My Earliest Memories - a Memory of Wilbarston.
I was born at Kettering General Hospital in 1942. My father was the village policeman in Wilbarston since 1939 and we lived there until I was five years old in 1947 when my father was posted to the other end of the county. Wilbarston was perhaps the place I have always regarded as 'home' and I still feel a tingle of excitement on the odd occasions I have visited the village over many decades. My attendance at the local school was rather short but I remember the freedom children had to roam through the countryside without any feeling of danger. My old house still stands although the function as a police station is long gone. It had a thatched roof then and water was via a well in the garden. My father kept pigs in two brick styes in the garden and I remember the pig killer who came to slaughter them. The screams and subsequent rapid despatch remain with me to this day although I do like a bacon sarnie. When they were killed, one went off to the Ministry of Food and the other was salted and kept for family use. Visitors always left with a slice of bacon from the side hanging in the kitchen.
The garden was then quite big and as with all old-style policemen it was rare to leave the station when off duty. As a result the garden was well stocked with produce. He used to challenge anyone to find a single weed in the whole plot. My best mate was Philip Wilson but I lost touch with him within a couple of years. A local farm was kept by the Tann family and I used to haunt this farmyard where Mr and Mrs Tann were very kind to me. One day I was 'attacked' by a cockerel who took a dislike to little boys. Mr Tann immediately ordered its execution with the words 'Wring that bloody bird's neck'.
I also remember one of the pub landlords, 'Wacker' Tye. I also especially remember Mr and Mrs Atkins and their daughter Little Georgina who I was sweet on. The Hill family lived next door and their daughter Valerie who was about five years older than me was my second 'mum'. I was so sorry to leave the village but other duties beckoned to my father. After serving and apprenticeship in the motor trade, I followed him into the London police force where I managed some 31 years service.
A memory shared by on Aug 14th, 2009. Send Derek Smith a message
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