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St Ann's Well

St Ann's Well Gardens pond
Photo by Brian Dungate

Early interest in nature

When I attended Stanford Road Infants’ School, it was still located in the single storey section of the original building. The teachers encouraged our interest in nature. In the classrooms we had a wide variety of items. There were silk worms with mulberry leaves from Dyke Road Park, several plant troughs with flower bulbs and nasturtiums which we planted and looked after, and tadpoles in a tank.

A favourite haunt

The source of the tadpoles was the pond in St Ann’s Well Gardens. This beautiful park was another favourite haunt after school. Incidentally, in spring, the classrooms were always full of freshly-picked primroses and bluebells. These were picked from what is now Park Wood at Newtimber.

Scent of primroses

Our wild daffodils came from the lower end of Devil’s Dyke Valley, level with Saddlescombe – very much a no-no today. The wonderful scent of English primroses is incomparable. In autumn cob nuts were also picked close to the daffodil site.

Fond memories

Several years later I had the good fortune to live in a property in Furze Hill overlooking the park. I have very fond memories of walks there with my wife, Isabel, and my children, both of whom later attended my old school.

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