Bedggood arrived into this world as the air raid siren sounded an alarm.
This was June 1943 in London UK and World War II was in progress. Some
would say that the sound effects for this entry were an entirely suitable
forecast of what was to come.
She attended a Roman Catholic convent grammar school (yes what you
hear about convent girls is true) and graduated from London University
(Queen Mary College) with a degree in History. During her University
years she became interested in social work and got involved in a Boys'
Club in the East End of London, teaching drama to 'deprived' children.
Her failure to graduate on her first attempt led to a year working in
a Girls' Remand Home in Sussex and a period of four months living in
Ohio, US, while she awaited the results of her second attempt. This
was her first experience as an expat. and one where she encountered
racism for the first time up front and personal through her relationship
with an African American. She also experienced working as a go-go dancer
in a singles bar and a waitress in a drive-in. Without air raid sirens.
The second attempt to graduate having proved successful she returned
to UK and undertook a postgraduate Diploma in Social Administration
at LSE at the same time as another now old age pensioner was a student
on the Government course (Mick Jagger). This was the precursor to her
professional training as a probation officer at the University of Southampton
whence she emerged with her professional qualification in 1966. At the
age of 23 she was appointed one of London's youngest probation officers,
attached to Marlborough St. Magistrates Court and covering the areas
of Carnaby Street and Soho. Her work was mainly with prostitutes from
whom she says she probably learned more than she taught! Although she
has rarely shared exactly what those lessons involved. She also specialised
in the transient and young drug addict population of Earls Court.
During her long vacations from this post she had her second experience
of being an expat driving across the Sahara desert and in West Africa
in places such as Timbuktu. After three years she moved to the NSPCC
as a social work tutor. Here she taught and supervised students working
with cases of physical and sexual abuse of children. In 1973 she met
her future husband, Ginger Bedggood, an airline pilot, whilst she was
learning to get her Private Pilots Licence at Denham airfield in Bucks.
By now she was commuting daily from Bucks to London and so in 1975 she
began working as a social work teacher at High Wycombe College of Art
and Technology in Buckinghamshire. She remained with this College for
17 years. During that time she taught countless students to be social
workers and probation officers as well as herself completing an MA in
Public and Social Administration at Brunel University.
She divorced her husband in 1982 and after wild oats sewing for eight
years met her current partner Grahame Bush in 1990. That same year she
traveled across Russia, Mongolia and China on the Trans-Siberian Railway
and saw life from the inside of a Mongolian yurt.
In 1992 Grahame and Ginnie moved to the Dominican Republic. And then
the fun really started!