I have always considered Cornwall to be my home. Strange really, as I have never actually lived there! I was born in Newry, Northern Ireland. My father was Edward Thomas Tregurtha, son of Edward Sennett Tregurtha and Florence Thomas. Most of my childhood teenage summers were spent in Cornwall with my grandparents and I knew them well as they later came to live with us in Southport, Lancashire. Granny and Grandpa lived at 9 Hollows Terrace, Hayle – a house that had been built by Granny’s illegitimate half-brother and was subsequently left to them by him.
I loved my childhood in Ireland. We had lots of freedom, and fields near our house to play in and explore. When I was eleven we moved to Harrogate in Yorkshire and from there to Southport, Lancashire three years later. Both of these were as a result of Dad’s promotions at work. I had always wanted to be a teacher (apart from a few very early years when I wanted to be a bare-back rider in a circus!) and so in 1965 I went to Southlands College Wimbledon, London to train as a primary school teacher. I qualified in 1968 and worked in schools in the London area until I returned to the family home in Gerrards Cross in 1970 following my Dad’s sudden death the previous year. Mum was finding life difficult without Dad and so I went back to live with her for a year. In 1972 I was able to buy my own little house and I continued teaching in Buckinghamshire until 1975 when I saw an advertisement for a teacher at Harefield Hospital, teaching children on the wards, as well as children and adults with TB. The job was often harrowing as Harefield is known for its heart surgery, but I loved it. I knew then that I couldn’t go back to main stream education and my next job was at a special school near Henley. The term used at the time was “delicate boys” but they were anything but! Some of them suffered from asthma or epilepsy, some were victims of thalidomide but I really enjoyed it. There was lots of extra work after school and at weekends but I enjoyed it. The boys were aged 11 – 16 but my infant training came in handy as many of them needed to go back to basics. I was sorry when I left there in 1979, but my circumstances had changed and it was necessary for me to go back to mainstream education. I stayed there until 1983, when I left to have my first child. In 1988 I was able to go back to the best of both worlds, teaching children with Special Educational Needs in a mainstream school. I continued doing that until I took early retirement in 2004.
I have been married three times. The first was to Richard. We were engaged at the time of Dad’s death and we brought our wedding forward. It wasn’t a good idea and we were divorced a few years later. The second was in 1979 to Graham. That lasted 4 years, but we divorced when I discovered that he had been cheating on me whilst I was pregnant. Ian Michael was born in 1983 and I brought him up on my own for the first few years. In 1985 I married John. The following year we had a daughter Lisa Jane and shortly after that John adopted Ian. I am proud to say that later this month John and I will celebrate30 years of marriage. I finally got it right!
Since my retirement I keep myself busy. I joined my local U3A (University of the Third Age) and attend classes in family history, poetry writing, play reading, local history, needlework and I run a craft group. I love walking with our two Jack Russell dogs, meeting up with friends for a meal or just for a general chat. Life is good!