Colette recalls her youth in first book

Colette Turner with her first book.  INLM3114-429
Colette Turner with her first book. INLM3114-429

There were ten in the bed was more than just a nursery rhyme for Colette Turner growing up in Lurgan in the 1960s.

Senior citizen Colette, 65, who has written a book about growing up in Lurgan, was the eldest of 10 children who shared just one bedroom in their Waring Street home.

She told the ‘MAIL’: “I wrote the book in about a month. It’s my first hopeful attempt at being an author.

“It goes right back to the moment I was born and the doctor came to the house. I grew up in a time when 99 per cent of babies were born at home.

“When I was growing up, I used to think babies came from Dr McCafferty’s black bag.”

She continued: “I went to a convent school in Edward Street.

“I remember the first day my mummy led me by the hand and left me with a nun. Five minutes later, I sneaked out and walked all the way home. She was none too pleased.”

Describing their basic home in Waring Street, Colette said: “In the house I grew up there were just two bedrooms. One for my mum and dad and the smallest baby and one for all the rest of the boys and girls.

“All the boys slept across one bed and the girls slept across the other bed.

“Because I was the oldest, I got farmed out to my grandparents house across the road. I thought I was in heaven having my own room.

“At our house we had an outside toilet. Twelve of us for just one toilet was bad enough – but that was just the start of it.

“There was a rat trap on the way to the toilet. You’d go out sometimes and there would be a big rat in the trap.

“You didn’t spend any longer than you had to at the toilet.

“There was no toilet paper. You used newspaper cut into squares that had been nailed to the wall.

“There was a chamber pot under the bed if you needed to go in the night, because you wouldn’t have been able to find your way down the stairs in the pitch black.”

Colette explained how she came to write ‘Life In Lurgan’: “I was asked by the grandmother of my daughter-in-law Michelle to write my life story about my growing up and 
my faith.

“Michelle had told her a lot of my story and she said it needed to be written down.”

Colette, a Christian woman of strong faith, is donating all proceeds to the missions and charities of the churches 
she visits.

She also makes handmade jewellery and goes to different church events and coffee mornings to sell the jewellery. Again, any money she makes she donates back to the churches.