… see what’s become of me.
An earlier post shows the house that was home from my earliest memories until my mid-teens. I grew up there.
We left in the mid-sixties and yet externally it is remarkably unchanged. The leaded light windows remain, the front door has not been replaced with a tight-fitting plastic alternative, even the concrete pre-fab garage remains. I remember my dad, quietly, methodically, capably erecting it even though I have no memory of what was there before. The telephone wires still connect from a wooden telegraph pole, run down the external side walls and enter the house at the same place – the second step on the stairs where my sister was positioned most evenings of her teenage years.
The window above the front door was my bedroom, my elevated view of the world, my garret. Bristol Britannias, Dakotas and Viscounts flew above the house on there prop-engined flightpath into Ringway. Vulcans flew over less often but, louder and lower into Woodford. Aeroplanes and air travel was still romantic and exciting.
Much has changed in that street and all the familiar names have long gone – the Hilliers (affectionately known as the Hillybums – I know not why), Miss Bracher, the Irelands, the Driscolls, the Fawcetts, the Hagans, the Southerns and the Jones’. Each house was fronted by a brick wall which we climbed on, jumped from and ran along.
One summer day we were persuaded to sit still long enough to be frozen in time, like unstable books with no bookends. It seemed like a safe world back then.