Childhood memories of Shropshire

Date published: 21 May 20

202 people found this feature helpful

I’m a Shropshire lass with childhood memories of meadows flooded with splashes of wild flowers rolling towards the horizon. I would blow dandelion seeds and watch them fly away into the distance and disappear. As a family we lived next to a farm and would awake to the regular sound of a cockerel and the march of the cows for milking. There was a cow named Daisy who fashioned a gleaming tanned skin and a blob of white on her nose, a guinea pig called Snowy, white naturally, and Henrietta, the prized hen, all dear friends of mine as a child growing up in Shropshire.

DaisiesI remember making daisy chains sitting in the middle of pastures with my sister on lazy Sunday afternoons. And there was an art to making a daisy chain back then and for us the conditions had to be right. A field, peaceful, tranquil and whispery, no bulls in sight or surprising mounds of unknown substances. The sun beaming from a cotton wool sky accompanied by a slight breeze in the air and a low pollen count a must. The grass rich in colour with a high population of cheerful daisies in residence, their white petals stretching upwards, eager to be seen, desperate to be picked.

Shropshire has not suffered from over tourism. It’s one of those counties that has a secret status. It is richly agricultural, rural by nature and steeped in medieval history. It’s located in central England buffeted next to the Welsh border. Yet, amazingly, this rural county became the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This was due to its geological character, its resources of coal, lead, copper and iron ore discovered in the area and the River Severn flowing through for transportation. This county rapidly became the greatest iron-producing area in England. The world’s first cast-iron bridge was erected at Ironbridge in 1779, the first iron-built boat floated on the Severn in 1787 and one of the first experimental railway engines was built in 1801. Goods were distributed along a network of canals linking the Severn with the Rivers Dee, Stour and Mersey.  Ironbridge was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986.

Iron bridgeDespite its industrial heritage, agriculture is Shropshire’s main activity from dairy farming, sheep and cattle breeding to growing crops such as grains, sugar beets, and potatoes. There are many cattle markets in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, and Oswestry. Craven Arms has some of the largest sheep sales in the country. 

The River Severn divides the geographic county of Shropshire into the hilly southwest with its ridges and hogsbacks running northeast to southwest separated by deep valleys. In the northeast is a drift-covered plain undulated and interspersed with sluggish streams and areas of former marshes, peat mosses and meres. Tributaries of the River Severn have dissected the plain in the east into various valleys and low ridges. 

Ironbridge, ShropshireSitting inside the loop of the River Severn is Shrewsbury, the county town, with its Tudor centre lined with half-timbered houses. The medieval, red-brick castle houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum, where military artefacts include weaponry and uniforms. The Churches are interesting too. St Chad's Church has a unique circular nave while St Mary’s Church has elaborate stained-glass windows. Lord Hill's column, outside Shropshire County Council's headquarters at Shire Hall, is the tallest of its kind in the world. It stands at 133ft 6ins tall and is in the Doric style, as used by the ancient Greeks.

Besides having one of the shortest names in Britain, the Shropshire town of Wem is also responsible for giving the world the sweet pea. It was developed by Henry Eckford, who crossbred the plants until he came up with the highly scented blooms common today. Ludlow is the home of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society which was started in 1982 by Major Adrian Coles. The society is responsible for humane innovations such as hedgehog ramps in cattle grids, which stop them from getting trapped and improving general awareness of the welfare of wildlife. The society offers help and advice to sick injured or orphaned hedgehogs.

Shrewsbury, ShropshireEllesmere is an historic market town in North Shropshire with a history that dates back to the 11th Century. The town is located by the side of the mere, one of the largest natural glacial meres in England, a popular place for bird watchers and where Grey Herons can be seen nesting. On the shores of the mere are the tranquil Cremorne Gardens a favourite attraction for visitors and residents, a place to picnic, to feed the ducks as they waddle out of the water and watch the swans glide by in elegant oblivion.

Locally there are eight meres to visit: Blakemere, Colemere, Crosemere, Kettlemere, Newtonmere, Whitemere, Sweatmere and Hanmer mere. It’s a pretty area but not quite the scale of the Lake District.

I’m proud to be a Shropshire lass. It has donated many happy memories and endorses the fact that Shropshire has been named as one of the happiest places to live in the UK.

