Growing Up In The Village. - a Memory of Wimbledon.
I was born in Nelson Hospital in March 1960 and taken home to Burley Road, where I was for my first year, then the family moved to Lancaster Road, nextdoor to the painter: Olaf Barnett. My early memories were of open spaces and for some reason, glorious Summers days spent around Rushmere pond. This pond was a big part of my early years as I then had to walk past it on my way to Old Central infants school in Camp Road. I was there for a year before the school moved to new premises in Lake Road and was called Bishop Gilpins. Not many cars around in those days, so lots of walking to school and anywhere else you needed to go. Most of my spare time was spent on the Common, either making rafts out of old lolly sticks and floating them on Rushmere
, or later in the year, annoying the motorists by throwing sticks into the concker trees alongside Southside. In the Winter the pond always froze over and the brave amoungst us would play around on the ice. I remember one year a duck got frozen into the ice and my brother got it out and brought it home and put it in the bath. Needless to say, when my mum found out she hit the roof, but did at least wait until the pond had melted before sending the duck away. As I got older and was allowed to travel further, we would go blackberry picking on the Common and come home covered in purple juice and with full tummies. In my mid-teens less time was spent on the Common, but I did join the Belgrave Harriers for a while, now quite a famous athletics club. After 3 years at Pelham Middle School, once the Rutlish School and now gone, I went to Raynes Park High School for boys and hardly had any time to go to the Common anymore. Not long after leaving school I went away and have never managed to get back for more than a short visit. I have heard the Common is still much as I remember it, but once down Wimbledon Hill, things have changed out of recognition, and some say for the worse. Still, I have my memories of how times were better, or so they seemed.
A memory shared by on Aug 18th, 2017. Send roland.patten170 a message
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