Shirley Davies recalls her wartime childhood in Coseley, in the Black Country the premature death of her father and how she struggled to cope with a damaged mother who mentally and verbally abused her for over 65 years. Gaining a grammar school place, thanks to the 1944 Education Act, Shirley was able to fulfill her ambition to become a teacher. Her close circle of friends in Coseley, together with the Winchurch family and the amazing support of her eventual in-laws, enabled Shirley to balance her difficult life. Shirley was born in 1935, the first grandchild of Edwin and Gertrude Winchurch, established grocers of Webb Street, Coseley. Her father James married Alice Baker who came from a family of thirteen in Ladymoor.