My earliest memories

These are probably from age 3, living with my fabulous Grandparents in Blackpool when Mum was working. Lots of walks in my 1960 big pram along the prom, playing on the beach, visits to the pleasure beach, being spoilt. Living the dream. What more could a little girl want? If anyone remembers the laughing clown at the Pleasure Beach, I always got very upset and cried when I saw it. Why?

At this age I still wasn’t able to walk, so there were lots of trips to physio appointments. Shoes just the same as I wear now, and having to go to bed in them, with a metal bar across from ankle to the other. Mum always made me get to things myself around the home. A brilliant strategy it seems to have been.

Celebrity and innovation

Mum was busy as a young Mum with a disabled child, learning, being so strong, and proactive in sourcing the best of everything for me. Wanting me to have a good education, walk and be independent. Looking back, this was very brave and positive of Mum in the 60s, after being told by doctors a bleak future, I would never walk etc.

When I was 4 I started a special school. I remember the learning wasn’t great at first as I could read and write before school. I walked with shoes and calipers, just like today, and had two wooden tripod sticks with horses heads. I called them whisky and soda! Who knows where those names came from. Mum would take me for a walk for what seemed such a long way. It was probably only half a mile at most. We went into St Annes centre. There I was smiled at by the public like I was a celebrity. Due largely to Mum’s charity work supporting other families with children like me, and efforts towards my progress, we were in the newspaper, and in the Round Table, or Mayor’s parade, in a horse and carriage along the Prom. Me dressed up and waving like the Queen.

My step Dad put his practical mind to converting a tricycle foot pedals to hand controls. This gave me the same freedom to get about and play with friends, just like the of kids nearby. I remember being quite forward. When new people moved into the very near area, I knocked on the door and asked if they had children I could play with. Not sure where that early boldness has gone.

At this early age, I am sure this is where my ‘can do’ attitude must come from. The positive attitude of my Mum and step Dad, and their strength and approach has been key to the positive outcome of where I am today, and how I deal with the challenges life throws at us.

More of my early years story next time.