I’ll start from my childhood, I had the traditional experience in those days of always going to Sunday school, my parents encouraged this, whether it was because of their own beliefs or whether it was just to get me out of the house wouldn’t like to say.
One night, I was about 7 or 8 years old, I awoke to see a vision of a man standing by my bed, I can still remember it so clearly, such a pure light illuminated his figure, yet I could see right through him. I said ‘who are you?’ and he just smiled at me before fading from my sight.
The next morning I told my mother and my sister ‘I saw God last night’ but they just laughed, and mother sent me on an arrend to the shops.
On the way our local vicar was coming out of a house and I had to stop as he opened the gate onto the pavement, ‘I saw God last night’ I blurted out, and the kind man took the time to ask me what happened.
After hearing my story he told me to make sure I always held on to the memory because in the fullness of time it would mean something great, perhaps my journey began way back then, as I have never forgotten his words.
Youth club took over from Sunday school ans as so iften happened my teenage years saw me having less and less contact with the church. I t wasn’t until afterI was married with a young family that I started attending again, and I couldn’t have got through the nursing of my beloved father who was suffering from cancer, or his subsequent death, without their support,
Unfortunately, in the same year my father died, my husband decided that the canteen manageress of the place where he worked was a far better prospect than me and the children and left us for her. Once again, my priest and the church provided the invaluable love and care that got us through such a terrible time.
I now need to provide for myself and the girls, there was not such a comprehensive benefit system then, and I had to keep a roof over our heads.
I was working at that time from home, as I ran the village post office from the house, but the office was closed as part of the redefining of the post office network that is still going on today.
My friend’s husband has gone for a job as a bus driver, but had failed the initial test; I shamefully was taking the mickey out of him when he said ‘if you think it’s that easy, you try it!’ So I did.
I passed, which was unusual as women bus drivers hadn’t been seen in London since the war! I realised that by earning a man’s wage I would be able to look after my family and so began the training. After I passed the PSV test my neighbours and church friends rallied around to make sure the girls were looked after if I was working, and the bus company were excellent too. The girls would often get on a bus at the stop outside their school and get off at the depot; there they would have their tea in the canteen and then get on the bus I was driving as I went past. They both became quite proficient at doing their homework on the move!
I eventually worked my way up to driving green line coaches and then went on to drive for national express.
I was working for National Express when we moved to Cornwall, at first staying with friends from our village who had moved down a year or so earlier, before renting the cottage at Churchtown where I still live today.