For an active break in a country house in Shropshire, Silver Travel Advisor recommends HF Holidays.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 29 Comment(s)

  • FionaC
    12 months ago
    I remember, aged 9, travelled by car to Poland to meet my dad's family for the first time. In the car were mom, dad, sister, grandad and me. It was a 1960 cortina so was pretty crowded. My memories of such a long journey are muddled but I remember in a restaurant in Germany drinking an ice cold coke and a bluebottle buzzed around me and and dived into my drink. I was so upset and cried loudly, the very kind owners replaced my drink and gave me a key ring too. I still have it.
    I remember travelling through the border between West and East Germany. We drove through a large and dark pine forest with high guard post towers looming in the Forest, rifles at the ready. It was so exciting but I found out later my parents were terrified!
    I could go on forever about this particular holiday. Meeting my grandparents and extended family was wonderful.
  • Patricia48
    about 1 year ago
    My first childhood travel memories are when my parents drove us all down to Spain, stopping overnight in France in the late 1950s... such an adventure for a 10year old at that time. Everything was so different, a different language, very different food ... a wonderful experience which was repeated to a different region of Spain a couple of years later. Great memories, and I've had a love of Spain ever since.
  • Cassgirl
    about 1 year ago
    Going to Florida at a time when travel to America was a rare thing. My parents had friends living in Palm Beach and we would spend a month every summer. Every year dad would say "don't nag about going to Disneyworld. We're not going this year". And every year after we'd been with our friends for a week or so, he'd say "who wants a trip to Orlando tomorrow". The memories always make me smile.
  • GBG
    about 1 year ago
    As a child I spent much of the summer holidays on a farm in North Devon with my grandparents. I loved to play in the stream with my cousins, who also lived on the farm, and to sit on a branch of a tree and tell stories and imagine travelling around the world. I loved to watch the calves being born and to watch my uncle in the milking parlour before sliding about in the back of the land-rover as my uncle hurtled down the country lanes with churns of milk destined for the for the bottling factory. My aunt would sometimes take my cousins and I to the beach at Westward Ho where we spent many a happy hour surfing the waves and eating ice-cream before returning to the farm tired and happy.
  • Bill-Sheila
    about 1 year ago
    Had to chuckle when I read the comment from FlyingFlish about their old car. Our first one was a Ford, it had no heating, no indicators and the windscreen opened forward to demist. The number was ABE 794 and our second was KTL 84. Fun how you remember registrations that long ago but not your last but one car.
  • Terry
    about 1 year ago
    We used to stay with relatives during school holidays.
    One of my favourites was staying at my Uncle Jack's farm in Northamptonshire. It was Hornhill Farm, Clipston near Market Harborough. It was a lovely old building built in the 16th century. It was two-storey with a thatched roof. It had open fires and unusually stone flags on the upper floor landing.
    Uncle Jack had livestock and arable crops.The farm was very well equipped with a modern milking parlour and the very latest combine harvester. I can remember riding along on a stack of hay being pulled by a tractor and collecting eggs laid by the free range hens.
    Another memory conjures up mixed emotions. At the front of the house was a croquet lawn, which was great fun. But one day I batted the ball into the stinging nettles and was forced to retrieve it.
    Uncle Jack and Auntie Ethel were only tenant farmers, so when they died the house and farm fell into other hands. I have a photograph of Hornhill Farm but don't know how to attach this to this comment.
  • Hardyplant
    about 1 year ago
    Apart from two occasions when we stayed in caravans – in Paignton and near Conway – our summer holidays were spent at home, playing in our large garden and the neighbouring orchards, with one week of day trips by train (still steam engines then) to beaches further along the north Kent coast from where we lived. Mum, Dad, my older sister and I would catch the bus to the nearest railway station with our `run-about` train tickets and head for one of several resorts. We children didn't like going to Whitstable or Herne Bay because the railway stations were quite a walk to the shingle beaches; we always wanted to go to Margate, where the station is practically on the sandy beach. We'd rush straight onto the sands and set up camp before changing into bathing