Belinda Shaw: The Letter H

Belinda was born in Leeds in 1947. Her mother died when Belinda was just four years old and she was sent to live with another family. This traumatic event had a lasting impact on Belinda's life, and her schooling. Belinda attended mainstream primary and secondary schools.

Here Belinda describes her confusion in lessons.

  • Belinda Shaw
  • Belinda Shaw


Well at the Manor Road Infants’ School the things that stick out in my mind is causing a lot of bother, and it seeming to perturb everybody and being really worried that I was never going to learn to read and write, myself I was very, very worried. And I used to particularly get very confused because people used to show me the letter H and say, if you turned it upside-down it could be an I, and I really couldn’t understand this at all, you know, I used to, I couldn’t understand how that could be. I couldn’t also understand why I had to go to a sick room to learn to read and write, I thought there was something wrong with me and why were they sending me into this room with all this equipment? You know, like a bed and clearly you – and I knew children went there if they were ill.

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