Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Margaret Grindell- 1939/ 1940


Margret Grindell from Caerphilly

“They tried to make me eat cold porridge every morning. I would heave and heave and eventually they would take it away,” said 81-year-old Margaret Grindell talking about her time as an 8 year old in Craig-y-nos sanatorium.

“Apart from the porridge I liked the food, especially the ice-cream.”

She remembers hearing the bombing of Swansea from her bed in Ward 2; a room so crowded there was hardly any space between the beds.
“They were all grown ups and very ill. I had a friend, another girl,  then she died. I was so sad.”

“What did we do all day? Nothing.
We had nothing. One Christmas a gentleman from Swansea rotary club brought me a doll.

He was my only visitor. My mother died while I was in there.    The nurses were good. They comforted me. My father was taken ill too and only visited me once.”

Eventually Margret went home and relatives brought her up. She went on to get a job inMarks and Spencer in Cardiff.
“Girls wouldn’t sit next to me in the canteen.  They would move away. There was a tremendous stigma to having TB.”

 Margaret married and retired 25 years ago from working all her life in retail, latterly as manageress of an upmarket shoe shop in Cardiff.

Today she is an active octogenarian enjoying gardening, walking, and knitting.

Margret contacted me after seeing the BBCTV “One Show”.

“I would love to go to a reunion. I have never met anyone who was in Craig-y-nos.”

"The Children of Craig-y-nos" by Ann Shaw and Carole Reeves, price £9.99 available from Amazon online.

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