costumes to go into the man-made tidal pool. We'd have a picnic lunch – bread and butter and hard-boiled eggs or corned beef sandwiches, with some salad from the garden. If we were lucky Mum would have given us money to go to our local shop, which was basically in someone's front room, to buy ourselves an individual Lyons fruit pie; Mum made lovely fruit pies but we always wanted a Lyons one for special picnics. On one day in the week we would have fish and chips as a treat. Before going home on the train we'd all go to Dreamland funfair where we could either have an icecream and watch people wearing `kiss me quick` hats enjoying themselves on the rides or we could have one go on a ride ourselves and no icecream. Invariably we'd choose a ride in the water tubs, which bobbed round through water filled tunnels past dioramas – lit up displays featuring animals, fairies and other magical scenes. Then it was back home on the train; costumes had to be rinsed out ready for the next day, so were usually damp when we put them on again, poor Mum cooked us a meal and started getting ready for the next day's outing so it wasn't much of a holiday for her.
  • Bill-Sheila
    about 1 year ago
    Childhood holidays seemed all sand, caravans and donkey droppings. Most were at Skegness and though we lived only fifty miles away, the coach journey (before we had a car), seemed endless. It always stopped at Tattershall, the cafe was really small with a loud juke box and cheap pop.
    We got excited weeks before, and a visit to Woolies to get plastic sandals meant it was close. Sorry, I hated those sandals. They HURT, especially on bare feet covered in sand. Bucket and chuck it was the order of the day. The toilet block was filled with dads wearing towels like superman's Cape, carrying kettles and shaving kit. They seemed to compete in making the most noise when washing their faces. Very few used th showers, the were a bob a time. Breakfast was cooked slowly on a calor ring in a pan that always stuck.
    The days were mostly alike. First, frustratingly, food shopping. Then the beach with a handful of flags. Sat on the sand or tartan blanket, first chores were to remove donkey doo and put sand round the edges to stop the blanket blowing up. Heaven was dozens of kids playing beach cricket, hell was crossing pebbles or shells with bare feet. The sea was always cold and looked dirty; it tasted even worse. Lunch was sand sandwiches, they were supposed to be tomato or egg but were always full of sand and a jug of tea from the kiosk. Always wanted pop but always got tea. A walk down the front finished the day and, if you were lucky, a few pennies to spend in the impossibly exotic arcades. Walking back to the caravans you passed the windows of hotels with guests eating and thinking that they must be very rich. Caravan holidays seemed to be the only time you ever got tinned potatoes "London Grill", I preferred fried spam.
    The ultimate sin was breaking one of the fragile gas mantles after the site shop was closed; that usually meant a spank and bed. Pattering on the roof of the caravan meant one of two things, seagulls or rain. Rain meant a muddy walk to the toilet block and another to the shop for dad's paper and if you were really lucky, a comic.
    Wet days in the caravan were still fun. Board games and card games were the order of the day. We learned to count playing Newmarket. Mum always brought a bag of pennies to play with.
    Once during the holiday you got to go to the funfair, the rides were strictly rationed but the atmosphere was amazing.
    Skinned knees, sunburn, chafed feet, clipped ears and smacked bottoms; nothing spoiled your holiday. In retrospect, we had and did little, but in the fifties we expected little. We did not judge the seaside by its name or location or cost. It was a holiday and we loved it.
  • JaneW
    about 1 year ago
    As the author of this article, I’ve been so thrilled to read all of your comments. Many of you have sent nostalgic descriptions of a "happy place", carefree days along with heartfelt tales as wartime evacuees which have been delightful to read. Gosh, just five shillings for a day out to a football match, including a pie or spending the last of the pocket money at funfairs.The vision of families squeezing into a Morris Minor for a day out and singing “ten green bottles” along the journey - in tune I wonder? The jingly donkey rides and colourful postcards crammed into racks. Campsite experiences and cottage stays have drawn memories of washing in streams, drinking from wells and collecting eggs from farmers. And tastes and smells we remember so well - the smoke wafting from grandfather’s pipe, eating local lardy cake, that tiny blue bag of salt in crisp packets, liquorice root and not forgetting the unsavoury crunch of sand grains finding their way into sandwiches on the beach.

