As a young man in a TB sanatorium in Norfolk, I met a fellow female patient..June.. who was convalescing in Home Place, deep in the woods. We spent the summer together walking the woods, visiting Sherringham and Cromer on the bus, if we were short of money, they allowed us to travel free. I was discharged in the autumn and I could never remember how we parted.
Suddenly, 60 years later it all came back to me.
Bi-weekly a bus came from Peterborough to Kelling *sanatorium (*a word which for many years I could not utter, because of the stigma I felt)
I had been writing to a girl called Rita, I fancied her, I spotted her at the weekly dance at the Mansfield Hall but had never taken her out.
Rita decided to visit me but brought along Daphne Woods who lived close to me, it transpired that Rita was courting so brought Daphne along because she fancied me....(girls are like that, very caring).
I had told June we could not meet that day as my Mother was coming on the bus. I had previously told June I did not have a girl friend back home. Which I didn't, even though I was attempting to procure one. ( boys are like that! very devious)
I walked to the bus stop to say my goodbyes, I kissed my Mum then got a peck off Rita but Daphne put her arms around my neck and gave me a full blown kiss. I liked that, especially as she knew full well what I was supposed to be in that place for and decided she was a bit of alright, both of them were extremely well dressed for the visit.
On the other side of the road, I spotted June walking slowly with a female friend and looking across at all this.
That was the last time I saw June. I was discharged very shortly afterwards but still cannot remember how I got home. My first memory is turning the corner to my street but how I got there has vanished.
The ironic thing is.....I never had TB at all....the TB Doctor in Peterborough was a bloody quack and I lost 3/4 years of work...luckily I studied, gained quals; and they paid off later in life.
I had completed my apprenticeship in bricklaying before I was taken away but did not return to it for 15/20 years.
So I now know he last time June and I met.