In 1971, the song “Hey girl don’t bother me” was released. I was eleven years old. I spent a lot of time at my aunts, who lived nearby. My cousin Rosemary loved this song; she was 13 years old and her head was full of romantic notions. We used to sing this together and whenever I hear this song I always think of her.
Rosemary had beautiful red curly hair, and her faced had loads of freckles. She was very pretty, and I loved her very much. We spent loads of time together, as she was often left to care for me and my brothers. She had a hard life, yet she was always smiling. At the tender age of fourteen, she was a fabulous cook, and a great organiser. Rosemary’s mother liked the high life, and Rosemary was mother to her younger siblings. Once I met Rosemary and her friends coming back from school and she was with some boys. I said hello, not thinking much of it. Later, she came to visit me and asked me not to mention that she was with boys as her mum would be angry. I said okay.
It wasn’t long after this that Rosemary ran away to stay with our gran. She worked in the sweet factory, and she always had loads of sherbet bon bons. I visited my gran one day, and Rosemary was gone. She had left for London to stay with her father.
It was in January 1976, as we watched the magnificent seven that the police came to the door to advise my mum that Rosemary had died in a tragic accident. My aunt agreed that her organs be used.
A sad story, yet she was so full of life and vigour. If only things had been different.