Moved in as a three year old
I was about three years old when we moved to 48 Colbourne Avenue, Moulsecoomb in 1960; I attended Moulsecoomb schools from the infants’ right through to the seniors. I lived there with my mum, dad, brother, sister and my maternal grand-parents. I had a lovely dog called ‘Toby’ who never left my side. Summers seemed longer in those days and we used to spend whole days out in the back garden with our tops off, but never getting as burnt as we do today and we did not have any factor 40 sun lotion. When we did get burnt, then out would come the camomile lotion or my Nan would apply cucumber to soothe the burn.
Sunday picnics in the park
On Sundays we would sometimes go for a picnic in either Wild Park or Stanmer Park. We would call in at Woolven’s under the railway viaduct to get some sweets on the way. If we did not go out on a Sunday, it was a hard and fast rule that we were not allowed outside the borders of our garden, as our neighbours had worked all week and deserved some peace and quiet. One of our favourite pastimes was collecting car numbers. We used to sit outside on the pavement and wait for a passing car, this could be anything up to half an hour in those days. I still don’t know why we did it or what we did with the numbers. My Dad had a fabulous Vauxhall Victor car; I still remember the registration, PAW 357.
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Our great neighbours
We had great neighbours, I remember one day when I was about five years old, I was helping myself to gooseberries from the bush between the houses when a big voice said “You’ll get bellyache!” It was our neighbour Horace Worledge or ‘Horry’ as my parents called him. He was a lovely man but he frightened the life out of me that day as I thought I was going to get a telling off. I remember going to school with short trousers on during the winter of 1963, when it snowed for about 3 months! We opened our front door one morning and the snow had drifted halfway up so we used the back door that day. The washing used to go as stiff as a board on the line as there were no spin dryers, just a mangle.
Joining the cubs
I joined the cubs when I was 8 years old, they met at the barn in Hodshrove Lane. I really only joined because my brother was a cub, but I was not keen and I drew the line at going camping so I left. Even at that tender age I couldn’t see the joy in sleeping in a cold field with only a blanket between you and the ground and a cold wash when you got up. I liked my home comforts, even though in those days there was no central heating or fitted carpets, and you stepped out of bed onto cold lino.