On my last day at school I was interviewed by the Head Master. All the people who were leaving the school at the end of year 11 (we called it the 5th form in my school days) were interviewed. Most of the leavers were pupils the school wanted to get rid of or were pupils who were not clever enough to stay on at school. I was a bit of a special case partly because I was in Foster Care and partly because the only reason I was leaving the school was because I didn't have the money to stay there any longer. I was seen last of all the leavers and I remember having to wait for ages for my turn.
I can remember my last day at the foster home. I have a picture in my mind of me lying in my bed on that morning with my old brown suitcase already packed and two open bags waiting for the last few items to be put in them. I heard my foster parents getting up and using the bathroom and toilet and then it was my turn to get washed and dressed and to go downstairs for my breakfast.
It seemed funny that neither of them said anything about it being my final day and even stranger that my Foster-Dad didn't offer to give me a lift in his car to my new lodgings. Anyway he didn't so after breakfast I finished my packing and then walked up the hill to my new home carrying the suitcase and one bag. I left them with my new landlady Mrs H and then went back to collect the second bag. Strangely neither of my foster parents were in the house when I got back there so I let myself in, picked up my bag and left the house for the last time: remembering to post my front door key through the letterbox!
And that is how aged 16 I left Care and became - so I thought - a "proper grown-up"!
I only saw my foster parents a few times after I moved out. Once was when the postcard with my O level exam results were sent to their address so I had to walk down to collect it and just a couple of times I bumped into my Foster-Mother while I was shopping in St Albans.
"We are the Oak Road Boot Boys"
I saw, but sadly I wasn't close enough to speak to him, my Foster-Dad standing at the Oak Road End of Luton Town FC in about 1973 or 1974. That was the last time I saw either of them and I expect that they have both been dead for a while now. I wonder if they ever thought about me in their later years?