Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Mrs Barnegat does not have her teeth in. It's as if her face is folding in over a crevasse. She tells me she's ninety seven, but she looks older. She has deep lines etched into her face, and the skin on her withered claws is blotchy and thin. She tells me about her life:

She was born in Margate, but the family moved to North London when she was small. She remembers playing in Clissold Park. She had several brothers and sisters. Her father worked in a factory. When the First World War started he went to enlist but was rejected as his lungs had been corrupted. He was put to work in a munitions factory, and in the evenings watched for fires around London. Mrs Barnegat married her husband when she was nineteen, and they had four children. She didn't work when the children were young, but as soon as she could she worked in the factories, too. After her husband died she was still there.

The last factory she worked in was owned by Philips.

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