Writer Philip Whiteland, of Doveridge, shares another amusing anecdote from his childhood in the 1960s.
I’M currently preparing for my annual walking weekend with “the Lads”.
That sentence is, however, incorrect on two counts. Firstly, my preparations consist of the occasional three-mile walk, when I remember and can be bothered to get my boots out from the bottom of the wardrobe, where they slumber from one year to the next.
Secondly, the epithet “the Lads” was barely accurate 20-plus years ago, when we started this tradition, and is considerably less so now.
My wife says that we bear more resemblance to the cast of Last of the Summer Wine with each passing year.
I suppose the people who would be most surprised that I now willingly go for a walk in the country (albeit, only once a year and with a good deal of pub visiting thrown in) would be my cousins from Holbrook, Brenda, Kathryn and Frances.
Once a year, during my childhood, I was sent to stay with my mum’s eldest sister, Auntie Mabel, on the basis that it would “do me good to get some fresh country air into my lungs”. I had mixed feelings about this. As a child, I was definitely a “townie” at heart, never happier than when I was plodding the mean streets of Burton. Countryside, for me, began and ended with the Anglesey Road recreation ground. Continue reading