Career Options

John Brown: Milk Bottle Tops

John was born in 1944 in Cardiff. His family then moved to London when he was six months old. At age four, John contracted Polio and was sent to hospital, where he remained until he was eight. Then he attended local special schools, going on to a local mainstream college at age nineteen.

Here John describes the career options suggested by his Head teacher.


When I was sixteen – ‘cause when you were sixteen, you had to leave the special school. And ‘cause, the only – they said to my mother – the headmistress, she said, well, the only thing they could give me, the only career that they could give me was going to learn watch repairing at the college, the Leatherhead College in Surrey for two years or learn to do – to make milk bottle tops. Yeah, that was all they offered me. But I didn’t particularly want to go away for two years. Having spent nearly three years in hospital, I didn’t like the idea of going away for another two years, residential, so I didn't particularly want that.

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