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Saturday, 21 May 2011

1950s Slade Green: Playing in the Road

This is autobiography.

When I shave in the morning I navigate a V shaped scar over my upper lip. Girl friends used to ask me about it - it's noticeable only in close up.

David Lynch did it. He was a boy next door in Lincoln Road, Slade Green, where I spent the first seven years of my life 1947 - 53. I used to play with him and with David Jessop from across the road. I don't remember the names of other playmates.

We played in the road and sometimes in the disused industrial sand pits behind our houses. In David Jessop's garden we began to dig a hole which would take us to Australia.

There were few cars. Bread was delivered in Groom's horse drawn cart; the rag and bone man also had a horse cart: sometimes I walked behind, shovelling horse droppings into a bucket for Uncle Ben's allotment.

Playing in the road was a real possibility.

David Lynch scared me and sometimes chased me back into the safety of my own garden. One day he took up position behind the flint wall of a house opposite mine, and I did the same behind my own wall. We threw stones at each other. One of his hit me.

There was an awful lot of blood; I remember bleeding into the kitchen sink of someone's house (not my own - my mother must have been somewhere else). I recall the tap running (sinks had only a cold tap then) and cotton wool. My memory is that the stone had cut right through, but I doubt it did.

Nowadays, I guess I would have been taken to A & E and stitched but since there were no cars and no phones to hand on Lincoln Road, it was Make Do unless he doesn't Mend.


Added 24 July 2018: I have now published a memoir of my childhood, I Have Done This In Secret (degree zero 2018), freely available from Amazon, Waterstones and other booksellers

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