Profile: Sinclair Stayner (Deaf)
I was born at City Road, London. I lived with my family: my maternal grandparents, parents and sister, in Avondale Square, Old Kent Road. In 1928 the family moved to Chaffinch Road, Clock House, then moved again to Kent House Road.
Monica was 18 months older than me. She went to Alexandra Infant School in Kent House Road. I was there for a few months. The teacher sent me to the school doctor and he found I was deaf. My parents were upset. The GP didn't tell my parents when I had an operation on both sides of my neck when I was 2 ½ years old.
When my father went to Beckenham Education Department for advice, to find out about my education as a deaf child, the Department staff told my father to go to Greenwich Deaf School but there was no transport in those days. The only choice was a boarding school in Margate. My father was told to pay the fee for the education but he refused, except for clothing and food. In the end, I can remember well, my father took me to the Whitehall Education Department. When the Minister read my father's letter, he said to my father, 'What is the matter?' When my father told the Minister that he must pay the school fee, in the end, the Minister said Beckenham Education Department was wrong.
My parents took me to the school and saw the Headmaster, Mr. White and he showed us the school buildings and the Infants' homes. The Supervisor said to me, 'Come' and I turned round and saw my parents had disappeared. At that time, I thought I would never see my parents again!
At that time, Margate School was not only for profoundly deaf children, but deaf and hard-of-hearing of all ages up to 16 years of age. Sometimes, the hard-of-hearing thought the deaf school was a waste of time.
In the past, I have been Chairman of the Bromley Deaf Club. Now I am a member of 55 Beckenham Deaf Club and keep up to date with deaf issues through Deaf Access, Remark and Bromley Chain.