Saturday, 20 August 2011

Sepia Saturday 88

My tree as you may notice is missing a bit, admittedly a big bit, but it is still a tree.  Just!

Posing on the tree stump are my brothers, sisters, a cousin, myself and in the front Henry the Wonder Dog.

This photo is from the late 1960s probably 1968, at this time we lived on a large Estate that my father worked on as a stock-man.  Our home, a tied cottage, was a gate house at the bottom of a very long drive on the edge of a large wood.  Through the woods and over a large stream took us to the fields and beyond that farm buildings.  All of this was our playground, as you can imagine it was a pretty amazing place for children. 

Back in the sixties our world was a very different place from the world our children inhabit. We were allowed the freedom of the woods and fields as long as we behaved, told Ma where we were going, how long we would be and we all had to stick together.  Oh yes and we always had to take Henry the Wonder Dog, not that he would stay behind without us, keen was not the word.  Henry the Wonder Dog was our guardian and protector and Ma knew that no one would be allowed near us if he came too.  As the Estate gamekeeper found out one day.

Well here we are on the edge of the woods taking a break from a game of cricket, my cousin a frequent visitor, is in charge of the bat.  The photo is taken by Ma, it has her telltale mark of the camera flap in the bottom left of the photo.  Me?  I'm the youngest right in the middle.
Henry the Wonder Dog is still a pup in the picture but he grew and grew and grew, he walked with Ma to school and back twice a day, a total of 8 miles for them both whatever the weather as there was no car or bus for the journey.

Kids of today have access to the world through computers and phones, everything on demand and transport wherever they want to go.  We had no phone, few buses, no car and we walked everywhere.  

But I know which childhood I would choose...

This is a Sepia Satuday post


  1. Your description sounds more like the early 1900s than the late 1960s! I lived in a suburb and walked quite a bit, but never very far.

  2. Well I was a child in the (early) 60s too and that’s exactly how it was. We had freedom to roam, as long as we were back by a certain time. The summer holidays were never boring, as we trekked off through fields of long grass, with a sandwich and a bottle of lemonade or dandelion and burdock. That tree stump looks pretty big and I can see why you all clambered on board - too good a photo opportunity to miss. Welcome to Sepia Saturday.

  3. With a cricket bat in the photo this just has to be an English scene. That tree must have been a large and old one. Why do so many people not let their kids today have fun like you describe?

  4. I agree. Like you I remember the freedoms of childhood that too often don't exist for kids today. My wonder world was living in Hawaii. We're lucky to have such memories. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. One of the common regrets of our modern life, no matter what the country. But then our grandparents had a similar regret too.