    May you continue to reminisce on more fond memories and plan a re-visit when the time comes.
  • schroedie
    about 1 year ago
    I think it's a survival mechanism, but my mind's drawn a blank over the journeys my family used to take when I was young. We lived in East Yorkshire but my dad liked to revisit Weston-super-Mare as that's where he'd always gone for the summer holidays, so it was pile into the car (in the days before motorways) and endure something like 10 hours of journey before re-emerging at our chosen resort.
    Once at Weston, I remember donkey rides, slot machines on the pier, huge stands of postcards and eating fish and chips, but the best memory is of the open air swimming pool - my brother and I had it to ourselves one day when the heavens opened and everyone else sought cover, but we thought it was great being rained on in a pool.
    After a week of that it was back in the car for the return trip to Yorkshire - after which we needed another holiday . . .
  • 1234mll
    about 1 year ago
    When we were little in the 60’s mum and dad used to take us to Devon camping. We seemed to have the heaviest old frame tent when everyone else had modern lightweight ones. One year we went to Croyde Bay where we used a camp site high up on the headland. One night we had a terrible storm and the lighter tents were flying around like paper aeroplanes and I remember dad helping by chasing them with other families!! We children thought it was great fun. Our old tent seemed to be the only one that stayed put. As teenagers my husband and I used that same tent for our travels. It was so solid.
  • chrismse
    about 1 year ago
    My family went to Rhyl in North wales for a week every year and stayed in one of the many caravan parks. We were city kids, and being allowed to run wild on the beach and chase rabbits around the caravan park in the evening was magical. Mostly though I loved the Castles we went to see on day trips, Conwy Castle being my favorite, I still love Conwy to this day.
  • Ken-Baines
    about 1 year ago
    My childhood memories involve trains and sport! The activity that combined the two was going to watch Leicester City play football whilst living in Market Harborough. As a ten-year-old my father put me on the train in Market Harborough to Leicester and I walked from the station to the ground. The whole cost - train ride, entry, programme and a pie - was 5/- (!!) The thought of allowing a ten-year-old to do that alone now......
  • Mellica
    about 1 year ago
    My Grandparents had a holiday cottage at Red Wharf Bay In Anglesey.
    Every summer when we had our school holidays my sister and I and our parents and grandparents would go for two weeks every year it would be in 1957 that was our first holiday at the cottage we would follow our grandparents car I remember feeling car sick sitting on the back seat of our car with my sister I had to have the window down just in case.
    To get to the cottage we had to go down a dirt track off the main lane at the beginning of the track there were two big milk churns I think that was to help us find the cottage. At the end of the track
    was a field you couldn’t enter on the left the gates to the grassy drive that lead to the cottage and on the right was a farmers gate which overlooked another field if you stood on the second step of the farmers gate you could see over the field to Red Wharf Bay.
    My Grandmother named the cottage Casa it had two bedrooms a lounge with a coal fire a small kitchen and bathroom and a sort of shed just outside to the right.
    The long grassy drive to the cottage slopped down you walked down hill and the front door was round the corner on the right facing the front door was more grass that overlooked a field with a building on in the distance.
    The cottage had no electricity which was strange they had oil lamps which were lit by my grandfather when it got dark.
    My sister and I would go to bed when the lamps were being lit we slept under the eves and our parents slept in the same room but there bed was by the window it was a big room that sloped at one end that’s why we were under the eves. My grandparents were in the other room.
    My grandfather smoked a pipe and I remember the smell of his pipe even now. After breakfast my sister and I my Mum and Grandmother would walk down the track to the lane.
    The lane was on a steep hill that sloped down but half way down the lane just on the bend on the left was a field with about four or five touring caravans it was call
    St David’s then just before the bottom of the lane was just one small shop that sold everything It had goods all outside as well as inside I remember two ladies outside the little shop with there shopping chatting away in Welsh my grandmother who was from Shropshire and my mother who’s father was Welsh could make out what they were saying. The two ladies had a shock when my mother and grandmother said good morning to them in Welsh and they all started chatting together and laughing I am sure we got the best and freshest groceries because of my mother and grandmother knowing and speaking some Welsh.
    We wound spend must days on the beach at Red Wharf Bay over looking the beach is a pub called The Ship Inn which my Dad and Grandfather would have a pint when we had our pack lunch we sometimes would have a lemonade and a bag of crisped they had a little blue bag of salt in which we had to sprinkle over our crisps It was such a treat.
    On other days we would walk from
    Red Wharf Bay to Benleck Bay it was always sunny In those days and sometimes you would not see another person it was quiet.
    I remember we used to go in the car to see the light house at south stack and climbing all the steps up to the top of the light house but not going outside because I was scared , then another day we would get the ferry boat to Llandudno and go up on the train to the top of the Great Orem.
    I remember we would go to a market and Mum would buy sticks of rock that tasted of liquorish and mint she gave it to my sister and I in the winter if we had a cough or sore throat it did the trick.
    It was all to soon time to go home till the next year but as my sister and I got older our parents wanted to go different seaside places for our summer holiday which was the end of Casa at Red Wharf Bay for my sister and I .
    I have returned many times with my own children and grandchildren to Red Wharf Bay but I have never been able to find the cottage or the dirt track off the lane there are a few dirt tracks leading off the lane but I didn’t want to go down them in the car in case I got stuck I wonder if the cottage Casa is still there maybe I will park the car one day and explore the dirt tracks off the lane by foot I think Casa might be long gone now and perhaps a new building has taken its place.
    The Ship Inn is still there but it has been extended and the two fishing cottages that were next to the Inn looks like one building now and the field just on the bend that was called St David’s is a huge site now.
    But I will remember always my summer holidays each year at the cottage My grandmother named Casa with my sister and parents and grandparents they were happy carefree days.

