I was born in Blenheim Gardens, I lived there until I was fourteen and we moved away. I remember Aveley with fondness. I can remember go-carting down Blenheim Gardens, the bonfire in the alley, the pit which I remember as being a wildlife paradise complete with bullrushes. Mr and Mrs Read lived at the bottom of our road, he was a good friend of my dad (my dad was his paperboy). Other treasured memories include Fryer Tucks (a curious Box of Delights) where we would go to buy shoelaces, the hairdressers next to the sweet shop, where I had my ears pierced, the sweet shop itself where I used to buy Wagon Wheels in their individual envelopes and the bakers where we used to buy coconut cake. I was a keen runner back then and have never forgotten the wonderful encouragement I received from my teacher at Aveley Junior, his name was Mr Ford. We had a really great sports tradition in Aveley. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting old but I miss those days, everything seemed less frenetic and I seemed to be surrounded by lots of people who I referred to as 'auntie' who were unrelated but very good neighbours and friends.
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