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.