…..Beatrice Street, where I was born, Burford Avenue where we spent the first 14 years of our married life and our present house in a street which also begins with a B and where we have lived for the last 34 years.

Spoilt for choice today with my Street Challenge.  Mr. HCB was out, so I took the opportunity to go and take photographs of streets beginning with the letter B and which are all special to me and Mr. HCB.

I was born and lived in Beatrice Street - top left - for the first 12 years of my life but I was a lonely child because my parents were divorced and my mother worked long hours, so I used to spend a lot of time in St. Mark’s Recreation Ground behind the house or playing with my friend, Jenny, and her sister, Val, who lived at number 12 and whose Mother and Father were always very kind to me.

After we married in 1968, we moved just down the road from Alvescot Road (my Blip for 2nd July) into a house in Burford Avenue, which we bought privately from a man in our church who was moving to Cornwall.  We were relieved when he told us he wanted £3,500, because we had managed to save £350 as a 10% deposit, which was the norm in the those days.  At that time, the mortgage was only in Mr. HCB’s name and they didn’t take my salary into account when calculating how much we could borrow.  Much more sensible.  

We had lovely Italian neighbours, John and Maria and their 3 children.  When I went round to take the photograph today, I knocked on Maria’s door - John died 9 years ago - and she nearly fainted when she opened the door!  She invited me in and we had a lovely chat and of course, I had to have one of her espresso coffees - so strong, you could almost stand your spoon up in it!  

I couldn’t believe that she is now 87 and still keeps her garden up together on her own!  Her son, Lenny, came in while I was there and the years just rolled back!  We talked about many things that had happened when we lived next door, the most exciting of which was when Lenny was about 10 years old and set the shed on fire.  As there was a Fire-fighters’ strike on at the time, a Green Goddess, operated by the British Army, turned up in the street to put the fire out - great excitement at the time and Lenny said he still remembered that!  

We have many special memories of our time in Burford Avenue, as our two sons were born whilst we were living there, so they grew up playing in our garden and also were often in next door, because Maria and John’s twin daughters, Angela and Amelia, who were that much older than our boys, loved to “mother” them and Lenny enjoyed playing games with them.

We moved into our present house in 1982 - named after a book written by a local author, Richard Jefferies in 1882.  We have had wonderful neighbours here too and again, lots of happy memories.  We all get on well and if we need help, we know we can go to any of the neighbours, which is so good but quite different because we no longer have young children.  

So a trip down Memory Lane today - which I have enjoyed very much - need to get my thinking cap on for a street beginning with the letter C!

“Nothing is ever really lost to us 
     as long as we remember it.” 
L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

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