  • Heathere
    about 1 year ago
    When I was a child in the 50s our family holidays alternated between Boscombe (Bournemouth) one year and days out locally the next. We didn't have a car so always travelled by train. We always stayed at the same hotel overlooking Boscombe Chine. I remember my sister and I used to have tea in our room in the late afternoon and then our parents went down to the dining room for their evening meal later. I assume there was some kind of baby listening service. A few years ago I was on holiday in Bournemouth and actually found my way to the hotel which is now a nursing home.
    One year we treated ourselves to a meal on the train on the way to Boscombe. No idea why as we usually took sandwiches. It was served to us in the carriage by silver service waiters. The vegetables were broad beans and spinach. I remember because it became a family joke when served either from then on for one of us to say "broad beans madam, spinach madam?" as the waiter had done.
    The years we stayed at home I remember we visited Cambridge and London. We always moved around London by tube and it wasn't until I was in my early 20s that I realised that places I thought were miles apart were in fact within walking distance of each other.
  • FlyingFlish
    about 1 year ago
    Our first holidays involved considerable risk. They started by travelling from Dymchurch to Hastings, all of 29 miles, in a pre-war car (registration ALE 123) with very little in the way of brakes and only just enough power to get up the hill at Winchelsea to what we would now call 'self catering accommodation' but was basically a part of a Victorian terraced house with very basic facilities.

    This was upgraded to camping trips using a borrowed Trojan van with a bed settee squeezed in. It was fuelled by 124 octane aviation spirit that should have gone into the planes (Bristol Freighters) operating the Lydd - Le Touquet car ferry. Obviously it was not available in the local garage, so a stack of jerry cans was loaded behind the settee and used to created stashes around the West Country for use on the way back. We only discovered the luxury of campsites when the van would not get up the hill out of Sidmouth, so it had to turned around to reverse up, using the entrance to what turned out to be the local siteup, complete with toilets and a shower. Until then we had pitched our army surplus ridge tent in woods and similar locations, all about 120 miles apart.

