Gladys remembers being sent away
from home with her brothers and sisters
when her father died:
"My sister Nell and I were
sent to Shirley residential schools.
I remember the day that I went there,
we were taken into a receiving lodge
and the next thing
I was in Acacia cottage.
There were teachers and teachers
I suppose but as far as I was to know
they were all very old.
We had a Mr and Mrs Buckingham
they thought nothing of thumping you
in the back all the time
they were a rough couple.
But, reading writing and arithmetic
really and truly that was
all that was taught
and I couldnt wait
to be top every time because
I was scared.
I did very well
I mean, I do know
that I learnt an awful lot
in that two years.
Nine times out of ten
girls from Shirley residential schools
went into service
and when you went out to work
you were issued with a green trunk,
change of clothes, out door clothes
and your maid's dresses."