When I was five years old , Mum Dad and me moved to Bubwith in to a house by the Derwent called Riversleigh. My memories are many and varied from the five years I lived there. The house opposite used to be flooded each year and the folk who lived their just moved their belongings up to the first floor. We were more fortunate as the water did not reach the house just laid in the lower part of the front garden. The church All Saints was opposite and I was a frequent visitor on Sundays to attend the Sunday School and also during the week as I had a fascination with the local grave digger who called Mr Batty. He was very kind and I spent many an interesting hour with him whilst he tended the grave yard and on occasion dug a grave. To this day I have an interest in old church grave yards as they hold much history.
The village school which was a church school and is now, I believe, living accommodation was where I spent my formative years. I remember the big fireplace in the school room, fronted by a large guard. The wooden desks and benches, the spelling lessons, where I always got it wrong and had to stay and write whatever word it had been, again and again till I got it right. The dancing in the playground to the radio, dressed only in knickers and a vest, whilst the headmaster sat on a chair warmly dressed(!) overseeing us all prance about to the music, Peter and the Wolf and the like.
At Christmas there was always a party and a nativity play all the kddies got a present. One year my Dad was at home as Mum had gone to see Grandma. When the party finished i came out to find him, he wasnt there so I decided to walk back on my own. There were two ways to go, Either through village or through the churchyard which at 6pm that time of year was very scary, The trees along the river were very weird shapes and too frightening for me to go alone . So through the village I trotted. Dad suddenly realized he forgotten me and rushed to the school. Through the churchyard, as it was the fastest way. I wasnt there, no one knew where I was so he came home to find me sobbing on the door step because no one was at home. He was not too impressed as he had painted the back door step and I was sitting on it. By the time he got back my coat was stuck to it ,messing it up. So I was in trouble all round.
I did revisit Riversleigh a few years ago, and found there were many changes to the village. I saw the old school, and the new one. I saw the house where Dr King used to live. He tended my Dad when he had a slipped disc and was confined to bed for six months. The field in Staith Street, next to what was called the White House, had houses in it. I fondly remember the bonfires we had there and the baked potatoes and sparklers we enjoyed on bonfire night. The pond further into the field where we caught small frogs and fished for anything we could find.
The house opposite where an old lady lived. She would always give us a drink and a biscuit. The old barn where the butcher stored his meat, that is now living accommodation. The apple orchard appeared to be no more either.
Many memories still live on in my mind, and are fondly recalled .but nothing is for ever and things change.
A memory shared byon Dec 24th, 2008.
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