Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Away with Amy

Photograph that inspired this poem or story

Waif girl

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I remember her only vaguely. She was beautiful. Long blond curls always niceley made up and even though we had little money she always had nice clothes on. I don't remember what she was like. Saying I remember may be a lie. I'm probably referring to the pictures I have seen but I'm sure I remember her a little bit. I haven't seen her since I was two years old. She was sick. I don't know why. No one ever told me but I know that her husband victor said it was my fault and that I should leave them alone and not trouble them again. I hate him. Even when I was there the food was scarce. It was three small meals a day. Same thing every day. Breakfast was porridge, lunch bread and butter with a handful of currants, and dinner was a stew.

I went to my first home when I was seven. Waifs and Strays children's home. It was there they discovered I had rickets which made it a lot harder to join in games with the other children. Adter that I went to live with a foster mother but about a year after that I went to live at St Elizabeth's home in Clapham. I had just turned eleven at the time but I didn't stay there for very long. When I was eleven I went to live with my grandmother in London and have been living there ever since. I'm now sixteen and have a job doing the paper round. I have been doing it for five years but for the first two I did it on foot. It took me hours to do the whole area I had been assigned. They refused to give me a tiny bit more money but they said I will have to save up. Just before my thirteenth birthday I had just enough to buy a second hand bike. Now my grandmother has turned ill and I don't know what to do. We don't have nearly enough to pay for a doctor. I don't want to go back to a foster home. I won't.

by a pupil at The Charter School

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