You should have gone before we left
You should have gone before we left
Part 26 Life in a Children’s Home.
Your excuse for the wet patch on the ground.
1. It just rained where I was standing – (A summer day when it did not rain anywhere else).
2. After going into the pond – (There are no damp footprints and there was no pond nearby).
In the Children’ Home if you were going out with the Sister that looked after me, it was best to go for a pee before you left the building, the group of us might be away for an hour or so.
During the trip you might tell Sister that you needed to go for a pee. The reply was normally that you would have to wait.
There was a slim chance that we would be allowed to use the public toilets in town, but due to the mischief half a dozen to a dozen of us could cause, Sister was reluctant to let us out of her sight.
An ordinary child might be allowed to pee in a bush or behind a wall. Sister knew that if one of us was allowed to do this, everyone else would soon request to go as well.
Ask a second time, or show you were desperate and Sister was not very pleased. Her main concern was that if we were soon to be taken into a shop, an accident at that point would be embarrassing for her.
You would be told to go for a pee in your pants whilst you were still outdoors. It might cause embarrassment, or tears, none of us were going to cause a problem inside a shop.
You could laugh it off in front of the others, most of us thought of it as just a naughty act, and a bit of fun. It was not such a bad punishment compared to other punishments that were available.
In the mid 1960s the Home purchased a batch of school shorts made of a modern man-made fibre, there was the thought that they should last longer than our normal school shorts made in cotton, and that we might be able to keep them clean as we could wipe off the food and mud stains that our normal school shorts often suffered.
The were of a similar design to our ordinary school shorts and still had a lining inside that was ideal for lessening the pain from punishments at school. The lining was almost waterproof.
We soon found out that if you had an accident, any pee that your underpants did not soak up went straight down your legs, as long as you didn’t try to hold the front of your shorts, nothing was visible.
Sister soon found that when ironing the shorts and trying to get her perfect pair of creases on the front, the lining and outer fabric started to crease up. After several months, our new school shorts were relegated to play clothes and we went back to out cotton designed shorts to keep us smart.
If you had an accident in front of Sister, the next time you were taken out even at the age of eight or nine you would be wearing waterproof pants under your shorts, such a matter was not going to happen again.
Other than summer, we normally wore our raincoats, nothing was ever noticed if we wet ourselves.
When we went out, some of the Sisters carried a small simple camera with them, ideal for taking a few photos of us that went into their family albums of those they looked after over their many years in the Home.
Some of the photos were just spur of the moment snapshots, others were slightly posed if they had not been ready with the camera.
On leaving the Home, we might return to visit Sister several years later, the album would come out to show us the memories she had of us.
As well as the standard school photos, there might be some showing how we really were, a few had been totally forgotten in our own minds, but fully remembered in Sisters memories.
Many that we never realised had been taken.
At the age of eight, Sister did not trust me after a couple of accidents. If I was out of the grounds with her, or was going to a party, I wore waterproofs under my shorts or dungarees.
I didn’t mind, there was no fear now of any further accidents been noticed.
On my visits to London for weekends away or during the holidays, Sister had insisted that I wore the waterproof pants under my trousers. Whilst my mother thought they might not have been needed, I followed Sisters instruction. Not causing any problems kept my visits to London as an easy event.