    Did we, the kids, know what the chances of survival in an accident? No. Did we enjoy the holidays? Absolutely
  • Woofles
    about 1 year ago
    Piling into the car and driving what felt like hours and hours to get to my grandmother’s in Great Yarmouth (as an adult I now know it’s actually only about 3 hours!). Then squeezing her into the car with the four of us and going to a holiday camp near her house. Sometimes her sister came too so somehow we had six in a Ford Marina. To this day I don’t know how that worked given all the luggage we all took as well!!! (Was a Marina actually a TARDIS??)
  • Foxly
    about 1 year ago
    In the late 1950's we used to drive from Newcastle during the night, (as the traffic wasn't as busy then!), in our Morris traveller with my parents, grandparents and a very big tent, plus all the other camping stuff, to places like the New Forest where we would camp for a week. My brother and I would sit on the luggage in the back with our feet touching the back doors as there wasn't enough room inside for all of us. My Mum who was a driver in the ATS during the war did most of the driving as my Dad worked as a long distance lorry driver and she said he drove the car like a truck and drove too fast!
    We had many holidays with this set up in all sorts of places that you could not camp now. Washing in streams and drinking water from wells, collecting eggs and milk from the farmer whose field you were in. It's called wild swimming now, it was just fun then! But the memories of these holidays still stay with me as they were far more enjoyable than some available now.
  • scrumpy
    about 1 year ago
    We used to go to Shropshire for our family holiday. Stayed in a really basic cottage by a lake we used to fish in. There was no running water, we collected it from a cave, a cool box in the kitchen (& I remember Dad having the lovely job of emptying the toilet!)
    We had lovely day trips out to places of interest like Shrewsbury & walking in the countryside. My parents must have been sick of hearing us quoting from my book; Spike Milligan’s “Silly verses for kids” where we got the name for the big funny shaped hill nearby a “hipporhinostrocow” from one of his poems!
    Those were the days, just the simple things! No IPads & smartphones for kids then!
  • Silvernomad
    about 1 year ago
    My childhood holidays revolved around 'Seeing the Ships and Meeting the Men' at Portsmouth Navy Days! I grew up in Derbyshire, a long way from the sea, but my father had served in the Royal Navy and I suspect missed it terribly. So, each August, we would eagerly pack our suitcases, head for Derby railway station and board the London train. This in itself was exciting - not having a car meant our normal journeys rarely extended beyond a bus trip to Matlock! A taxi across London (Mum was terrified of escalators!) took us from St Pancras to Waterloo and the Portsmouth train. We stayed at the same hotel in Southsea every year - the Abingdon Court - and it's owners soon became 'Uncle Bob' and 'Aunty Sally'. We shared family rooms with just a sink - no ensuites in those days! Even on holiday Dad would be up before 7am and go for a walk to fetch a paper. We spent the days on the pebbly beach, my brother and I paddling in the sea and looking for seashells to take home, our parents reading quietly in their deckchairs. I'm sure my own children would think this very tame but to us it was special - our one week away from the normal routine. And then came the day when we headed off to the dockyard for the annual Navy Days - so exciting! Dad would engage the young sailors in conversation, doubtless telling stories of the ships he had served on and the places he'd had great runs ashore. Mum would be keeping an eye on us and making sure we didn't touch anything we shouldn't. The sailors and Wrens looked so smart and seemed so proud to be there, letting everyone know how great the British Royal Navy was and how much they enjoyed their jobs. We always spent our final night at the Clarence Pier funfair, spending what little pocket money we had left. We weren't a well-off family and I know that my parents had to save very hard to afford just this one week at the seaside back in the early 1960s. Mum still has our first holiday receipt - 2 adults, 2 children, half-board for 7 days - £25! We went every year for 12 years and it never seemed boring. When I left school I joined the Women's Royal Naval Service and served in Portsmouth for many years. All thanks to 'Seeing the Ships and Meeting the Men' on my happy family holidays!
  • Essexgirl
    about 1 year ago
    Hot August days on the Isle of Wight: exploring miniature worlds within the rock-pools on Colwell Bay beach, and fishing for crabs off the prom, using limpets prised off the rocks for bait..... Climbing up, on eight-year-old legs, from Headon Warren to Tennyson's Memorial and over the downs, with golden gorse and purple heather, overlooking the pristine, deserted beach of Compton Bay for a picnic including local lardy cake.... Using a nail file to scratch coloured sand from the cliffs at Alum Bay [still permitted in those days] and trying without success to play "ducks and drakes", skimming pebbles into the sea from Totland beach... Six decades on, I can still recall the sights, sounds and smells of those holidays - and though I've travelled through London's Waterloo station countless times since, there is always a recollection of the special excitement of the 1950s, sitting on the suitcase waiting for the train to take us on our annual fortnight's family holiday.
