Beatrice

Beatrice was born in Nottingham, fostered in Chertsey during the Second World War and went to the Foundling Hospital at Berkhamsted.  On leaving school she returned to her foster family and worked in a number of different jobs.  She has three daughters and is now living in Australia with her husband.

Beatrice

The big school

Audio Transcript

But my mother-- and you notice I call her mother because she is, my mother... she had told me when I was three, that I wasn't her little girl... she sat me on her lap one day and--, Mrs Riggs next door had taken me on a boat trip and I had my best, purple dress on - well it was a lilac-ey colour that my mother had knitted, and white socks and things - and she sat me on her lap and she said that she wasn't my mother, and I wasn't really her little girl, and that one day I had to go away, to the big school and-- where I would have lots of other children to play to with and, that, she probably wouldn't be able to see me until I was a big girl. So she told me that, upfront. I didn't understand it but, she-- that's what she told me. So I went next door, to the Woods family and told them and they said, 'Oh, well, you see Babs, what it is, is, your mum didn't want you, so she gave you away. And, so now you've got to go to the big school, and scrub floors, and live on bread and milk-- bread and water.' And it didn't matter what my mother had told me, these children told me-- that I believed what they told me. So I dreaded going to school because I knew I'd have to have bread and water, and scrub floors.