Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My Childhood In Three Photographs.

The photographic record of my childhood consists of three photos. Which when I think back over the upheaval of those early years is quite an achievement. I do feel quite sad though that I have no way of looking back pictorially on my formative years. This first photo which I am about to attempt to put on this page was taken when I was about one year old. Also in this picture are my sister Marian aged 15 and my brother Victor aged 8. Strange how there is exactly 7 years between each of our births. I can't remember this being taken of course but it must have been shortly before my parents divorced. I was taken into care at age two. So this must have been almost the last time we were all together. Makes me feel sad to think of what became of us.
This next one is me aged five. This was taken in Shirley Residential Children's Home run by London County Council. This was the second council care home I had been in. I have a vague memory of this photo being taken. Things like having my hair tidied and my face cleaned with a wet flannel. I think it was taken for me to send to my Mother. She must have sent it on to my Aunt Jo. On the back of the photo in my Mums handwriting it says 'with love to Aunt Joey from John age 5 years'.  I will now attempt to put it on this page. Wish me luck.
Amazing! I have managed to get it here. Shame there is this big
open space here. Also whenever I want to write another line the
photo moves down with it. I think I'll try and move the photo back
 up. Yes I did it. Hey! I'm getting the hang of this.
Now here comes a difficult bit. I have one more photo to show you, but it is still in the camera, so I will have to leave this page I think to get it into the computer. This is the moment when I could possibly lose everything I have just done. I'm a bit nervous but here goes. Might be back soon. Might not. Bye for now.
I'm back. Would you believe it I could not find this in my camera. Goodness knows where it had got to. Then it appeared again from nowhere. Doesn't it drive you nuts? Sorry about the delay. Hope you didn't get impatient and go away. I do talk nonsense sometimes don't I?
This picture was taken by Miss Steed our new house mother. I can remember this being taken. What a motley crew! The lady behind us kids was leaving the home. Her name was Miss Beeston. Sadly she was going blind. This picture was taken I think to remember her by. Miss Steed was the nicest housemother I ever knew. I believe she truly loved kids. When she arrived one of the first things she did was to go around the house removing all the notices which had been put up telling us kids what to do and when to do it. She said this was our home, and homes do not have written instructions all over the place. Soon after this picture I was sent to foster parents. I missed Miss Steed a lot. I used to run away from the foster home and go and see Miss Steed. Quite a journey for a little chap like me. Sometimes I would be mentioned in the South London Press as a runaway. What a claim to fame. Nobody ever asked me why I ran away. Perhaps if they had asked they might have let me go back and live with Miss Steed. All very ironic when for most of my life there at the home I was so unhappy. When Miss Steed eventually left the home she adopted the two girls you can see at the back of this picture. What a woman!
I am the handsome little chap standing directly in front of Miss Beeston. You can see that she is blind. She has her hands on my shoulders. What do you think of my haircut?
I am now about to press the preview button. Should be interesting.
Well I just had a look at the almost finished blog. Not quite what I had hoped for, but I dare not try and change it. Could lose it all.
Anyway here it is. My childhood in three photographs. Hope you like it.              


  1. You did a good job with this. Arranging everything in your posts will be easier every time. And your stories are always good. They make me think back to my own childhood.

  2. You were a cutie, weren't you? Now I can see why you always refer to your handsome son. The whole post was very interesting.

  3. Photographs can invoke so many memories, although not always pleasant. I like the second one, too bad Miss Beeston didn't have room for a little boy too. You did a fine job of arranging the pictures!

  4. This is very interesting. I'm not sure how many orphanages were still in operation in the US in the 1950s. I think foster homes were more the norm. For sure by the 60s, since my mom was a social worker then.

    Were you ever able to reconnect with your siblings?

  5. Im alone in the world. No one wants to be alone in the wor;d