Crowtree Lane reminiscences all the way from the Antipodes

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EDITOR – Both my wife Patricia Anne (née Maskell) and myself were born in Louth and now live in Wentworth Falls, New South Wales, Australia.

Earlier this month we were fortunate enough to be travelling on the Queen Mary 2 on its voyage from Cape Town to Sydney and we made friends with a couple, Gill and Phill Williams, from Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, who had also emigrated from England some years ago.

During conversation Gill related the following story to us (which shows what a small world it is) and I thought it may be of interest to the Louth Leader readers.

It appears that Phill was serving in the RAF and, in mid-1960, was posted to RAF Binbrook and for a time the couple lived at Holton le Clay.

It was in October 1965 that Gill gave birth to her first son and she said he was born in Louth at a hospital she thought was called ‘Crows Tree Nest’.

I told her that it would be Crowtree Lane Hospital, where Patricia and myself were born. She went on to say that she remembers it well because of one particular day when the Matron, a somewhat large and formidable woman, was making her rounds before fathers’ visiting time.

Some people will recall that at that time it was usual for the mothers to stay in hospital for some 10 days and fathers could only visit at designated times.

Before such visits the mothers would put on their best attire and make-up etc., before Matron did her rounds. On that particular day she remembers the Matron stopping in front of her bed and after a moment’s silence she said: ‘That colour does not suit at all and I suggest you not wear it again!’

Gill says that from that day forward she has never worn lemon again.

Brian Palmer

NSW, Australia

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