Hello and welcome to my blog. It's lovely to see you again. If you're new to lifeon, come on in you're very welcome.
Last week I mentioned Shoreham Wordfest, our local festival of the written, spoken and sung word. Now in its second year, Wordfest is developing its own momentum. At least a third of the events were sold out and I was struck by the level of interest in local history and the support for new local writers. As a new local writer myself, it's encouraging to see that people are prepared to come and listen to our work; work which may not see the light of day without this sort of opportunity.
It was at the Cinema-by-Sea talk by David Fisher that I learned of Movies and Memories, a Screen Archive project to gather personal memories from the residents and visitors of West Sussex seaside towns. The memories of the over 50's are of particular interest but younger souls can take part if they'd like.
I fit into the latter category and want to share a memory from 1973, the year we moved from Crawley to Shoreham and I was just a stringy 8 year old.
We'd brought a house on the spanking new Wimpy estate on Buckingham Farm, North Shoreham. Ours was one of only a handful of finished houses so we spent our first year living on a building site. Back then they weren't sealed off so to me we'd ended up in a vast adventure playground.
We launched ourselves into giant sandpits from half built houses, we left neat rows of finger prints in newly applied putty, we built houses out of "spare" bricks, timber and concrete and made dens in the back of garages, the bottom of drain stacks and in coal sheds. We would go from door to door asking our new neighbours if they had any carpet offcuts, old bric-a-brac or kids we could play with. If we got tired of that we'd have a stone fight with our mortal enemies, the ginger-headed McWatts. It was an urban idyll.
One damp autumn day the McWatts had gone to ground so me and Claire, best friends forever, squelched our way down Black Patch Grove waiting for something exciting to happen. We decided to pass the time by walking in the deep muddy troughs created by Caterpillar tracks but didn't get far. After a few slurpy steps my wellies stuck fast and there was no shifting them. Knowing that mum would not be impressed if I returned home in my socks, I decided to rock to and fro to see if that would help. I continued doing this until gravity kicked in. Claire yelled "Timber!" as I slowly keeled over into the mud and emerged looking like a thickly coated chocolate biscuit.
As we trudged back home, me holding my wellies and Claire holding her sides, I convinced myself that I looked perfectly normal from behind and thanked God that the McWatts were still nowhere to be seen.
If you've got any memories you'd like to share email Sara Duffy or Gillian Edom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care and see you next week.