Here I am with my recorder and sheet music for Handel’s Messiah
My happiest memory of being in care was when I was sent to a Secure school, known as an Approved School in the 1960s. This was in South Wales and my time there was the happiest time of my childhood, except when I was in France with my grandparents. This school, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, was a happy school, free from abuse, bullying and the nuns were kind. I struggled with education but loved music; myself and two other girls had private piano and singing lessons. I later sang solo soprano in Handel’s Messiah at school, then recorded it onto vinyl. An amazing experience. My love of music encouraged, improved my behaviour. I was sent to the Rec to practice piano when I couldn’t cope with life. The Headmistress of the school is still my Mother to me. I only think of the school with love and affection, the friends I still have feel the same. We were lucky, as in other schools the children were abused but nobody ever harmed us at St Euphrasia’s. I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been sent there.
(J.R.A., Scotland, year of memory 1965)