I was born on 6th July 1944 in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, probably the first to survive in the UK using a pioneering treatment first developed in America earlier that year.  After my brother Jeff was born in 1935, two more siblings died shortly after their births. My mother was Rhesus Negative, a blood group with over active antibodies which kills all babies born their first surviving child. Encouraged by doctors in 1943 to try again because of new treatment were being developed after discoveries in America involving Rhesus monkeys.  This treatment involved being born by Caesarean few weeks before the full nine months pregnancy term and a complete blood replacement.  Such premature deliveries does not come without risks, in my case, it resulted in deafness and scoliosis of the spinal (curvature) due to underdeveloped auditory nerve and spinal bone growth.

Spinal curvature showed it self very early in my life but my parents discovered I was deaf at the age of four.  I was sitting on the floor playing with my toys when an alarm clock went off unexpectedly, this made everyone jump except me.  Puzzled by my lack of reaction my dad rewound the alarm clock and set it off at the back of my head.  Still no reaction, worried mum and dad took me to the doctors only to discover that they already knew and never thought to inform my parents, needless to say all hell broke loose.

At the age of four it was too late to get me into a special school for the deaf, so for the next three years I went to the local infant school missing out on proper schooling.  It was in September 1951 when I was found a place in a special school to start my proper education.  The placement was at the 'Royal School for Deaf Children' in Edgbaston, Birmingham, a residential school just on the outskirt of the city centre.  The council being responsible for my education was also responsible for getting me there at the start of term and my return when term ends.  An officer from the council would take me from Nuneaton by train to New Street station and vice versa.  I loved these train journeys and by coincident there was a platform built out of scaffolding on the grounds of the school which over looked a fence onto a busy railway line, had a great time train spotting.