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Playing in the graveyards

St Nicholas Graveyard
Photo by Tony Mould

Pirate ships or castles

As youngsters in the mid to late 1950s, my friends and I spent many a happy hour playing in the graveyards of St Nicholas Church. The large cavernous ones became our pirate ships or our castles, the smaller ones were great for playing hide and seek. In inclement weather we could climb inside some of the fancier ones and wait out the rain. On my own at times, I would lie on the flat stones and try to imagine the lives of the people laid within, who were they, how had they succumbed to their final rest?

An air of freedom

In summertime, the quieter park on the other side of the road was nice to walk through, to see and smell the snapdragons and other flowers and again, the entire park became our playground. Were we irreverent? I do not think so; I would like to think the spirits of those interned were happy to provide us with a safe haven in which to let our own spirits free. Personally I have never felt the same air of freedom we experienced then. We never had to worry much about stranger danger, there were just too many of us, all watching out for the rest.

Do you remember?

Can you remember that sense of freedom as a kid? Where was your favourite place to play?Please share your memories with us by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hope you didn’t leap out from behind the gravestones and frighten my aunty Betty who lived by St Nicholas Church in Wykeham Terrace, from ’56, Patricia!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (25/01/2014)
  • Although I now live in western Australia, I use to live in Clarence St and use to play in St Nicolas churchyards in the late 40s and early 50s. I remember there used to be a lot more graves around the church and I congratulate you on a very informative website.

    All the Best Steve Neale

    By Steve Neale (25/11/2014)
  • I don’t remember you Steve, I too used to play there in the 40s. Cowboys and Indians was a favourite along with hide and seek. There were many graves and it was very overgrown with bushes and trees. I can remember when it was cleared and we used used to go there and chat to the workers. They showed us jewellery and money that they kept finding there especially beneath the large graves. I never knew about any remains they may have found.               I used to live  at the top of Mount Zion Place just across the road from the picture above. They were great times.                                  


    By Peter Guy (21/12/2017)

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