Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Walk in the Woods/Childhood Memories

Hubby and I took a walk in the woods today. It was a new-to-us place where we walked, but while there we came upon this.

It looked like something kids would build, complete with metal pan on the front, perhaps something they would ring when to sound the alarm. It got me thinking back to my childhood and how we would spend hours in the woods amusing ourselves. My brother, who is only 16 months older than I am, used to have his penknife with him and we would strip sticks to make bows and arrows so we could pretend to be Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Mum never worried where we were. We didn't have a telephone when I was growing up and there weren't cell phones, so no ringing home to let Mum know where we were. We would take off on our bikes and play the day away outside. We were always back for tea - we didn't have any money and didn't have snacks between meals - so we were very hungry when it was time to eat.

Where I grew up in Ipswich was considered a 'new' estate. Stoke Park. There was actually once a large house and grounds situated there (how a lot of housing estates got their names). There was only one more street built up after ours and beyond that lots of greenery. It was being built up. I remember playing where land had been cleared ready to build on and we 'discovered' an old air raid shelter that we played in until one of the children told his dad who was a councillor and it was destroyed. 

One of our favourite places to go was down to Belstead Brook and the woods close by. We used to call it Bluebell Woods because of the abundance of bluebells that grew there. It was beautiful. We spent many hours paddling in the brook too. They are some of my fondest childhood memories.

A lot of the places have all gone now. The town spread out and the greenery has been built upon, row upon row of houses take the places where we used to play. Mum was reminding me today that when we first moved out there the buses didn't go anywhere near our house. They used to stop at Maidenhall (another estate named after Maiden Hall Farm) and we would have to walk the rest of the way (not close!). The last time I was home I stayed on a bus that went past some of the 'old' places (my sister still lives close to where we grew up). It was quite saddening. I wished I had taken a different bus so the memories weren't replaced by these fresh ones. 

I am happy that I grew up when and where I did. Things weren't always easy. I don't have a lot of childhood memories, but a lot of them are good ones - especially the memories of playing the summer days away in fields of green. 


  1. That's a good story. I've never been to UK. Sounds lovely. I did go to Scotland and Ireland and loved it. I grew up near the Wisconsin River near a paper mill. The river was the way for loggers to float the huge trees to the mill. Not far from the mill is the Rothschild Pavillion - a historical building - behind that was a bridge to a little island. We would spend hours making forts and pretending we could roll the logs on the water - like lumberjacks. Fishing, frogging, catching bugs and building forts - all good childhood memories. Glad I grew up in a time where I could use my imagination and had no electronic distractions.

  2. We had a Bluebell Wood too and a Celandine Wood. Favourite places for us children. Reading this post has brought back many very happy memories, thank you so much.
    J x

  3. Even though we lived in a fairly rural area growing up we had to walk a long way to find a wood. Our playground was the castle in our village and we would be up there as soon as breakfast had been eaten with a bottle of squash and a sandwich each for lunch and we wouldn't be home until tea time.
    I wouldn't let Ruby out of our garden gate these days let alone go off anywhere.

  4. Your childhood playing in the woods sounds wonderful to me. I was never allowed anywhere on my own, other than the garden! LOL!


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