We moved to Easthampstead in 1962 and moved away in 1968. Bracknell town did have the Crossways but I do remember the rest of the town which was still beautiful and old. When we returned in 1969 I was horrified as an 11 year old to see just how the old town had been torn down.
I went to Fox Hills infant and junior schools, we walked there and back unless there was heavy rain when we got the bus. The walk took 45 minutes. I remember Miss Golding the Head of the infants, she was a tyrant! I also remember the smell of the rubber matting from the main hall to the offices!
At the junior school, Mr Carter was the Head, we called him Mr Carter squashed tomarter! During rainy playtimes he used to play classical music to us on the record player and got cross if none of us knew the composers/piece of music!! There was a large piece of an oak tree with its roots at the bottom of the playground and certain classes were allowed to play on it on certain days. There were two guinea pigs in a cage on a wall that we used to feed, they died one winter! We went for nature walks in the little woods way down from the playground. On the left, where there was some small industrial units, we could see an old plane in a yard. Oh yes, when I was in the infants, there were horses right at the bottom of the school field.
I remember on Saturdays going to the market and the toy shop on the corner of the Crossways, can't remember its name? I remember the Imp cafe in the Crossways where I used to have a cup of tea with my nan on a Saturday. We used to go to a small department store on the corner at the other end of the Crossways. They sold lovely tea cups, I seem to remember.
Sainsbury's sold food over the counter and there was MacFisheries. Also a chinese restaurant on the first floor of shops near the market. There was a raised built-up pond near the market, with water spurting out from one side.
I used to go to the Saturday morning pictures, 6d for sitting at the front and 9d in the back. The school dentist was around the corner and I was terrified of him. He was always cross!
We used to go to jumble sales at Easthampstead community centre near Point Royal. The butchers had sawdust on the floor, the bakers sold potato puffs, I think 4d a packet, I've never had them since! The newsagents was wooden inside, the hardware store sold ornaments that I used to buy my mum and the library was at the end, near the fish and chip shop.
We used to walk to what is now South Hill Park and everything was overgrown and wonderful with wild flowers. The river seemed very deep and bullrushes grew all around it. Occasionally a helicopter would land at South Hill Park.
At the end of Longwater Road there was an old lodge cottage with Elizabethan looking twirly chimneys. It was mainly empty and we used to play there for hours.
We went to Girls Brigade at the Baptist Church. Played in the road, skipping, riding our bikes, walking on stilts and rolling skates. Looking for lolly sticks and sharpening them to a point on walls of houses. Many, many memories. We were a London 'overspill' family and I think that all of the estates being built must have been a huge shock for the locals. From my point of view, what the planners did to the town though, was sacrilege!
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