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Jun 24 11 12:47 PM

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I was at Princess Alice School from 1950 to 1962 and was at that time known as Sonia Taylor (now Sonia Nelson-Cole). I lived in Icknield House with Sister Evelyn and Sister Margaret who was later replaced by Sister Molly.  I was moved to Meridan House with Sister Kathleen when Icknield House closed down. Overall my time at the home was pleasant and I have jotted down a few of my memories.

I remember the fete days and the Old Boys and Girls days when we had stalls of various items, food drinks, activities, etc.; it was so much fun  and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and used to be intrigued to see how the old boys and girls looked - it was a dream of mine that one day I would be one of them. Unfortunately I did not visit the home before it closed down.

Another memory was Christmas Eve when we would all have to be in bed early and wait for Father Christmas to come round and give us our presents (there were many houses in PAS) and the suspense was exciting - waiting to hear the jingle of bells.  We would all then sing Jingle Bells. Consequently, Christmas became a very memorable occasion when I had my own children and I see they have continued with their children.

I also loved the yearly shows we put on; we travelled to a few other towns to do the shows. There was a theme each year and we would act, sing and dance; the older children would play the xylophone and the bells.  I would watch my sister (Remi) and long for the day I would be able to play these instruments.  I got my chance and really loved it.

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#1 [url]

Mar 30 12 10:19 AM

Hi Sonia
I too remember my time at PAS as a pleasant time.
I've answered some of your questions on another topic - I do hope you get to see them - I realise, like me,that you haven't been here for a while :-).

I also remember Christmases with great affection. In Wand, as we became seniors, we were enlisted by 'Santa' to help with the toys by ensuring all the smaller children were in bed when all the toys were brought in in laundry baskets!

I think the shows you refer to were Sunny Smiles? Do you remember the sandwiches and pop in the coach on the way home?

What about the trips to the Circus, and Christmas pantomimes? I realised in later years that children who we thought of as better off - in that they had proper homes actually rarely got to see these things as parents just couldn't afford it.
Even as late as 1974, I met a family whose children had never seen a Circus ( but we soon rectified that lol!!).

Best wishes Sonia, hope all is well with your world.....

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#2 [url]

Apr 3 12 3:55 PM

Hi Genie,

Re Xmas, it was the same in Icknield House - the seniors took on roles helping Santa!  You have jogged my memory again - I do remember the sandwiches and pop in the coach on the way home from the shows.  Of course, I remember the trips to the circus and the  pantomimes and we would get to meet children from other NHS branches and compare notes - I really loved these times.

Other memories were May Day when we danced around the May Pole; I also loved playing on the centre lawn during the hot summer days and the walks to the park. 

One of the helpers in Icknield House (I can't remember her name) had a motorbike and used to give us rides down to the farm. 

I guess one could go on and on; such memories are priceless!

Best wishes Genie - keep in touch.

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