Headlong Into Danger .........Part 3 We invited them in and I asked Madge if she was over our way to do some shopping. Her reply floored both me and Cliff. Madge said she had come to ask me if I would look after the children for a while because she was pregnant and was getting a new house sorted out for them through the council. One that would be on the outskirts of Loughborough so that the children could go to school at Loughborough. Cliff and I said that we would on the understanding that something was paid for their keep. She passed over the childrens ration books and clothing coupons because we were still on rations at that time, with promises that we would get something each week. When Madge went I was under the impression that she was sending the children’s clothes over . How naïve could I have been? She went out the door and it was nearly ten months later when I saw her again. She had dumped the children on me without even a change of clothes. It’s a good job I had a decent next door neighbour who passed some of her two boys outgrown clothing to me for the lads. Jilly had to make do with some of my stuff until I got sorted out. It was quite a dilemma and I could have contacted the police BUT the last thing I wanted was for Social Services involved to put the children in a home. I had been in a home myself for seven years and I certainly did not want them to be subjected to the cruelty that I went through when I was little. I sorted out the bedrooms and took my lads cot back into our bedroom so that the two lads could sleep in the other double bed. I did not like putting my sons cot back in my room because he was about 16 months old then but it was the only way I could fit everyone in. I used to get up in the middle of the night to get my lad out to go to the toilet and Jilly’s stepbrother because I had caught him the first night he stopped with us, just about ready to water the flowers on the ruddy wall paper that we had not long put on the walls in that bedroom. He was still asleep so I could not scold him. It used to be awful to hear him banging his head against the head board before he finally went to sleep. We padded it well with two big bolsters so that he would not hurt himself. It was quite a gruelling time . I contacted the firm where Jilly’s father worked and told the boss to tell him to come round and see me when he got back from his long distance driving job. He finally made an appearance three weeks after I had first taken the children in and told me his wife was in Liverpool but he would be calling each week with some money to keep the children. The Family Allowances Act was passed in 1945. This provided for a five shilling per week payment for each child, after the first. With me only having one son I could not claim anything so during that 10 months that we had the children Madge must have still been claiming for them and not sending the money to me. I never saw Jilly’s father again until just before Jilly left school at 14. Yes I was taken for a ride but I would not have had it any other way. When the children first came to me Jilly’s brother told folks that I would not let him go out to play. It made me sound an ogress but the truth of the matter was as he only had one set of everything to wear in underclothes I had to wash and dry them every night so that they would be ready for the next morning. That was why I could not let him go out to play until I got him some more. He could tell such convincing lies I even started to doubt myself at times. My next door neighbour told me about Providence Cheques which meant borrowing about £50 and paying it back at 5 shillings a week. Both Cliff and myself were against doing this because we had never had any thing on the weekly before only the babies pram that I finished paying for with the money collected when I played the piano in the public house. Unfortunately it was a case of needs must to get the children school uniform once I had got them settled into schools. £50 may not sound much in todays coinage but it went a heck of a long way years ago and 5 shillings was quite a slice out of a man’s weekly wage then. We did not live as well as I would have liked us to but we survived. After ten months of struggling to keep the children on my husbands wage Jilly’s father turned up and said that they now had a house and the children could go back there to live. Jilly was just coming up to 14 years of age when she would be leaving school and sent to get a job. It was a convenient time for them to want the children back when extra money would be taken in. When the children finally left I had been promised a cheque to be forthcoming from her father for the months I kept them. It never did materialise and I would not lower myself to ask for it. I lost touch with the stepmother and Jillys father and I believe Jilly fell out with her own blood brother and has not spoken to him since and her step brother took to drink. I never set eyes on the boys again once they left us but Jilly comes back every year. Jilly found her true mother over the years and she brought her to meet me. She thanked me for what I had done for her two children. I never asked what had happened between Jilly’s real mother and her father. I only know that NOTHING on this earth would have parted me from my child/children. As Jilly got older and got married she had two children and she used to bring her little lad to see us before they moved to the Shetland Isles and this is a photo of me holding him on the Cock Horses at the local yearly Town Fair. My own son is on the horse at the side of me. Jilly is now a grandmother herself but she always comes to see us when she comes to visit her husband’s family because she and her husband now live on the Shetland Isles.