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For some unknown reason, we used to put flour on burns, which was horrendous, but that was the remedy at the time.


My brother was 2½ when he pulled the tablecloth and the teapot fell on him. He held his head up and it went across his chest down his arm. For some unknown reason, we used to put flour on burns. Mam threw flour on him, which was horrendous, wrapped him in a sheet and ran from the house. We lived in Blackthorn Crescent and she ran with him all the way to Tynemouth Infirmary. In the hospital he was matted with flour, it was really bad. That was the remedy at that time, and not to put water on to cool it, wrap and keep warm. He was in hospital for six months. Absolutely everyone idolised that boy. When it was time to take him home, we were devastated, he was our little treasure. When we went to get him, the nurses had hidden him in the hospital.

He now won’t visit anyone in hospital, so he must have had a big trauma. He telephoned me a couple of years ago and said “Gladys, our John has broken his leg and I am with him at the hospital and I am having a panic attack, can you come?” When I got there he was standing there drained, holding onto something and sweating.

He is badly scarred. They wanted to do plastic surgery when he got to a certain age, but there was no way he would enter the hospital or even go to a doctor. All his life and he is in his 40’s now he would go swimming, because he loves to swim, but he wears a T shirt. Obviously his body has grown and stretched and it gets very, very sore, hot and irritated. But he doesn’t take his shirt off, only when he goes in the bath, but he locks himself in and no-one else witnesses it. It’s very sad because something could have been done.

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