Visiting my distant past

Yesterday I took my mum to Bounds Green, where we lived 50 years ago. I actually knocked on the door of an old schoolfriend in Whittington Road, and met his mother, who still lives there. She put me in touch with Peter, my schoolfriend who is now a lorry driver living in Walthamstow. I’m inviting him to my Retirement Party, but unfortunately his wife said they’ll be away on holiday. Never mind, perhaps we can meet up some other time. Over 40 years since I last saw him.

 The area around Bounds Green/Bowes Park hadn’t changed that much, but seemed totally different to my mother and I. All the familiar shops in Myddelton Road had long gone, save for one Gents outfitters which had obviously been there for years, but which I didn’t remember. Bowes Park station wooden footbridge had long been demolished. Marlborough Road where we used to live was undergoing roadworks, but looked much the same, till you examined the houses close up.

 We’d never have recognized the house where we lived, #93, or the neighboring ones. They look totally different now the big privet hedges have gone, the stained glass in the front doors, and the tiled footpaths have been replaced. Could have been any Victorian house in England. Of course Kitty’s and Lamberts, where I bought sweets, had long gone in Whittington Road, as had the filthy pet shop with a water rat in a trough outside. In Myddelton Road Seagraves the butchers, the fishmongers, two bakers and the Home & Colonial had all gone. So not many memories were stirred there, though the actual buildings were intact.

The two main buildings of my old school, Bounds Green School, were still there. The Infants and the Junior/Senior school buildings. But the separate gymnasium, the toilet block, the playground shelters, the classroom prefabs, the playing fields and the old air raid shelters had all gone, to be replaced by new buildings.

 We then moved on to Broomfield Park, where I used to go regularly with my brother. Totally different! The playground where we spent hours on the Ocean Wave, swings, etc. had gone altogether. Broomfield House was under renovation and appeared to be gutted.

It was a nice trip down memory lane, best of all was making contact, albeit indirectly, with one of my best schoolfriends. I hope we do meet up again.

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