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Young Charlie Reed's Accident.

It was a lovely sunny day and, as usual, the Sladedale Road kids were out and about doing what they were good at, playing!


Charlie Reed aged about 8
Charlie Reed aged about 8

Before long Charlie was watching Robert, an older friend, who lived just across the road from him. Bob, as he was known, was from a large family by the name of Beacham. Bob was riding his bike up and down the road. He asked Charlie if he would like a ride and the next thing they were away round the block. Perched on the cross bar and Bob's strong legs pumping away, the wind blew into young Charlie's face as they gathered more speed as they neared Dickin's corner sweet shop.

Once up and around Goldsmid and along Lakedale Road Bob was now puffing a bit with the effort. But as the road began to level out and the top end of Sladedale Road was in sight they picked up more speed. They soon turned into Sladedale Road and began the very steep decent down the hill, gathering speed rapidly!

The houses were just a blur now, as young Charlie hung on even more tightly to the handle bars. It seemed as if they was doing a good hundred miles an hour or more!

Then it happened!

The dreaded hill! Sladedale Road (2005)
Sladedale Road, top end looking down (2005)

I remember finding out about the accident, and I went straight over to see how young Charlie was. I was invited into the front room where young Charlie was sat in a comfortable chair. His heavily bandaged foot was resting, propped up. I remember thinking, 'That's an impressive amount of bandage around poor Charlie's foot!' Charlie told me all the grisly and gruesome details. I was very impressed and with how young Charlie had taken it all, his mischievous face was smiling away bravely as he related the terrible details to me. Of how his foot had gone into the spokes of the speeding bike's wheel!

I have recently heard that Charlie has had a few broken ankles and his ankle is a real mess. He has also had to suffer with terrible back pain over the years, all as a direct result of this horrible childhood accident that happened on that fateful day, around fifty years ago. A time when us kids thought we could flipping fly and ........... we actually did!

Colin Weightman (2006)

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