I was born in a little Anglo-Saxon Village in England called Spondon. This is picture of Church Street.

Chuch Street, Spondon. UK

ON the left (foreground) you can see a brick wall with a bush on top of it then a high brick building. The building is the first house of a Row (Longdons Row) of houses. There is actually a wooden gate around the corner. I was born about three houses down the row. It would be pretty much as it was when I left, and when I visited in 1972 only the surrounds of the Church were different.

St Wurgourg Church, Spondon, UK
St Wurboughs, Spondon, UK,
where the Vicar painted a cross on my forehead with his wet finger 65 years ago

This is where the little street on the right (opposite my birth place) leads to Park Road. It used to be forest on the other side of the wooden The Entrance to Devases Woods, Spondon, UKgates that swung between the two archways, but is now a Grammar School, built after we had left. We called it Devases Wood, after the owner. The Arch on the left leads, down through fields and meadows, to Nottingham Road.

It did have atmosphere and tradition back then. It is all gone now, the trees etc. It will never be known that a group of kids used to gather under the Silver Birch, almost worship the sacred giant Big Monk, in that quiet little wood beyond the gates of memory.

The whole area was once part of Nottingham forest – Nottingham being fairly close by. We used to believe that the marks on the Church walls were made by Robin Hood and his men - sharpening their arrows there.

For quite some generations on my Mothers side Subs, my Father grew up at Sudbury... I was in contact with a man in England who gave me some info on my Mother's family, which went a fair way back... just not sure where I filed it.

Sudbury Hall, Sudbury, UK
Sudbury Hall: This is where my father grew up. His father looked after the stables, drove the coaches, and rode in the fox hunts.

After the war life was pretty harsh, and dad worked 7 days per week until 11 every night just to stay afloat. Also we were "talked" into it by an Uncle and Australia House with lavish promises that turned out to be all lies.

England is/was a pretty place. Where we lived, (we moved from Longdons Row to Kirkleys Ave) our house was the last on the Avenue, where the Fields began, which were covered in Buttercups and Daisies or with deep snow in the winter time.

None of these fields are there anymore. They were building the "New Estates" when we left and we found the half built houses a delightful place to play in, and roast our "spuds" and smoke cigarettes.

The war had not long been over and we were still on ration cards. We knew every bird and tree by name, learned how to hide in the chimneys when the policeman came round checking the "new estate"; how to run along scaffoldings. We could leap like monkeys from limb to limb in the greenwood trees; make ourselves invisible in freshly cut wheat fields. We could plan and execute raids on the apple orchards, with great skill. We even knew how to follow the large drainpipes, underground from manhole to manhole all over the district.

Yes, life as a child was certainly and adventure in those long ago days.

©Copyright November 2005 by Colin F. Jones

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