  • DRSask
    about 1 year ago
    Many of my childhood travel memories centre around camping. When we lived in England we camped in the Lake District and one memorable moment was when a neighbour’s tent went up in flames. It was a small two-man tent and one person was inside and one person was outside getting breakfast ready. The fire happened very quickly. One second the tent was there and the next it was gone in a whoosh! No one was more surprised than the person inside the tent! Thankfully no one was injured but that was the end of their camping trip.
    Another memorable camping moment was when we were living in Ontario, Canada and we picked up a new tent on our way out of town for the weekend. It was getting dark when we arrived at the campsite and our father put up the tent with the aid of the car’s headlights. Unfortunately there was a problem with the tent poles. There were round holes and square holes that did not fit each other. After much hammering and swearing the lower section of the tent was put together enough for us all to get inside and crawl into our sleeping bags in the two sleeping sections of the tent. By this time it was raining. The tall centre section was not erected so my father had to keep carefully raising the centre of the tent to let the rain run away. In the morning he hammered the rest of the poles to erect the centre of the tent. Despite this frustrating start that tent served us very well for many years.
    @Bornblonde I made that very trip across the Mersey from Liverpool to Seacombe and walked along to New Brighton a couple of years ago with my dad's brother and my mum's sister. Happy memories!
  • jswton
    about 1 year ago
    This section really brought back some happy memories and I have to say my very early memories of holidays near Rhyl. The one that stands out was when I was about 10 and we stayed in a converted railway carriage just outside Rhyl ,if memory correct I believe it was near Flint. We were tucked away on some side rails behind a main road and next to sardines that ran alongside a golf course. We spent nice days on the beach or exploring the sand dunes and early morning go scouting for lost golf balls and had a bucket full in days. Also one of the highlights of this unusual holiday accommodation was the fact that the corridor still ran the length of the carriage which gave plenty of scope on not so good days to rub up and down it and even sneak my scooter in to ride up and down. Only slight down side was the 2 mile walk to nearest shop but this no way mad us want to be anywere else than our converted carriage.
    Perhaps only second to this was when we managed to get further afield and went to a ryde on the Isle of Wight. Luggage was sent on ahead via rail post and we went on couple of days by rail and ferry here the down side was have to help push the luggage ,in my little brother pram, all the 2ay up the main high to . This being very steep and seemed very long.
    What memories to come back after many years near 54 years ago..
  • JohnP
    about 1 year ago
    A delight to visit Shropshire; we did stay nearby a few years ago for the Malvern Show and once travelled along the Marches for visits to Old Oswestry and Ludlow.
    The nearest I came in childhood was to Wolverhampton (bizarre choice!) and Barry as a wartime evacuee. As a Londoner my childhood memories are of Greenwich Park and Blackheath, places I revisited as an adult and found just as delightful (though I wouldn't now roll downhill in the park). We would occasionally walk the four miles from home to these places and sometimes come back on a tram. It seems easier in retrospect than the 26 miles from Greenwich to the Mall that I ran a few times in the London Marathon.
  • pb52
    about 1 year ago
    Living within the city boundary of Leeds, albeit in a small village in the early 1950's, this was no rural idyll.
    Particularly in winter, the village was often cloaked in a yellow sulphurous smog, the result of household coal fires and industrial chimneys from the many engineering and heavy industrial factories in South Leeds.
    I remember as a child wearing smog masks to play out, a reminder of our current predicament.
    The street outside was a cinder road and opposite, a field which had been allowed to grow wild.
    Being within the famous Rhubarb Triangle of West Yorkshire, there were odd patches of rhubarb growing which we eagerly snaffled and dipped into triangular paper bags with a spoonful of sugar in the bottom.
    The combination of acid and sugar would not have been good for the teeth I would imagine, but I seem to have come through it relatively unscathed.
    Another locally grown product was licorice root from Pontefract. These woody roots were either chewed raw or placed in a glass bottle with water and shaken for several days until the water went brown. The resulting 'Spanish Watter' was a sickly sweet concoction though very refreshing in summer.
    The local park was always a refuge for the local kids with a small playground, a bowling green and a large area of grass which we used as a football pitch, even though the ball would have rolled away of it's own accord, so sloping was the pitch. This feature must have helped develop ball skills, as myself and a couple of
    my compatriots were scouted and had trials for Leeds United. Sadly nothing came of these trials in the end though the experience lasted a lifetime.