Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How it all started

I'm 60 now, male, a former foster child, a former widower and now newly married.  

I was fostered during the 1960s and 1970s. It was a different world then but some things never change. All the people involved are long since dead although the middle of St Albans hasn't changed that much. I lived near the Abbey Station (the Watford line station) not far from the Cathedral. I was a foster child from 14 to 16+ when I had to leave school after my O levels. 

The Abbey Station - the line to Watford.

My Father had served in India and Burma during WW2 and when he came back to England he was in poor health. Physically he had suffered a lot fighting the Japs and mentally he never seemed to recover from the dreadful things he saw when he was out there. I don't remember him at all as I was only 3 when he died. There is a photograph of him holding me as a baby and you would swear he was mid 50s rather than mid-30s.
Dad's parents lived in the East Riding of Yorkshire. They had two boys, my Dad and my Uncle John. John died in the war and after Dad died we (Mum and I) had almost no contact with them. There was just a card on my birthday with a 10/- postal order and another card at Christmas with a 12/6d postal order but even the cards stopped when I was 18. They both died a long time ago.  
My Mother coped with widowhood well for a while but in the end her assorted eating disorders meant she went into one of the many large mental hospitals near St Albans. So I went into the fostering system. There was another family who also fostered children next door to where I ended up. Rosemary was their foster child and she was my first teen crush. She then moved to a more permanent place up on King Harry Lane and I only saw her again by accident. The last time I saw her during my years in St Albans was by the Old Clock Tower in about 1973/4. Over the years I often wondered what happened to her.

Not everything I write is going to be in the exact time order. Perhaps when I finish the story I will be able to tell readers what order they need to read things!
The Clock Tower - just as I remember it (except for the old fashioned people)





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