Participants in the Stories of Care creative writing project responded creatively to stories about 18th and 19th century Foundling Hospital pupils. Here is Sophie’s creative writing inspired by the story of Eleanor Weathers.
The day of my new apprenticeship. I wake with a feeling of nervousness in my stomach. However, I feel excited to start this new chapter in my life.
Stepping out of the carriage, I glance up at the bewildering sight before me. This towering house with its neat terracotta brickwork and steep cream stone staircase leading up towards the front door is my new workplace. My new home. I can smell the smoke of chimneys from neighbouring houses on the street puffing a heavy aroma into the stifling hot summer day. Sweat drips down my face, and I wipe my brow with my sleeve.
I smooth down my new uniform, hoping it didn’t crease during my long journey up to Yorkshire. I spent several hours on the journey wondering what my new employer would be like as a gentleman of leisure and wealth.
“Over here dear girl, come over right away!” booms my new master from across the street. I hurry over the street at the command of his voice, scaring a poor horse clip clopping quickly across the cobbled streets of the city.
I enter my new surroundings and smell varnish coming from the wooden floors. They have been polished by a maid. She hurries out of sight. Somehow I feel comfort, like I finally belong somewhere. The only other place I felt at home is the Foundling Hospital. I have known it since I was given up by my mother at 3 months old. I will miss being able to talk with my friends and going to tambour embroidery classes, but I must earn my way in life. I need to be a respectable working woman. I suppose this is my fate now…