Christine O'Mahony: Miss Ainsworth

Christine O’Mahony was born in 1952 in Northampton. As a young child Christine spent time in Nazareth House children’s homes with her two sisters, before returning to family life in Camden, London aged five. Christine attended local C of E and Catholic primary schools and a local Catholic Secondary School, also spending time in hospital aged seven.

Here Christine describes her ‘horrible’ chain smoking teacher.

  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony
  • Christine O'Mahony


And then the following year we were in a class with Miss Ainsworth who was psychotic, I think she was really – she was another lay teacher but she was really vicious and she had some really horrible punishments for kids. I remember her chain smoking all the time, she chain smoked and her ashtray would be flooding all over her desk, imagine that these days, a teacher sitting in the class smoking. She smoked and smoked and smoked, and she never got up from her desk, you know, she just sort of issued orders from her desk, she was a horrible woman. But one of her punishments that she had was to make a child stand on the desk with her arms out so they could feel what Jesus experienced on the cross. And you would see some poor kids stood there with tears rolling down their face with her saying, ‘Keep your arms up,’ you know. She was nasty.

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