Monthly Archives: December 2012

Shepherd Street Mission Children’s Home, 1930s, memories of my siblings

These are the recorded memories of three of my siblings, Hilda, Fred and Jean. We were all sent to the Shepherd Street Mission Children’s Home when we were young as our mother had died and our father could not cope at home with us all, and his work, on his own. Hilda At the age […]


Part of the price of being human is, I suppose, that most of us have something in our past which causes us pain of one kind or another. The pain is partly because we cannot change the past and make it better, and partly because the hurt may have been caused by someone we loved […]

Simon Shebden

The residents of Stanmore Crescent in the suburb of Manning’s Heath, Horsham, in the south of England, were feeling rather smug. Two weeks ago the Crescent had won first prize for the best kept gardens in the area, third year running if you please; a conceited satisfaction, if satisfaction it gave, for the affluence of […]

It wasn’t her idea to celebrate her birthday

“It’s wrong us all meeting like this. We really should get together and enjoy each other’s company while we’re alive. Not wait until we meet up at a funeral. I mean, which of us really knew our Ethel?” My mind drifted off as Dorothy continued. For some reason I felt guilty. I thought my relationship […]

My first love…?

Picture a Fijian with a head a mass of crinkly short dark hair, now imagine such hair as light brown on the head of a young English maiden and you have a picture of my first love, at least what attracted me to her. We lived in the same parish, went to the same church […]


The mind is rather naughty at times, isn’t it? I was at the zoo the other day taking in the back view of an elephant and thinking the skin needed a tuck or three here and there to tighten things up a bit, when a mental picture of Aunt Mildred came into my mind. Now […]

A wink and a smile

The day had started well enough, cloudless skies and a chill in the air, the kind of morning he liked. Yeah! Refreshing too, crunching the light frost as he walked to school. He walked alone, preferred it that way, no one to argue and fall out with. Not that he argued much, he hated that. […]

Aunty Sarah and the disappearing gingergnuts

I was around eight years of age when my Aunty Sarah appeared one day at our house. Small of stature and with eyes that sparkled and smiled, she was a happy woman and just right for an aunty. We came to know each other reasonably well in between her comings and goings. There was just […]

A house of mystery

There was something unusual about that house standing starkly on its own, close to a stretch of open land leading to the forest above the edge of town. It was unusual because the nearest neighbours couldn’t tell you if the place was occupied or not. If it was, they knew nothing of the people there […]

Childhood thoughts at Shepherd Street Mission Children’s Home

My mother died when I was one year old and my dad had to leave us in a children’s home for some years during the Depression. These are some of my earliest memories. Saturday again. Skinny Henry’ll be going out with his Mum soon. They’ll have a meal then go and see a film and […]