for the remainder of the holiday, they had been working on trawlers and were from London. Dagenham to be exact, the east end of London. Well how lucky was that for me? Being new to London I got the invite to be shown around. For a short time the boys would come down to our places on weekends, either staying at my house or the farm. During the week I met both of them in the evenings when I was in London. Sometimes Margaret would come up to London for a day.
Weeks later when I was at the hostel I got a phone call...........from Grahams wife. She was apologetic and asked if I knew Graham, I said yes and told her how we met. Well naturally I broke it off right away. He found a way to see me to "explain". Miss Tyson had a few words with me, she was concerned. She said "men who are married seldom leave their wives, they just go on to the next affair and will never be faithful". Graham told me they were married at 16, given no choice as she was pregnant. Blah blah blah.........well I refused at first to reconcile but eventually he wore me down and I listened. I met her, Carole, she invited me in for tea. I was not expecting that, I was tricked by him. I was waiting around the corner while he went to get his key, and there she was in front of me. Come on over she said and I being struck dumb followed like a sheep to slaughter. She was very nice, told the story of how they met etc.......she loved him she said, but he loved me and she hoped we could be happy. She had two kids. He had taken me to his apartment one evening (before I knew all this) and it turns out Carole was in hospital having their 2nd baby at that time. I had no idea. I missed clues? It took some time for all this to unwind and for me to get to know the "Real" Graham. Carole was not the first to have had a child by him it turns out. I do not make any excuse for myself from here on. Up to that time I was clueless, besotted and still a virgin. When he convinced me that it was over with Carole and she seemed to know it was time for her to make a better life for herself (smart woman). she wrote me a letter wishing us well, that she loved him but had to take care of her kids. However, I knew that if he could do it to her, he could do it to me and I know he did. Although we had not at that point had intercourse, I got pregnant because we did go apparently far enough for that to happen. I keep saying I was naive, I was also gullible and believed what I was told. I had gone to the doctor when I missed a period and got the 3rd degree from him. Talk about embarrassed. I said "I can't be pregnant, I haven't done anything" with that the doctor asked pointed questions and said "well you did something!!!!, did he do this or that?" I think the electric bars of his fire burned into my eyeballs as I stared at them. I could not look at him, the fire burned my cheeks and my cheeks burned from inside out. I told you, I was very naive and innocent. I mean I knew how you got pregnant but not enough apparently. There was no birth control and I had not had intentions of "going all the way".
Anyway as it turned out I was indeed pregnant. I told Graham, his first words were "Is it mine".............that ended it for me. Len said "well he had to ask" and I replied, he knows me and he knows that I have not been with anyone. At least he accepted that the baby was his. Even though he could not do much about it being married and all. Thank the Lord for small mercies. He wanted me to stay with him but that was out of the question, I had more to think about now.
Laura brand new.....
When my Mother found out as she eventually would, her words were "you're not bringing any bastard into this house especially his".................and so I looked into Mother and Baby homes and stayed away from home for as long as I could. At that time I could only work up until I was 6 months pregnant and I did so. What I did learn was that I was stronger than I thought I ever could be. I am stubborn and decided I could take care of myself and I did. I can't say Graham stood by me, he was no help in any way at all, but I did see him now and then. His infidelity, lies and dishonesty were not something I could live with and eventually it fizzled out and I moved on. I saw him once after Laura was born because he came to my parents house. I will continue this story later because I want to tell about the Mother and Baby home as it was then.......................