We lived in the Parade, down by the station. The fish and chip shop was run by a rather large gentleman. eventually something happened, and we took it over. The soldiers would pack it out and there would be a long queue outside on Friday nights, and anyone seeing that would think we were making money hand over fist, but in reality we were dirt poor and had hardly any furniture upstairs, just mattresses. There was a wonderful automatic piano on one of the floors though, and it played Back to Sorrento and other classical music. One of our neighbours was Edie. There was an alleyway at the back of the parade and as I walked up there one day, someone shot me in the chest with an airgun. It stung, but my sternum stopped the slug from doing serious damage. I used to walk all the way to Barnstables at Upminster Common ( called Tylers Common now), and beyond, just to be with horses. On some evening of the week I had to take fish and chips to the cop shop in Brook street, and come scampering back in the dark. The coal-yard was opposite the Parade, a butchers just at the bottom of Queens Street. On the corner of the Parade was a barbers, maybe, run by two brothers one, or maybe both of whom had been in a German concentration camp and still bore the number on one wrist. Next to that was a sweetshop and tobacconist, where I was always having to go to get my mother some more fags. I used to go up Rose Valley and then the private lane to get to Shenfield Common with our dog. I remember there were a lot of wood ant nests in certain parts - you could hear them rustling they were so large. I didn't like Brentwood, or school ( Doddinghurst Road) but it was made bearable by riding horses through Thorndon Park, or bringing the cows in for Mr Farmer ( his real name) down Sawyers Hall lane behind the school.
A memory shared byon Mar 7th, 2009.
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