Living with the Consequences

The council have decided; public opinion is divided.

The beach huts on Lowestoft sea front will be built. This new ‘two deck construction’ is certainly controversial. Some think of them as a hideous eyesore, others say they are beautiful and contemporary.

Either way they will be built and we must live with the consequences.

The news items on the forced adoption of children born to unmarried mothers in the thirty years after the war reminded me of the ‘Mission of Hope’ in South Croydon. It was promoted in local churches as a Christian charity.

Unmarried pregnant women – often young girls – came to ‘Birdhurst Lodge’ six weeks before their baby was due. Mother and baby stayed for a further six weeks before deciding what should happen to the baby. I don’t know if adoptions were forced…

Linked to Birdhurst Lodge were two children’s homes for the children – usually black boys – for whom they couldn’t find adoptive families. I worked in one of the children’s homes for a number of months as a student. I have good happy memories of times spent with the children there.

Huge decisions were made at the Mission of Hope; many mothers and babies have had to live with the consequences.

I’m continue to enjoy reading ‘Faith Hope and Mischief’ by Andrew Graystone.

He describes his visit to the doctor where he was told that he had prostate cancer. He speaks with honesty and humour about coming to terms with the diagnosis, his feelings and fears, the response of friends and acquaintances…  

‘Here are the things I discovered. Number one: God is good. Number two: my lovely church mattered even more than I thought it did. Number three: The NHS is wonderful, but when they say quarter past two they really mean ten past four. Number four: I had cancer. Did I mention that?’

Beach huts… adoption… cancer… living with the consequences.

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