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The Day Before Yesterday: 112 - Mablethorpe

...I'm afraid one of the airbeds had to be used as protection when two stray dogs started an argument close to the children and it was held as a shield in front of them. One dog, not getting the best of this quarrel, decided to take it out on the defenceless airbed and ruined it...

Gladys Schofield, continuing her autobiography, tells of family seaside holidays.

I took a bit longer to get well after this last baby and feed times were worse if Linda was awake. She hated me feeding the baby and would try to climb onto my knee also at these times. It was alright when I had someone home to distract her.

I took a trip to my Doctor when Pauline was six weeks old and he referred me to a new branch of the medical service called 'Family Planning'. I was fitted with a device to save me from any more unplanned pregnancies. This was a good move and took a lot of worry from my life. In April of 1958 our second son Rodney reached fifteen years and left school and got a job in another engineering firm. He also started an apprenticeship. Both boys paid me for their keep each week, depending on what they earned, which wasn't much in the first few years, as they were not paid very much.

The holiday was a great success. We had packed the pushchair which was a wise move. It went everywhere with us, containing our two youngest girls. I wore a sundress with a scooped neckline, very daring for the late fifties. The skirts were still long and full. Linda was afraid of the sea at first and anything cold and wet was not in her line at all. She gradually got braver as she saw her brothers and sister enjoying the waves on two airbeds we had bought them.

I'm afraid one of the airbeds had to be used as protection when two stray dogs started an argument close to the children and it was held as a shield in front of them. One dog, not getting the best of this quarrel, decided to take it out on the defenceless airbed and ruined it but it could have been worse. The children just loved the sea, only seeing it once a year made it all the more exciting. They didn't take long to drop asleep after all day in the fresh air.

This first holiday at Mablethorpe was one of many. Alan was also having his first holiday away from home. He had gone to a holiday camp called 'Butlins'. They were springing up around the coast. He went with a friend, another seventeen year old and came home with a silver cup. They had been holding contests throughout the season and a match was held weekly for the best all round cricketer. Alan won the cup that year.

Susan loved to play with her friends in the fields of long grass and wild flowers above our row of houses. Some people didn't even fence and cultivate at the back and all the children would congregate there. They were still safe and needed no chaperoning. We had a hard time getting them to come in at bedtime, through the Summer months.

Linda slipped on the small pebbles as she ran down the drive one day and had to have stitches in a cut in her forehead. I thought the way they took the child and didn't allow the mother to stay and comfort the little one was very cold hearted. I could hear the screaming up the corridor somewhere, she can still remember it today.

Pauline also had a similar experience, as she fell, she got a small pebble lodged in her forehead and had to have this removed. They didn't even freeze the wound in those days, no wonder children were terrified of hospitals.

**

To read earlier sections of Gladys's book please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

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