As a child in the late 1940’s I spent my holidays where I lived, Halland Road, one of the last roads to be built at that time in East Moulescoomb. It was surrounded by fields and woods and in my memory the sun shone from a clear blue sky everyday.
Holiday pleasures in those days came from many venues. Accessed from Ashurst Road, the top field, so named because of the steep hill that after a strenuous climb, flattened to a meadow. The field was full of different grasses and I spent hours lying on my stomach watching small lizards scurrying through what was for them, a veritable jungle. The hill was chalk and covered in wiry grass, excellent for dry tobogganing. A piece of cardboard or better still a tin tray gave hair raising enjoyment.
Happy times in the woods
In the woods grew beech, horse chestnut, oak and sycamore trees. Many hours were spent in these woody havens finding wild flowers and fungi and listening to the red-headed woodpecker drilling into the trees. A rope installed by one of the ‘big boys’ on the stout branch of a tree over a natural hollow gave ever-lasting daring fun. A fall from this swing could sometimes result in a broken limb. Then there was real excitement. There was a trip into the town for hospital treatment, the resultant plaster cast was autographed until no space remained.
Each year when the time was right, I joined with my siblings and friends for the long trek to the raspberry bushes. Armed with our lunch, bread and dripping and a bottle of water, we made our way from the top field and across fields of swaying corn over which I could not see. All day we picked raspberries supposedly to bring home for jam making, mine went mostly into my mouth and the remainder held in a jar with a string handle were scoffed on the return journey.