Born into Poverty

Roy Middleton Paul Mould

Roy Middleton now retired and living in Boston, Lincolnshire writes of his introduction to life and recounts his experiences at school, in the army during the war and later as a successful shopkeeper often with remarkable humour.

Roy was born in the newly built hospital on Uttoxeter Road, Derby on December 2nd 1929.  At a time of terrible depression when it was a struggle for families to exist let alone live.  With no such thing as the welfare state or social services and definitely no child benefit, if you needed a doctor he wanted paying for his services.  A wedding ring or the husband's Sunday suit was often pawned.

His parents already had two daughters and, although rejoicing in the birth of their son must also have wondered how they could possibly manage.  Living in a tiny back to back house with one room up and one room down, a pump in the yard to draw water and a block of four toilets set in the middle of a square and used by twelve families.

When his elder sister died his mother was inconsolable.  Then, when her husband went to live with another woman, she just could not manage and the authorities took Roy and his sister, Connie, away - to the workhouse.

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