Monday, May 07, 2007

Mair Harris( nee Edwards)- 1950-52

Ann and Mair on the balcony

Mair and Nurse Glenys Davies on the balcony

...and 2007 in Craig-y-nos

"My memories are happy."
"When I arrived at Craig-y-nos and saw the big wall and the gate I can remember saying to my mother:” I don't want to stay in here.”

But once I had got into the ward and got to know the girls I had happy memories after that.
We had lots of fun. We had the Girl Guides. Also,we would drop letters to the boys on the downstairs balcony on a piece of string. Things like that. It was great.

I got on well with some of the staff. If I had been unhappy I wouldn't want to come back here but I come for the summer sometimes , not to go into the building, but to walk around the lake like I used to as a a teenager.

“I was 13 when I went into Craig-y-nos and 15 when I left. Most of the time I was on the balcony. I was in bed for 15 months and I had streptomycin and PAS.

Mair on the balcony
Learning to walk again
You got up for an hour the first week then this was increased to two hours, four hours, six hours and eight hours. Then it was considered you were up all day.

Theatre and concerts.
People from the area would come in and give us concerts.

Miss White, the teacher
Yes I remember Miss White. She was quite good to me actually. She helped me a lot I was in the grammar school when I went in and she told me to bring my books.
When I went back to school I wasn't very far behind the other children and I was able to catch up quite easily with them.

I felt she did quite a lot of work for me.

Dr Huppert
I did hold her in awe though I was never punished by her.

Shirley and Mair
Christmas was fantastic. I used to go to the Adelina Patti theatre and there would be Santa Claus and presents from Friends of the Hospital. I remember having a huge jigsaw.
Other children put up stockings.We were allowed to put up pillow cases that were full of parcels that had come from home. I remember having a huge pillow case with 70-80 presents.

Christmas was worth remembering.

On leaving
I went back to grammar school for 2 years then I was unlucky. I had two relapses, in 1954 and again in 1956 and I was sent to other hospitals.

After that I didn't bother to go back to school. I went to work in the library. And that was it until I got married. I worked in the library throughout my career then I retired.

How did TB affect my life?
I missed out on my teenage years. I went into hospital when I was 13 and I was 19 before I was better so I didn't have the fun that the others were having like going out to the cinema. I missed out on all that.
But otherwise I don't think it really affected me.
I was going to go in for teaching but my mother felt it was best that I stayed at home rather than go away to college. So I went into the library.

Girl Guides: Mair in the centre with other Guides

It made me stand on my own two feet. I have very positive memories of my time there. You only saw your parents once a month so you were depending on the staff to take their place to a certain extent but otherwise you had to do everything on your own.

It taught me to be independent. My memories are happy."

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