My childhood home, 60 years later. What about yours?

by compound complex 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    I grew up in south-east England. Our street was a new development which was built on the site of an old convent. Ours was an interesting street and had a high wall which ran mostly around the entire street. This was part of the original convent enclosure. We had a lot of trees so being a kid I used to climb them and climbed over the wall into the neighbour's houses behind and go scrumping for apples etc.

    We had the book study and field service arrangements at my house for many years.


  • snugglebunny

    My childhood home. Pic taken in 1953.

  • stillin

    A few years ago I happened to be in Central NY not too far from where my grandparents lived. We kids spent many happy times there. I knew that it was gone now, being on a major highway, but I went out of my way to go see the spot. I was instantly in the twilight zone! I parked right about where a big pear tree had been and walked into the donut shop. Where I stood was in my grandparents' kitchen, at about the spot that a metal-topped breakfast table had once been. The drive-thru went through the no-longer-existent apple tree and the rhubarb patch and the grape arbor. Out the side window was the raspberry patch and the plush vegetable garden, paved over. But I could feel my grandparents place around me like a warm hug.

    I told the pretty black girl behind the counter that this had been my grandparents house and got a funny look, she probably gets crazies all the time. But she caught on and said that was cool, would I like to order? I asked for a cinnamon donut and as she handed it to me she said, "This one is on the house."

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Good morning, smiddy, LisaRose, truthseeker, snugglebunny, and stillin.

    Thanks for sharing memories of your earlier days. Really quite bittersweet, particularly when you return as an adult -- your home has changed, or it's gone altogether. Sorry to hear about the latter.

    Lots of moves for many of us. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing my parents moved from here to there to here again just to save a few dollars on rent. I imagine rent was 40 or 50 dollars a month then. Dad drove a bread truck and Mom cleaned houses and child sat for a dollar a day per kid, so there was minimal income.

    Yeah, the donut's on the house (the missing house?!?!?!?).

    When I went to my 50-year high school reunion a year ago, I stayed with my childhood friend who inherited the house he grew up in. I went nextdoor to my old house and met the young couple who bought it. They were fascinated by my stories and loved the '50s photos I had brought to show them. To the extent they could, they vowed to restore it as close as possible to original.

    Thanks, too, for photo, snugglebunny. Cool old house.

    smiddy -- the tree shows autumn colors, which is my favorite season, then and now.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i was born- (1948 )-and grew up--in Balsall Heath---in Birmingham UK. this area was pretty well flattened by bombing in the 2nd world war. i used to play in " bomb sites"--holes in the ground where houses used to be.

    the house my dad rented had no hot water: a weekly bath was endured in a galvanised bath tub in the kitchen.

    the only lavatory was outside the house--in a brick closet shared by all sorts of demons--big spiders--and a couple of caged ferrets with red eyes. definitely no place for a young child to ease nature. i think i hold the world record for constipation.

    the lavatory was also--informally-- shared by a number of workers in a factory at the rear of the premises--who climbed the tall brick wall to use the facility as there was none in the factory..

    toilet paper was unheard of. if you were lucky--a piece of soft blue tissue paper formerly wrapped around an orange--otherwise crumpled damp newspaper..

    post war great britain was a land of real opportunity. i'm told.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Wow, stan livedeath!

    I had no idea, given the relative comforts we had here in the US. I was born the same year as you and we were very poor. Still, we had one flush toilet, one claw-foot bathtub fed with hot water. Guess we were lucky to have that, despite having to wait our turn to get in. No three or four baths, which are common today. I used to clean a house with seven bathrooms.

    I read about Bronco paper -- industrial-strength toilet paper. Can't remember if that's a British item.

    Thanks for sharing what you endured. Hope you're regular now . . .

  • Ding


    I am similar in that buildings from my past -- houses, schools, etc. -- help me reconnect with those times and with the good memories of people who have passed.

  • compound complex
    compound complex


    Excellent point -- we do need to reconnect.

    Like you, I gather, I am still in touch with the nextdoor neighbor mentioned in the OP, as well as with other childhood friends. Some are likewise in family houses they inherited. Then there are school mates, libraries frequented, and so much more that takes us way back. Sadly, however, the young adults from our childhood -- parents then -- have passed, but there are memories.

    Thanks for the share.

  • LongHairGal


    Talking about British toilet paper?

    On one of my trips to London years ago, I used a public toilet. The toilet paper seemed almost like waxed paper and I was amused to see it was printed with the words Town(or city) of Westminster. Nobody would want to steal a roll of this! I ended up using the Kleenex tissues I was carrying.

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