Home Sweet Home

A Memory of Bournbrook

I was born at 41 Woodleigh Avenue just about opposite the Gully that I walked through every day with my brother to catch the bus to Bournville school.  I remember the war years, our house getting bombed while we were in the shelter at the end of the back garden. I remember being evacuated after that.  I remember my father taking us to the pictures on a summer evening and walking home down Harborne a Park Road. I used to like walking down that road in autumn and skipping through the rustling leaves.  I remember the Golden Cross Hotel and playing conkers with the other kids.  My friend lived on Harborne Park Road at the other end of the Gully. Her name was Sheila. My friend in the avenue was named Ruth. I remember the boggy fields and Betsy our black and white pig  that we kept in a sty on our allotment at the end of the avenue.  I remember going scrumping for apples with the other kids and hiding my loot in a hollow red brick wall at the other end of the avenue.  I remember the street party on VE Day when the war ended.  I am now 75.  I live in Australia and remember crying the day we left my world in Harborne to come to Australia. i was just 12 years old. I went home for a visit with my husband 38 years later. He encouraged me to knock on the door at number 41. I did and explained I had been born in that house.  The response was "you must be Cynthia.  We have lived here ever since and your old neighbours are still here too so you must knock on number 43 and 45 doors. I did and the woman I had known as Aunty Muriel opened the door. I said "I don't think you would remember me". She fell against the wall and shouted "come quick Mabel it's our Cynthia home from Australia" Aunty Mabel came out and within the hour they had rounded up friends and neighbours one and all for a grand reunion.  Believe me there were many memories refreshed that

day. I still talk about the welcome home and yes I still refer to Harborne as home.  I remember the bluebells and the snowdrops and much so much more. Cynthia Portas nee Jolley. E mail cynthia.portas@bigpond.com

A memory shared by Cynthia Portas , on Apr 17th, 2014.

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