Churchill Avenue - a Memory of Beltinge.

I moved to Beltinge in 1948 with my parents and we lived at number 8 Churchill Avenue. At that time the avenue was a prefab estate and was a baby boomer child's heaven -,and there were plenty of us. I have many cherished memories of playing with all of my friends both on the greens and around the pedestrian-safe areas (not that traffic was really a consideration), in the surrounding fields and in the, to us, extensive and overgrown orchards of a house we referred to as 'the Old Man's, which I must confess included scrumping apples and 'goosegogs'.
One of my favourite times of year was when stubble burning took place in late summer. Drawn like moths to a flame, a horde of 6-7 & 8 year-olds rushed to the field in question to 'help' Mr Whitlock with his task. This seemed to us to be a licence to burn as we ran around grasping flaming torches of straw and gleefully setting fire to any unburned stubble. Years later sitting over a pint in the Hog & Donkey I asked him if he remembered all the help we gave on those occasions, his reply was to remove his cap to reveal his bald pate remarking that "you little b*****s gave me the screaming abdabs".
Another vivid memory was the appearance one late afternoon, in what must have been the summer of circa 1952, of some extremely dark clouds which turned the day into late evening. The clouds presaged strong winds which were in turn followed closely by what I was informed was a whirlwind or what these days would doubtless be termed a tornado (much more dramatic). Anyway the damage was extreme, resulting in the flat roof being lifted up from my friend Peter's prefab opposite before it proceeded down their garden to completely demolish the prefab immediately behind them. Fortunately the family living there were not at home at the time. I saw none of this of course as my mum had, in true blitz tradition, stowed me under the dining table. Over the years I have searched for any records of this event but without success, so if anyone reads this and can offer any memories of their own I'd be interested to hear them.
We moved away when I was 8 when my parents bought my mum's childhood home in Spenser Road, all very nice to be back where I remembered my recently departed grandfather, but I missed the freedom and friends of Churchill Avenue and the community spirit that existed there.

A memory shared by ned.jetwave on May 16th, 2018. Send ned.jetwave a message

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