I was born at Mayday Hospital. My parents still live in Baring Road and my mother has lived there from the age of 13, as my grandmother had the house before they did. I vividly remember playing 'up and down the road.' It is so sad children cannot do that safely any more. I also walked to school from a young age, as did my friends. It was a different world. My Dad had the first car in the street. Brownies was at St Mildred's church and my sister volunteered my mum to be the Tawny Owl while my dad somehow got roped into helping the scouts. It always seemed a close knit community. My parents originally lived with my grandmother, there were several families where parent or parents still lived in Baring Road while their children also had a house there. I always felt everyone knew what everyone else was doing! My friend Linda and I used to have picnics in Bingham Road Park and buy Parma Violets for 1 old penny or a penny Cadbury's bar from a shop under the railway bridge where there is now a tram stop. A walk to Ashburton park was a little further but there we played on the roundabout, which bigger children would swing round fast, and sometimes I would brave the big slide. There was always some lady in an overall keeping an eye on everyone. Then we would go and buy ice cream or sweets from the kiosk and wander down to the boating lake. I really must look to see if those things are still there next time I visit my parents. I went to Woodside, and then Heath Clark Grammar, while my sister went to Ashburton all the way through. We went to Shirley Methodist Sunday School and my parents were married there.
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