I was born in 1947 with developmental dysplasia of my right hip and was put in plaster for some months, but without success. In 1948, poliomyelitis left my other leg flaccid. I was fitted with a calliper and learned to walk, aged 3, by holding the collar of an Alsatian dog. Small in stature, with a pronounced limp and one stick, I was ready for school.
Growing up disabled, I received enormous kindness. After the Second World War, many disabled people just operated lifts or sold newspapers. The special school I was going to be sent to had never had a pupil pass the 11-plus to allow them a decent secondary education, but a normal infant school headteacher bent the rules to take me in, assisted by an Alderman. I was started in the normal world. My secondary school made special arrangements without fuss. The Health Service was marvellous. Although
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