Not A Care In The World - a Memory of Wheatley Hill.
If anyone were to ask me when I was most happy, I would have to go back some considerable time to those years spent in Wheatley Hill, more especially the late 1940s all of the 1950s and early 1960s. Truly magical times, as I'm sure a lot of those my age will agree. It always seemed to snow at Christmas time and the 6-week summer school holidays were always fine and sunny, at least I think they were! Not for us, the now compulsory TV, games console or I Pod, no sir. Pit heaps, quarries, home made sledges or go-karts were far more exciting and healthier too! Short excursions to exotic places like Crimdon, Seaburn or Seaton Carew seemed far more appealing than Benidorm or Orlando, but even better had to be a weekend to far-away Blackpool for the Illuminations! What fun, a very long journey on a Friday night, first to spot the Tower won half-a-crown. Two nights in a boarding house, a show or two, maybe a trip to the circus, up the Tower, along to the pleasure beach, now what could be beat that?
Our gang, The Liddell Terrace mob, were of course the greatest footballers, cricketers and 'knocky-nine-door' players in the whole estate! 'Dalton' terrace bank was the fastest snow ride of all, far quicker than any 'Cresta' run bobsleigh! With hardly any traffic on the roads in those days our parents had little to fear for our safety, not that they saw much of us outside of mealtimes, the streets were our playground when we weren't over the farms, quarries or pit-heaps.
I'm convinced my childhood happiness was entirely due to me having had the good fortune to be of miners' stock and being lucky enough to have been born and bred in Wheatley Hill, like all the old mining villages they were special and sadly seem to be dying out, the friendliness of the people, their warmth and generosity is second to none. I'm proud to be who I am and privileged to have come from such a wonderful place. My name is Frank, I'm the youngest of 5, born towards the end of the Second World War to Thomas and Sarah Dinsdale, although born in John Street (over the line ) we moved up to the 'council houses' when I was about two, so I spent most of my childhood years in Liddell Terrace, No 42 and then No 7.
After 12 years in the R.N. I'm now back in the vicinity, retired but happy not to have to work any more, looking forward to visiting the old place again real soon.
A memory shared by on Jun 25th, 2009.
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