Monday, 12 March 2012

Fearless Females 12: Audrey Ball HAYWOOD outside the home

Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.

Audrey Ball HAYWOOD (1932-1995), my mother, worked outside the home as a teacher's assistant in St John's Infant School, Glastonbury, Somerset.  She worked with the four-year-olds who were coming to school for the first time, and often had amusing stories to tell about what they said and did.

The most recent thing, which impressed me the most, was after she had died.  I was staying with my father in Glastonbury, to look after him and arrange the funeral.  I popped down to the local supermarket to buy basics like bread and milk, and the checkout girl commented on the passing of my mother (by then it had been in the local paper).  I'll never forget what she said:  

"She taught me to read."

I wonder how many other children around the area could say that - and I wonder how many women have that distinction?  My mother taught me to read as well, and in fact we still have a tape of me reading Peter Rabbit (very fast indeed, with prompts from my mother).  She it was who encouraged me to read anything and everything, which meant that I owned some 400 books by the time I was 14, and had read even more. She opened a whole new world to me, and I am forever grateful.

[This is a reposting of the narrative I wrote in Fearless Females Month 2011]

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