Monday, October 01, 2007

Winnie Gardiner (nee Gammon) 1927-32

Winnie, from Mumbles, returned to Craig-y-nos with mixed feelings for the Patients Reunion.

It was the first time she had been inside the building since she left it as a five and a half year old child in 1932.

“I was admitted at 9 months of age,”says Winnie.”They didn't know what was wrong with me but they thought it was TB.”

Many years later it was discovered she suffers from coeliac disease and needs to be on a gluten free diet.

Says Winnie:” I grew up in Craig-y-nos. I didn't know my family when I went home.
They used to visit me twice a year - that was all they could afford because they were “on the parish” and they would only pay for two visits."

One big memory she does have of her time there is the occasion that the local Mayor visited the children's ward.
“He came in with this huge teddy bear. So big it looked like a real person. He gave it to me to cuddle. I hugged it.
Then he took it away again and I kept shouting:”It’s mine you gave it to me!”

The teddy bear got hung at the end of the ward so that all the children could look at it.
Children were not allowed to touch soft toys in those days because of the fear of germs.

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