Thanks to my walking companion (one of them) for this photograph.
I have been remembering people who have had a positive impact on my life. Miss Welsh, the deputy head of my secondary school, was such a one.
Miss Welsh left our school when I was a vulnerable twelve-year-old, to live ‘under Catbells’ in the Lake District, (perhaps on the Newlands Valley side). My one ally had gone and I was bereft, I felt supported by her, in the jungle that was school for me at that time.
She taught needlework and I can still remember the round and hefty, stuffed with sawdust, pincushion I made as my first ‘piece’. A somewhat tricky sewing project in that it required sewing a circle of fabric, without puckering, onto the straight edge of the ‘wall’ of the cushion. I got a house point for it. A Gingham apron followed. Small successes and recognition of them at that age, are profound and have a lasting impact. I’ve been confident at sewing ever since.
Ah! how many people have entered our lives briefly and left a long-lasting impression. I’d forgotten this woman’s name, she was just ‘there’, gently saying without words, ‘you’re all right, you will do fine’. And I did! There are other people now coming to mind.
Thanks to Tim, the son of my Head Master who remembered the name of his father’s deputy. The wonders of the internet that I could find this information with such ease this afternoon. One can drown in nostalgia or one can take flight – with gratitude.