Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Return to Rossendale................9 days and counting!

I just absolutely adore this picture.
In the course of looking for old photos for the proposed dvd of our old neighbourhood, Woodcroft, this  picture has emerged. The girl in the lane lived at the farm which was situated to the rear of the person taking the shot.
Locally always referred to as "Pickles'" farm.
This is Dorothy Pickles, the farmer's daughter. She has sent several old snapshots to Ken Stott, to be included.
I must admit to simply staring at it for ages, and being transported once more back to my early years.
Here is the very lane along which I used to walk, whether with family, or friends, or simply alone.
Turning left at the five-barred gate and following the track back down between the bordering fields, to our streets and houses, and home.      

Walking straight on along the path brought us to a small wooden bridge, which crossed the stream running off the hillside. Here we would spend hours, once we had negotiated the barbed wire when clambering  down to play on the banks.
It was in a hollow and so unseen from civilisation it seemed to us........
Our own world.
I loved it.
That stream had such clear running water, and in it were minnows and sticklebacks.
We fished with jamjars and on one occasion, I had the fiercest looking water creature in mine. It was fighting with a minnow, and round and round they went in my jar. I very excitedly took it home to show my dad. He pronounced it to be a dytiscus beetle, or diving beetle, which apparently have voracious appetites, and eat tadpoles and small fish!
So, I took them both back and released them..............
I also loved caddis fly larvae.
Here in this photo the larva is crawling out of his home made shell, constructed of old bits of gravel and sometimes broken twig stems which have fallen into the stream. I used to watch them for ages, meandering their way along the underwater stems of grass, or on the stream bed.
Dad told me when he was at school, they would put the shell-less larvae into a fish tank, and then drop in all kinds of bits of beads and twigs, of small coloured gravel, and marvel how painstakingly the larva constructed their shell-homes.These were then veritable works of art having multicoloured additions!

The big woods, in the background, amongst which you can just glimpse Crawshaw Hall, was where the land owner, Cicely Brooks, resided.
We would play in amongst those trees.
One day when galloping along under the tree canopy, with my friend to whom I was tied with a skipping rope, having become, magically, "Champion the Wonder Horse", and my friend holding my "reins" we suddenly came face to face with Madame Cicely.........................who was not best pleased!
Normally we kept well away from the immediate environs of the Hall and gardens, but had strayed a bit too far this time!
All my friend could think of to say was "I'm a Girl Guide" and showed her the Company belt around her waist.
Cicely, supposedly, having something to do with the Guides.
Well, if she did or not, we had a real ear wigging and were walked in silence, through to the main gates on the road.
This then meant we had to walk all the way back from the outskirts of Crawshawbooth along the main road to Woodcroft.
The spire of the church in the distance, St John's Crawshawbooth, was just a short distance from the main entrance to the hall itself.
Did it put us off playing in the woods again? What do you think? ;-)
But most of all I can smell the fresh air of the fields, now covered in houses, and feel the icy coolness of the water in the stream on my bare feet.
 The sound of the wind in those trees in the woods, and remembering the ever changing colours of the leaves. In spring the whitebeam was always out first, and the tapestry of all the many shades of green as others followed, before the dirt and grime from the factory chimneys and myriad coal fires, dulled their transluscence.
And in a little over 9 days time, I am going back once again, to rediscover old haunts and history.      
Links to old blogs     

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