Church Slopes

A Memory of Billingshurst

My mother used to walk us home this way, after I finished school. I got off the bus by the station. I used to go to the Immaculate Heart of Mary School somewhere near Billingshurst. I remember walking past the graveyard, and always feeling scared. There was a stile at the bottom of the hill, Mum had to climb over, but my sister and I could scramble underneath it. We lived in Daux Avenue, in the new bungalows. It was my parents' first house that they owned. I remember watching the man doing the artexing on the kitchen ceiling. There was a terrific storm, and the sky was as black as night. There were hailstones as large as golf balls, and we saved one to show my father when he got home. He used to catch the train from London, where he worked for the Civil Service. On another occasion the cows escaped from a local farm, and they ran amok through all the gardens, pulling people's washing off the lines. The farmer came and apologised to all the ladies! The same farmer came to help my dad kill one of our chickens - it was an egg-eater so he went into the cookpot. But they never told us kids that it was our Charlie! He was a bit tough!

The fields and woods around Daux Avenue were full of honeysuckle and hawthorn, and bluebells and primroses too. I believe that now there is an Industrial Estate in Daux Avenue, where once the fields were where the bulls and cows grazed. We used to have to race across the field when the bull wasn't looking (there was one stile each side of the field) and several times I put my foot in a big cowpat, yuk...AND sat on an anthill and got ants in my pants!

A memory shared by Susan Francis , on Apr 29th, 2009.

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