Ruth's memories of Oxhey Hall in summer 1940
Lucy Gastor Childrens Home
By Ruth Heuberger
The bright core of my memories:
- Kindness. Good faces, stern faces.
- Much mischief: rolling down the staircase of the farmhouse, a hat in the pigpen, toe-dirt picking in white iron beds.
- My best friend Hans, who shared my frequent “time outs”.
- Cardigans strewn with embroidered flowers.
- Making the rounds of the dining room, picking off meat left on plates. Squawking chickens.
- The rustle of cellophane that meant rare sweet treats.
- A burn on my hand administered by small boys in the schoolyard with a magnifying glass and sunlight, me watching in dumb fascination and soiled blue knickers with a pocket.
- Scarlet fever in Matron’s bed (“please face the wall when I undress”, she asked, an offer I had to accept – curiosity temporarily squelched). A man in a field being carried to a stretcher.
- Sunshine, trees and flowers in a radiant garden.
- A song and a poem (try me!)
- Underground air-raid shelters and magical stories read by Nurse Mander from black squiggles on a page. I read before I can remember the beginning – perhaps learned at Infants’ School, where my first report card says “Ruth is fond of singing”?
This page was added on 04/07/2014.