The Harpers - a Memory of Hopwas.

I remember this view very well, though by 1965, I'd married and left the village. We lived at the top of Nursery Lane, No 37. My dad worked at the Nursery. I remember Ann's mum and their bungalow being built. I was a frequent visitor to Myra and Harry Harper's bungalow as their son, Alan, was a pal. Alan is now Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of the Church of Ireland.  Quite a leap from Hopwas! I can remember Alan and I shopping on Saturday mornings for Anne's mum when she lived in Tamworth. If I recall correctly she'd had polio and was disabled for that reason.

I lived in the village from 1952 until 1964. My parents moved when my dad was forced by ill health to retire in 1973 and they moved to Twycross.

I also have strong memories of the village school and Miss Podmore. Miss Jackson was headmistress up until 1955 when I left and went on to the Grammar School in Tamworth.

On the few occasions that I've been back in recent years, I'm struck by how small everything looks, how narrow the lanes. Where we used to be able to cycle freely down Nursery Lane, Hints Lane, School Lane and up the main road to Lichfield (or down it to Tamworth) everywhere now seems blocked with vehicles parked at the kerbside.

Some of my best memories relate to this section of the canal between Nursery Lane bridge and main road bridge. It was the spot where I went fishing from the towpath side (opposite to where Anne and her brother are seen). There were gaps in the brickwork down the side of the bridge face the same way as the camera and I and my pals used to climb over the parapet and 'rock-climb' down the bridge onto the path - and back up when going home. It saved walking all the way round from the main road bridge either across the playing field or round by the road and up Nursery Lane!

A memory shared by Geoffrey Harrison on Apr 9th, 2009.
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