Sister Pearl was very well meaning, it was just by the mid 1960s our lives were so different to those of our friends at Highfield.
I can see in later life, that hers was actually the best method in bringing up children, but to us in flat 1, in the mid 1960s it did not seem that way.
Our flat was run more in the austeer 1950s than the 1960s. Our friends on a Saturday did not spend the entire morning on cleaning chores in the mid 1960s, they were outside playing.
For out of hours school events, others in Highfield were allowed to attend, after supplying the correct paperwork from school, in our flat it was more or less a total ban.
Out at play in the grounds, Sister Pearl wanted us to use the area on the left hand side of the small gate as you endered the home, that went as far as the new house for Roycroft, other children including those from the flat below, were not encouraged to use this piece of grass.
Sister Pearl was protecting us, but all we could do was think up ways of cheating her rules.
Meeting with our friends in the Home that were in other flats, not only did they boast about what they could do, they actually teased us over been in flat 1, saying that we must have been bad to have been put in that flat.
Sister Pearl had a ban of other children entering our flat, and even on them knocking on the door to see if we were comming out to play, this met on most occasions from us been banned from playing out that day.
Roycroft was trying to bring Highfield into a more moden state, it was that a few Sisters wanted to keep it how it had been. He seldom visited our flat, I don't think he wanted to cause problems.
Whilst our friends might be sent over to see him if they had done wrong, it was very rare for anyone from flat 1 to be sent across to see him. It might give the impression that we were always very good, we knew Sister Pearl had ways of making us understand how we should act.
Sister Pearl was overworked, she spent much of the time on her own looking after us, prefering to toil on alone rather than have a trainee or assistant to help, in her younger days she might have been fit enough to manage a flat on her own, but at 58, she was too physically worn out, but still mentally very active. Most of the tention was caused by the older children who wanted to have a mid 1960s life, and not be part of the 1940s or 1950s. Thus the whole house was kept under control.
Perhaps Highfield was not the best choice of Home for me to be put in, One of the NCH Approved schools might have been a better choice, where all the boys were treated equally.
Before my arrival at Highfield, my life had been mapped out by the local council, where I was to be put in a naughty boy's home for three years, but due to funding, they did not want to pay my costs after the first month of my stay when my mother moved out of the area, and that I was not really naughty enough to be in one of their Homes. By the time I entered Highfield, I was at odds with the world over my previous months of upsets.
When Sister Pearl retired, the New Houseparent brought our lives into the mid 1960s and gave us the freedom to play with the rest of the Home and to go to out of school events.
I can see now that Sister Pearl's way was the best, had everyone in the Home be treated the way of Sister Pearl, then we could have understood, it was just that our flat was so restricted compared with most of the others.
I kept intouch with Sister Pearl well after she left the Home, and visited her from time to time, she kept in good health, and seemed far more relaxed in her later years.