Our Century

Shielded from the horrors

Sue Ivines,
Born 1958

Sue Ivines

"My mother was strict chapel. She wouldn't even have playing cards in the house. Although we had a television, the viewing hours were very tightly controlled.

"She wanted to protect my sister Victoria and me from the horrors of the world. She didn't believe it was right for children to see things which might disturb them or upset them.

"It's not as though we were cut off from the world. In fact my father was a technical director in heavy engineering.

"He travelled all over the world, so we knew what the world was all about.

"I remember writing a school project about the work he had been doing in Karachi. It was just that we were shielded from a lot of the news.

"You know how everyone says they remember exactly what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated?

"Well, I don't. And I hardly remember seeing anything on television about the war in Vietnam, either.

"You can imagine how it was coming from that sort of background into office life. On the first day I started work in Wolverhampton, they were collecting the betting slips for the bookie's. When I got home I said to my mother: 'Guess what I've been doing today . . .'

"I am sure a lot of other mothers feel the same way about some of the things happening in the news.

"I wasn't surprised to see in 1999 that families in the United States were trying to protect their children from the details of what happened with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office."