PEOPLE

Kate Fowler

‘I was born in Bridport in 1970. My Mum had Asian flu early in her pregnancy, which was diagnosed as the reason I was born deaf, and that was confirmed when I was 6 months old. From then on for the next two years a peripatetic teacher for the deaf would visit me and my Mum once a week. Growing up in Chideock, as a young child I had two or three good friends, but integrating with other hearing children was difficult. When I was 2 years of age I ...

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Peter Bartlett

Julia Mear met Peter Bartlett in Beer, Devon. ‘I was born in one of the Fisherman’s cottages on Sea View Road, the fifth one down, in 1932. The locals know me as ‘Chunky’. My grandfather, Joseph, was one of the first tenants of these cottages. He and my father, Herman, both fished. My grandfather died aged 38 years and left eight children behind. My mother, Isabelle Tuck, was from Bournemouth. She was one of a twin and her aunts brought her up. Their family ran a café in Swanage. My mother ...

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Bella Blanchard

‘My childhood was spent in rural Wiltshire, where my sister, two brothers and I had a very happy and carefree upbringing. My mother took us riding around the countryside and we played in the fields and woods. My father was a bit eccentric. He strongly believed that we should learn to stand on our own two feet, and with that in mind, used to drive us into the middle of nowhere, equipped only with compasses, the plan being that we should find our own way home. As contrary individuals we ...

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Brian Rice

‘I was born in Yeovil maternity hospital in 1936. My mother died a couple of weeks later from septicaemia and complications following the birth; there were no antibiotics in those days. My father arranged for my paternal grandparents to bring me up, in Tintinhull, until I was 11, when my grandmother died. So basically I was brought up by Victorians. It was strict, but I was well looked after, and after passing the 11-plus at Tintinhull village school I went to Yeovil Grammar. My father was in the RAF in ...

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Virginia Stewart

‘My Dad came from an old Sussex farming family in the tiny village of Ifield, which developed into the new town of Crawley. My mother came from a completely different family; her family was artistic and ambitiously academic. They moved from Manchester to Crawley, which is where my Mum and Dad met. They married at the age of 19, and had my twin sister Lorna and me when they were 20. At that age twin girls must have been a huge challenge for them. Nonetheless Mum, Adrienne, was ambitious and ...

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