Time, time, time …

… see what’s become of me.

An earlier post shows the house that was home from my earliest memories until my mid-teens. I grew up there.

We left in the mid-sixties and yet externally it is remarkably unchanged.  The leaded light windows remain, the front door has not been replaced with a tight-fitting plastic alternative, even the concrete pre-fab garage remains.  I remember my dad, quietly, methodically, capably erecting it even though I have no memory of what was there before.  The telephone wires still connect from a wooden telegraph pole, run down the external side walls and enter the house at the same place – the second step on the stairs where my sister was positioned most evenings of her teenage years.

The window above the front door was my bedroom, my elevated view of the world, my garret.  Bristol Britannias, Dakotas and Viscounts flew above the house on there prop-engined flightpath into Ringway.  Vulcans flew over less often but, louder and lower into Woodford. Aeroplanes and air travel was still romantic and exciting.

Much has changed in that street and all the familiar names have long gone – the Hilliers (affectionately known as the Hillybums – I know not why), Miss Bracher, the Irelands, the Driscolls, the Fawcetts, the Hagans, the Southerns and the Jones’.  Each house was fronted by a brick wall which we climbed on, jumped from and ran along.

One summer day we were persuaded to sit still long enough to be frozen in time, like unstable books with no bookends.  It seemed like a safe world back then.



  1. Cate Franklyn · July 2, 2015

    Wonderful memory, wonderful story. Great shot too. Who took that your Mom or Dad?

    • northumbrianlight · July 3, 2015

      Thanks Cate – I am certain it was my mum – quite out of character which is probably why I remember.

  2. Photobooth Journal · July 3, 2015

    Wow, big family. Great post!

    • northumbrianlight · July 3, 2015

      Many thanks – there are four families in the photo – the three on the left are all one. I am the singular representative of my limited tribe (my elder sister and me) – my mum was quite adamant, I was the last!

  3. LaVagabonde · July 3, 2015

    That is quite the band of hooligans. I can just imagine the mischief you all got up to.

    • northumbrianlight · July 3, 2015

      In our very limited ways we were tearaways but would cower in the face of authority, not least my mum 🙂

  4. Sue · July 3, 2015

    Lovely memory..great snapshot of childhood mischiefs waiting to happen!

    • northumbrianlight · July 3, 2015

      Thanks Sue – different times. Very little to keep us occupied indoors so we lived to play in the street.

      • Sue · July 3, 2015

        Me too! Street or fields…

  5. socialbridge · July 3, 2015

    Gorgeous photo, Robin, and lovely post.

  6. Su Leslie · July 6, 2015

    Brilliant photo! I just love the expression on the boy fourth from left! It reminds me of school photos when there was always one joker in the class pulling a face.

    I can’t resist revisiting houses I’ve lived in whenever I’m in the neighbourhood. My childhood was split between Scotland and NZ, so some involve more of a pilgrimage than others, but the houses of my primary school years are near where I live now so I tend to drive past quite a lot to see what is happening in the neighbourhood. I suspect the area will be sold off for development quite soon (it’s owned by the State and was used to house Navy/Dockyard personnel). Sad really, but already most of my childhoood Auckland has gone.

    • northumbrianlight · July 6, 2015

      Many thanks Su – Philip was a very affable cheeky chappie. The two on the right hand side were his younger brother and sister. On the rare occasions I am back in the Manchester area I will always at least drive by old homes and schools. My first primary, and by far my favourite, is sadly gone – a fine building replaced by an apartment block.

      • Su Leslie · July 6, 2015

        I loathed every school I went to, but all of mine are still standing.

  7. Thom Hickey · July 6, 2015

    Thanks. A lovely, evocative memoir. Perhaps those really were the days! Regards Thom.

  8. restlessjo · July 7, 2015

    Loved the soundtracks, especially that last one. Annie Lennox? And I like the little rascals too 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · July 8, 2015

      Hi Jo – it’s ‘I’ll Keep you Safe’ by Sleeping at Last – http://sleepingatlast.com/blog/
      You might catch it on TV – it is used on a current ad, Nationwide BS I think.
      Rascals? Angels methinks 😀

      • restlessjo · July 8, 2015

        Thought I recognised it but wasn’t sure about Annie. Many thanks, Robin. Enjoy your drizzly day 😦

      • northumbrianlight · July 8, 2015

        Thanks Jo, you too 😉 I listened to the track again and could hear Annie now and then.

  9. Tish Farrell · July 10, 2015

    That looks like a world I remember. I did a lot of sitting on front walls too 🙂

  10. Pingback: Miss Bracher | northumbrian : light

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