Frank Cochrane and James Leach remember Mrs. Wareing, the Matron at the Royal Albert Hospital from 1962 to 1972. Frank used to work at her house and, along with one or two other residents, seemed to have had quite a privileged status.
Frank: I used to work for his (Mr. Wareing’s) missus
James: Mrs Wareing aye
Frank: She was very good in lots of ways but she – you had to be very, very careful.
James: If you had no tie on you had to put one on didn’t you Frank?
Frank: Knock at the back door before you walked in, Wipe your feet. ‘Good morning Mrs. Wareing.’ (Laughs) ‘I didn’t hear you knock at the back door, Frank. Go back and knock!’…
James: Mrs Wareing eh!
Frank: She was very good with me. She used to take me all over – Scotland or all over. Very good but by gum you couldn’t have a joke with her. Couldn’t have a bit of fun.
SC: So when she took you all over to Scotland is that when she was going on holiday you mean or was she taking you on holiday?
Frank: When she was, when she was off. She had every week-end off. Well there’s many a time when she used to go to Scotland a lot. Because… she used to go and see Doctor Cunningham’s wife. And she used to come and ask me if I’d like to go.
SC: And when you went with her were you having a week-end off too or were you actually having to work?…
Frank: It was a break… I just stopped for the day. She’d fetch me back and then the day after she’d go back again, you see.
NI: … Would there just be you or would other people go as well?
Frank: No there was only me went. Or Frank, Frankie Evans he went. And sometimes, sometimes if there was room in car she’s take big Norman, Norman Gregson. She’d take him, but she took me more than any of them. Course I used to work for her like.
(SC – Sue Cowgill. NI – Nigel Ingham)