Heather went to her room again then got into bed. She knew that something was wrong; her period still hadn’t come and there was an ache in her breasts.
Heather had not heard a thing from Jim Gales since that night at the flat in Whitley bay. Both Sally and Irene had been back to the church hall but had not seen the “The Dune Tunes” Sally left messages with other band members for them to contact Jim Gales and for him to get in touch with Heather down at the kipper factory but there had been nothing. As the weeks turned into months Heather was beginning to show now so she was forced to wear even bigger clothes. She sat up half the night in her room putting darts into her dresses so that she could still wear them without her mother and father noticing her weight gain. She ate very little then went to the outside toilet to be sick.’
She took her baths when both her parents were out at the Chirton Club now but emptying it was causing problems. She had to spend fifteen minutes using a bucket to empty the bath before being able to drag the remainder into the back yard and tip it out into the drain. Then it became a struggle to lift it back in place.
“She had to carry on working because if she didn’t bring money in she would be forced to tell her parents and there would be hell on.
Every day she kept herself busy so that her parents and the neighbours wouldn’t see her and her little bump. She bought Elastic bandages from the chemist shop and wrapped them around her growing belly. The pain was excruciating but she suffered it in order to conceal her plight.
Her mother asked if she would come with her to her Aunt Lizzie’s house or to her Grand mothers and heather had to make up an excuse not to go. All through the summer Heather wore her heavy coat and she learned to carry a raffia bag in front of her so that it concealed her belly.
By seven months she had gained a stone in weight. Her parents knew that she was a big girl and that she was obviously eating more at the Seaman’s mission. Heather was now struggling at work and she had to have a quiet word with her boss who was very sympathetic; Mr Lumley her foreman gave her light duties now but each day became harder and harder to force herself to go to work. The baby was now kicking the hell out of her and keeping her awake. She had gone through all the sickness in the mornings and the aches in her back.
She asked her friends Sally and Irene to help her and for six weeks leading up to the birth they did. One Friday evening she visited St Aiden’s Church in Wallsend where she spoke to Father Michael Gillbody. She told him everything and that her baby was due any day now. He talked and told her that the best course of action would be to tell her parents. Yes,’ he said they would be angry but they would get over it soon enough and love the child.
She left the church and walked through Wallsend then down into Howdon when her waters finally broke and she collapsed in the street. A man walking his dog found her and phoned for an Ambulance.
The 999 call was quickly taken and two ambulance men from Willington Quay Maternity hospital jumped into the Bedford and sped off to the address they had been given. The girl was covered in a red blanket as they placed her on a stretcher then took her to the hospital.