The last few days have been hot and sunny and reminded me of the last few days of the summer holidays in Summervale and the freedom we all had to play and explore without supervision from our Mums and Dads.
I can remember helping to get the hay in after it had been cut. It was piled into small stacks and these were loaded by pitchfork onto the back of a wagon which had high wooden bars to stop the hay falling off. The smell of the hay was wonderful, earthy and sweet.
This photo was taken in the 1920s but it could easily have been in the 1940s too.
The hay was stored in a huge barn with a corrugated roof and us kids used to love climbing up the bales of hay and then sliding down as fast as we could. I was often first to the top but always last down. Scared of heights once I was up there – still am.
That has reminded me of scrumping! Surrounded by orchards it was quite a popular pastime although certainly not encouraged. I missed out on many a secret excursion after dark as my bedroom window was too high for me to climb in and out of.Just as well as I got into loads of trouble anyway.
Here’s me in my cowboy outfit ( no, no idea why!) in the orchard behind the Dixons bungalow with a beautiful horse which belonged to Farmer Britten’s daughter whose name I have forgotten. She used to let me ride him and I got quite good even without a saddle. All these years later it is now built in!
This is John Satchell outside Britten’s house – I had forgotten how grand it was. I wonder how he liked living next to a load of Londoners in prefabs? Got well paid for it no doubt. Also made a lot of money in his butcher’s shop I guess; I remember the sawdust on the floor & my Mum saying that was what faggots were made of.
Another photo of John with his wife Sue and can you see the green grandstand in the background? This picture was taken in 2000 and it looks exactly the same.The rows of seats were really high and, as small children we struggled to climb up them. Under the railing immediately behind John there used to be low concrete seats. Why do I remember that? Cos one day whilst doing somersaults over the bar I slipped and badly hurt my shin. I still have the scar. There were also those narrow little gaps in the hedge which we used to squeeze through. Bet I couldn’t do that today.