HAPPY GATEACRE MEMORIES - Part 2
by Carole Frayne (née Wilkinson)
For a school fundraiser we had to collect jam jars. Me and my friend Marie knocked at a house (not a prefab - the road backed on to the garden of the Fitzmaurice family's no.9 Lineside). Well, when they opened the garage there seemed to be hundreds of jars there, and the owners took them to the school in their car. We were very proud of that! The Fitzmaurice family had three boys: Michael, Patrick and Dermot. Dermot was born in Lineside Road and when the midwife arrived we all thought the baby was in her bag! I remember being very fond of Dermot and taking him for walks to the cricket field in his pram.
I had to go to the doctor's because I had a stye on my eye. I remember going into his room. All the patient records were in a suitcase and he had his overcoat and trilby on because it was so cold. He put a piece of wire over the Bunsen burner and lanced my eye. No small-talk in those days! I also clearly remember the Sunday school in Belle Vale. We weren't allowed to play out on a Sunday; it was best dress and off to Sunday school.
Sadly my life in Gateacre came to a sudden end on 20th April 1955. My wonderful Dad died at the age of 33. He was a merchant seaman and contracted malaria. Medicine then was not what it is like to-day and he could not be saved. Our neighbours Mr Smith and Mr Napper walked to the hospital in the middle of the night to be with my Mum. I was ten when we moved to South Wales, where my Mum's family lived, but I can honestly say that those ten years in Gateacre were wonderful.