Being in the Right Place at the Right Time
Heather Cadbury

A story of the creative tension experienced by an individual who spent most of her life in an institution, often being passed around the experts …‘not my problem'. Yet when she was able to participate in the arts she excelled and worked with a single minded passion. She was born with Downs Syndrome and was illegitimate. In 1948 both identities carried considerable stigma. We do not have any record of her first four years of life, prior to living in a convent, or why she moved out at sixteen and was then placed in Normansfield.

However, we do know that along the way some individuals did befriend Sally and those friendships often lasted for a number of years. At times it was members of staff, and photographs show her intense emotion for those individuals:

On two occasions she really was in the right place at the right time. For fourteen years she was able to work with Wolfgang in the theatre at Normansfield and appeared in a production at a theatre in Hammersmith. Then later attending the Avenue Day Centre, she met staff who were employed because they were artists. Sally was helped to get together her paintings for an exhibition in Teddington Library. One of her pictures sold for £100.


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