Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Amy Evans, teacher, 1930's

Amy Evans, teacher.
Photos of Craig-y-nos are turning up from the most unexpected of places.

This morning I receive one from the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, of staff in the 1930’s.

It’s been sent in by Moira Paterson, of Lamlash. Her mother, Amy Evans, worked at Craig-y-nos during the 1930’s as a teacher.

Moira says:” I was always told that she worked as a teacher though I don't think she was qualified. She wore a different uniform from the nurses.”

This is interesting because it is the first time we have any information that children received any kind of teaching in the 1930s in Craig-y-nos.

Records show the Adelina Patti school was officially opened in 1947 with Miss Amy White as Head teacher. However it is now clear that some kind of education of the children did take place much earlier on.

Amy Evans unfortunately died of TB in 1943.

Moira remembers as a child being required to do exercises, to help prevent TB.

She asks if Dr Huppert ever did home visits because she recalls the occasion when
she had a chest infection and a German woman doctor came to visit her at home.

“I was living with my grandmother at the time and I remember hearing this marching noise coming up the stairs and being scared when this German woman came into the room. I couldn't understand it because we were at war with Germany.
She frightened me and I remember curling up in bed as she tried to grab me .
She said:” This child is spoilt!” I shall always remember that.”

Moira wonders if it was Dr Huppert. She can’t recall the year except it was in the 1940’s and she was still young enough to be frightened by this strange adult figure.

I think it is highly probable that it was Dr Huppert. The chances of two Austrian-German women doctors specialising in TB working in a remote Swansea valley during the 1940’s seems highly unlikely, especially two showing the same abrasive characteristics.

Apart from that her only connection with Craig-y-nos was years later when she was sent there for a chest x-ray before going to teachers training college.

( This reminds me of another story, a personal one this time. I too had been sent for a chest x-ray having got a place in a Bristol teachers training college but the x-ray showed a recurrence of TB so it was back to hospital, only this time to Sully in Penarth followed by three months in Pinewood hospital, a TB rehabilitation unit in Berkshire. The regimes in both these hospitals were totally different from anything experienced in Craig-y-nos, also it was late 1950’s and a lot more medical knowledge was now available.)

I tell Moira about the September Reunion on September 9th and the possibility that Clive Rowlands will be there.
She says:“ I was in school with Clive!”

Moira eventually married a Scot and moved to Scotland.
It’s a small world...

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