Hall, Bill (Part 3 of 9) Speaking for ourselves: an oral history of people with cerebral palsy
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Hall, Bill (speaker, male)
Mann, Philip (speaker, male)
Part 3 (Tape 2 Side A): Bill was born in Hamilton, in 1936, in Scotland, now living in Corby, and now using a wheelchair for mobility. Bill was his parents' first child. His father had difficulty accepting his disability. Bill's parents married in 1935. His father was born in 1914. Bill's mother was 20 when she married. Bill was born in 1936, and in 1937 brother John was born (who died), followed by Jim in 1939. Training and work. Bill was born in a village called 'The Quarter', outside Hamilton, Lanarkshire. All Bill's aunts and uncles lived locally. Bill's father was labourer unable to work and the family survived on the means test. Bill's problems with walking. Helping with the fire and the wringer for the washing. His first home had one bedroom and a scullery on the ground floor in Morgan Street, Hamilton. Bill's earliest memory is going to school in 1942 aged 6. Doctor's advice that Bill wouldn't live. Bill was born in a grandmother's house, which didn't have a cooker, and had an outside toilet. Cooking was done on the fire. Bill's first bed was a drawer lined with cushions. Bill's grandfather died aged 51. Bill's father went into the army in 1937-38. New house rented from Hamilton Borough Council. Local shops, including a barber's shop and a grocer's shop, Jenny Donaldson's. Porridge and 'tatties' (potatoes); mince, and bread. 'Mixed' marriage, as it was called in Scotland, with Bill's mother Catholic and his father Protestant. Community school, with half an hour religious education a day. Bill was brought up a Catholic, but played with his friends, who were Protestant. Religious bigotry. Bill's brother Jim went to the Protestant School. Bill remembers fight with his brother Jim. Morgan Street. Bus run by John Duncan's of Motherwell. Woodburn School in Hamilton. Children had asthma, muscular dystrophy, heart conditions.
Interviewed for the project 'Speaking for ourselves: an oral history of people with cerebral palsy'; a project conducted by Scope in partnership with the British Library, financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund