This is part one of the autobiography of Pamela Jean Heyman, a Kentish girl who grew up in the period before, during and after the Second World War and went on to migrate to Nigeria in search of interest and excitement. It covers the period from her birth in 1931 to the eve of her departure for Africa in 1956. Most of the story is set in and around Throwley, Ashford and Maidstone in the 1930’s and 40’s. The author, Jean, was born on her maternal Grandparent’s farm. Her Father left soon after the birth of her little brother. He remarried, and Jean’s Mother moved to Maidstone where she took up a career in hairdressing, leaving Jean and her brother in the care of Grandma and Grandad and Auntie Kalla. In the tale that unfolds the old couple and their second daughter represents fortitude and loving stability, whereas Jean’s Mother, on her frequent visits, represents glamour, laughter and colour. By the end of the 1930’s Jean’s Grandparents had to give up the farm due to ill health. Jean and her Brother went to live with their Mother and her new Husband and their half-Sister, Maureen. This period coincides with the outbreak of war and the beginning of its privations. The Author’s life story serves as an evocative account of how country people lived in those days and how (not withstanding the trials and tribulations brought about by her Mother’s third marriage), during and after the war she worked hard to improve her secretarial skills which enabled her to eventually obtain a position in the Federal Government of Nigeria in Lagos. Part two will recount this period.
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Published December 2, 2010
Biographies & Memoirs.