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No Life for a Child

children,fields,workers,child, no,school,sisters

No Life for a Child

I was born in a small country town in the middle of the Cambridge/Norfolk Fens in the mid 1940’s. I was the fourth child of five but destined to be the youngest as the baby, a little boy died at the age of two with a rupture cyst on his liver. My father left when I was approx three months old and left my mother the sole parent at a time when there was great stigma attached to ‘One Parents Families’.

All of my young years and those of my brothers and sisters were spent in poverty, what little was earned was done so by my mother working in the fields. We lived in an agricultural area at a time (just after world war two) when industry and work was little and far between. Many things were still in short supply, as ration books had not long finished. The fields were the only way poor families could earn good money. No-body got rich but it put food on the table for a good few months of the year.

Those fields of Norfolk and Cambridge shire are still so strong in my memory. Being lifted into the back of the vans that took the women out to the fields to work. All hours and all weathers, nothing stopped them. Being the youngest and not at school I had to go along with my mother while she worked, hour after hour, day after day. Then when I started school it was weekends, evening and all the school holidays, then all four of us would go and help mother. Those fields of Norfolk were as a second home. How I remember sitting in rows of cultivated flowers that were picked for shops and bridal bouquets, mother would tell us.
Lying, in rows of strawberries, crying amongst gooseberry bushes and
sleeping a child’s sleep under apple trees.

No mummy’s kisses, daddies smiles not for me, not for us, time was money. There was Just mother somewhere over there as she picked, planted and sowed. We came and went, as did the seasons and the reasons for being there. Some one needed new shoes, the cooker was broken or maybe a second hand bed.

My sisters two were older than me and our father had long since departed, with another woman we was told. My two sisters worked as women even though still at school, they were only children. Whilst I cried with heat or cold, no swimming lakes or picnics, for us poor kids, no fun in the fields, only work.
I can remember waiting to be fed and cared for, sitting day after day in the fields.

Schools played their part supporting child labour, school holidays were arranged to accommodate the seasons and soft fruiting that needed picking quickly. Children from the age of 10 were working six days a week during the holidays, that’s of course if they were at school in the first place. This was to bolster the parent’s coffers and support younger members like myself. Their reward and mine as I became older, was to be clothed and fed. I don’t remember much love or respect, yet respect was always demanded of us towards those adults that disrespected us children so. Though few of them, the field workers, as I recall did little to earn respect. The foulness of their mouths and minds were not for young ear that’s for sure.

It was hard times with harder people, children exposed to morale-less men and women. The workers blamed us, shouted at us and their complaints were loud. Their abuse was constant and their tolerance was negligible. Anything that got damaged or stepped on was our fault.
Yes we were to blame for some, but we were children in a harsh world a
grown up environment, no place for young hearts and mind. We were only children mis-placed, ill used.

It is difficult to keep getting up when you feel all your life has been against you, don’t give up. The only thing all these years that has kept me going is my own personal success. To show them all, that now I am in charge of my life, it will improve. I refused to let them ruin the whole of my life and I was determined to make a better job than they did and I have!
Published: 2006-05-17
Author: Mel Moore

About the author or the publisher
I've been a Foster carer for twenty years and have worked/lived disturb teenagers, my inspiration comes from the children Ilived/worked with.I have written poetry for years and am now writing my first true-life novel and auto-biography. I have two books of poetry Which are;
Silent Witness ISBN: 0975830872
and Nature's Repose ISBN: 0975846426 Viewed or purchased at

My third book 'Psuedo Love' is released by Publish America, 7th June 2006

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