More Childhood Memories from Barry Jenson
|Published: 11th September 2010 21:29|
Following on from those early days I can remember days spent down on Paulsgrove foreshore playing in the mud and waiting for the tide to come in so that we could have a paddle. As I have previously said, the mud in the harbour was black and it didn't smell at all pleasant.
I would spend many days on Portsdown Hill and occasionally we would venture up towards where there was often a Gypsy encampment. This was just at the top of Skew Lane, just before Fort Nelson. These were not the sort you associate with the today Gypsies or travellers as they are known. These people made things to sell in the nearby housing estate. They would sell pegs and little bunches of so called lucky heather. I upset one particular lady who knocked the door selling something or other, I shouted, "Mum a gypsy lady is at the door!" She was not happy I called her that and she stormed off!
I and other pals were often chased away from their encampment by boys with catapults. We used to run like hell when that happened. These encampments were a regular site I suppose. What a smashing place to live on the hill. They then probably moved on to work on farms fruit picking, hop picking and the various other jobs that were seasonal on the farms.
I also remember my very first day at Paulsgrove East infants. It was a very nervous time because you just do not know what to expect. My elder sister and mum took me down to the school which then had the entrance down Connaught Lane just before the railway bridge. The entrance is still there but it not the main entrance to the school. I can remember like it was yesterday when all the school lined up in the bottom playground and waved at the new Queen as she went by in the Royal Train.
Jubilee Ave in Paulsgrove was just an unmade road then .The proper road surface stopped at more or less at the bottom of Truro Rd. From there, there were mounds of earth all along the side of the Road. There were puddles galore and I often got a good telling off from my mum for getting dirty. No washing machines or tumble driers in them days remember. Makes you wonder just how hard things must have been in those days. I do not think there are many women or men who would cope with those times. They cannot cope with todays mod cons they have at their beck and call.
Paulsgrove East infants has changed its name several times during its lifetime. Not sure why they have to do that? After my time in the infant school, I moved to Paulsgrove Junior school which was called. Westfield Junior School. The school has again been renamed as The Victory school because there has been a new school built. It is no longer in Jubilee Ave. It is now in Allaway Ave. The staff and pupils actually move to their new home in early Nov 2010.
More of my childhood memories are being bulldozed. Hope that they take care of the wildlife that live in the two ponds within the schools before it is knocked down!! Doubt it though as I believe those type of problems just delay what they call progress and I think these ponds will just be filled in. I know that newts live in the pond so it would be dreadful to fill them in. They have probably been there for about 50years.
In Westfield junior school, there is a plaque saying the school was built in 1951 so I could have probably been of the first entries to that school.
In the summer months we would sometimes walk home the long way. I and pals would walk up to the Portsdown pub and walk up the track that now runs between the pub and I believe Chaucer Ave . This track took you to the bottom of the hill .We then walked along the bottom of the hill behind poets corner and then on down until we reached the Hillsley Rd area. It was then a straight walk to our homes through the streets. This walk home along the hill is now the M27 motorway. At that time like a lot of fields, they had horses grazing in them.
At the top of Falmouth Road near the Hillsley Road area, the council had a couple of blocks of Tin Prefabs demolished along with the single story prefabs that were along Beverstone Road to make way for the motorway. Some rows of the little white prefabs had paths between them that gave access to Falmouth Rd. You can still see the footpath cobblestone edges down in the horse paddocks at Beverstone Rd.
Some Monday evenings as I got a little older I used to go to the newly built Baptist Church that is in Wooferton Rd and Chedworth Crescent to watch film shows. It was nearly always full up with children. I think it cost a couple of old pennies to get in. It was always fun as at this time I'm almost sure we didn't have a telly.
In the late 50s as I have said before, there used to be a Scramble (moto cross) track just to the west of Fort Southwick. This was a very popular venue and I remember getting in for nothing on numerous occasions by crawling through the bushes. I think it cost 3old pennies to get in but I suppose it was a good afternoon's entertainment. Sometimes these events were shown on TV on a Sunday afternoon.
Oh for the good old days (or so we thought).