of a sudden they were there; blackberries!
Jam jars were acquired from mum, who
seemed to have jars on hand; no recycling then.
Off we would go, usually three or four
of us kids from Sladedale Road and pick the juiciest and tastiest
blackberries ever, excited at getting something to take home
and everyone declaring they had picked the biggest one yet!
Scratched and stained hands; we'd take
our haul home and mum would make apple & blackberry pudding
or stewed apple & blackberry with custard..........Yum!
I remember my brother Colin showing
us kids fossils in the stones on the Common. It was just too
good to be true; I thought it was a trick.
Breaking open the stones by bashing them together and to actually
see the sparkling crystal inside the stone, or the imprint of
a shell, was the best natural history lesson I'd ever had.
After we realised the Common held treasures
like these, we would go hunting for hours on the stone slide,
situated on the first bit of the Common on the left going up
When we had explored the stones enough we'd run at full pelt
down the steep stony hill causing a mini avalanche that would
spill over onto the pavement, great fun.
I went back there years later, after
our family moved to Manor Park in East London. The grass had
grown over all the stones, hiding them, along with their hidden
Winter time was great when the snow
lay thick on the steep slopes of the Common above the Ravine
Lake, and if you had older brothers, as I did, they would have
made a wooden sledge.
The neighbourhood kids would congregate
on the Common and everyone took turns; no pushing or shoving,
just good fun. Sliding down at breakneck speed with many bumps
and occasional wipe out spills into the thick soft snow.
By this time your woollen gloves, two
pairs of socks and wellies were well and truly soaked. The intense
cold would grip you and, shivering, you would make your way
Mum would somehow get everything warm
and dry and you'd be ready to go out again for more thrills,
on those busy snow covered slopes of the Common.