Summer 1962 in Church Street. Left is aunt Peggy's eldest, my cousin Jayne. Right is my brother Alan. I’m in the middle, on that tricycle. I was three.
My previous post about the MK Heritage Open Days for historical places in North Bucks reminded me about my life in Winslow, when I was a boy. At first we lived in Church Street, close to the Brownie and Guide Hall; it’s one of the Winslow buildings that’s having an open day.
Church Street is a cul-de-sac that rises quite sharply up to the churchyard. Cars were not often seen there in the early 1960s, so I was allowed to play in the street. I had a tricycle, and this is what I did with it…
I laboriously pedalled the tricycle up the slope. At the top I turned the little machine around and began to pedal downhill. I was soon moving at great speed, steering slightly left all the way down to follow the curve of the narrow street.
The end of my run, the much bigger Horn Street, came into view. I made ready for my last manouvre; it was coming up quickly now and I didn’t want to shoot across Horn Street at the bottom.
At the last moment I swerved skilfully left on to the footpath and came to a halt. I turned the tricycle around, and started back up the slope.
Our kitchen window didn’t look out on to Church Street, so Mum couldn’t see me as I shot past. But Aunt Peggy’s kitchen window looked out on to the street. She saw me hurtle past, and went straight round to knock on our front door. Mum opened the door.
“Vera, he’s doing it again” said Peggy. Mum came out straight away and confiscated my tricycle. I wept and promised to reform and never to do it again, and pleaded to keep the lovely machine. Still she took it away.
When my toddler brother Alan later asked me where the tricycle was I just tersely said, “It’s gone”. So he was surprised and pleased a few days later to spot it in the corner of our unused top floor bedroom.
He was up there helping Mum to hang up clothes for drying. He pointed at the tricycle again and again and tried to tell her he had found it, but was puzzled because Mum just didn't seem to see it there.
Eventually I got the tricycle back, but it wasn't too long before temptation struck again and I began to make my way to the top of the slope for another run.
You’ll not be surprised to know that I later became a biker.
Around Summer 1960. Too young then to ride a tricycle with pedals, but you can see how steep Church Street is.
Here’s Church Street now. The nearest window is much smaller, front doors have been moved, and what used to be old boxed in thatched roofs are now tiled. The building on the right has been extended.