Victory Parade And The Sudden Downpour - a Memory of Pitsea.

What memories this picture brings back to life again!! I had just been discharged from the Fever Hospital having spent six weeks there with Scarlet Fever. Nothing was going to stop me from taking part in the Victory Parade especially as I had been picked as one of the colour party carrying the Guide Flag. It was a beautiful hot sunny day, perfect for the occasion. The Parade had started at the top of main road, I can't remember exactly where but it could have been on the field next to the Police Station, or even somewhere further up the main road, and was to march to Pitsea School where we would all disband on the playing field after listening to speeches.

One of the shops in this building in the photograph was the local hairdressers where my mother and I were customers. Just before the Parade reached this point the heavens opened in a most torrential downpour and we were ordered to a halt and told to take cover wherever we could. So, together with the Scouts in the Colour Party I dived for cover under the awning of the shops, others further back in the parade taking cover wherever they could. My uniform was already pretty well drenched in the few yards we had marched before the Parade was halted, and the flag now dangled soggily from it's pole, but we were determined that the Parade would continue as soon as the rain abated

To my absolute horror and huge embarrassment the hairdresser, knowing full well I had just come out of hospital, suddenly appeared with two large towels, removed my cap and began to dry my hair vigourously and to soak up some of the moisture at least from my uniform by patting me down from head to toe and doing her best to ring out the skirt regardless of the much amused audience......embarassing enough in front of the boys, but worse was to come. Taking the towels back into the shop I thought that was all she was going to do.....but oh! no, back she came with two huge rolls of cotton wool and proceeded to push great wadges of it down the front of the uniform and down my back, despite my objections, insisting I was not to even think of taking it out until I got home and could have a hot bath. She then stood in the shop doorway to make sure I didn't try to remove same. The rain soon over the Parade regrouped and off we set to the School. Inevitably, the inspection and speeches over it was time for the photograpers to get to work.....and to this day I cannot but laugh and remember this scene outside the Hairdressers when I look at the couple of snapshots that I have. There I stand surrounded by the rest of the colour party hair frizzed out in all directions and a decidely buxom top half compared to the rest of me thanks to the great wadge of cotton wool that had been thrust down my front !! Thanks for the memory this picture of Broadway evokes - the cinema and shops.

Many years later I was to meet, in my local chemist here, working as an assistant, one of the daughters of a family who lived in one of the apartments above the shops - the only person from Pitsea that I have ever met in the 53 years I've lived in South Africa!!

Now to see what other memories I can add.

Thelma Hurly (Sneddon)
Johannesburg South Africa.

A memory shared by Thelma Hurly on Aug 22nd, 2006.
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