They say it was falling between two ships that brought on epilepsy, but his wife nonetheless stuck with him through thick and thin...or should that be thin and thinner?
He certainly lost his head on that fateful day and did his best to ensure his wife followed suit. His weapon of choice was a rusty hand-saw. My Mother quite literally just managed to keep her head and was extremely lucky to survive.
I'm not sure if it was this episode (which I was virtually unaware of) or the fact that the police had singled me out as the culprit who had climbed the drainpipe of a 'Spangles' factory and relieved it of stock, that settled the question of whether I should be put into care; but into care I went at the tender age of 7. I was out of control and the 'Spangles' saga was just one of many cries for help.
I was indeed the guilty party. It was a high building and my legs were like jelly long before reaching the flat roof. Had the drainpipes been modern plastic ones, the crime would not have got off the ground. On leaving the factory I had written my name and address of sorts on the ink blotting paper with a pen I rather liked the look of. They probably followed the trail of wrappers just to make absolutely sure it was me.
Even at that early age I recognised the need to get away from an unpredictable and often violent Father. My brothers Tom and John had already gone into care. It was time to follow.
I still haven't really pieced together all that happened between the ages of five and seven but writing about what I can remember is helping me to confront and explore the things I was unaware of at the time.
It may seem strange to say this, but I believe my Mother loved me dearly and is every bit a victim as some of her children.
Things did improve considerably and my three sisters and remaining brother enjoyed a normal upbringing without our Father who had been hospitalised for an indeterminable period of time. My Mother wore a collar for a long time.
It would be another eleven years before I returned home.