How Did I Get Here from There? by Claire Rayner
It is no secret that happiness was spread a little thinly in Claire Rayner's far from easy childhood. Born in Stepney, East London, in the early 30s during the Depression, she was evacuated during the war. Choosing nursing as a career, she lied about her age in order to enrol as a cadet in the Epsom Cottage Hospital in Surrey, after which she studied at the Royal Northern, winning their gold medal for achievement. Thus began a lifetime's passion for proper medical care for all, a passion that has made Rayner one of Britain's most important and successful campaigners. She is a patron of more than 60 social and charitable organisations, but it is as advice columnist extraordionaire that she is most famous. A career that began in 1963, a job for "Hers" magazine was followed by columns in "The Sun" and later "The Sunday Mirror". At one point Rayner was receiving 1000 letters a week. Working from home, with six secretaries, she read every single letter that came to her.