VE Day 1945
VE Day means my mother's birthday. Barbara was 16 on VE Day in 1945. She is the girl at the centre at the rear of this photo of a VE Day street party. Her younger sister Rita is the girl in the paler dress peeping into the photo on her left.
Barbara was a bright girl who only ever wanted to be a teacher. However, her father didn't believe in education for women so she left school 2 months after this photo was taken, with her School Certificate (a qualification that required passes in 6 subjects including English and Maths), and went to work as a filing clerk in the local education office.
Her chance came 10 years later when the government was desperate for teachers to teach the wave of "Baby Boomer" kids in the primary schools. They launched a 2 year teacher training course for anyone with a School Certificate. Barbara had two young children of her own by then, but jumped at the chance. She taught 7 year olds for most of the rest of her working life.