An elegant sufficiency

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In the park

A couple of hours in Hull across lunchtime yesterday gave me a chance to take a walk around some places from my childhood. I enjoyed looking around the area where my great-grandparents lived and worked and trying to identify the site of the chapel on the steps of which my Great Grandmother is said to have died! I made my way up good old Stepney Lane, where I'd walk to school and back and was surprised to recognise so many small details considering I left there when I was just nine years old. Much is changed but a good deal is exactly as I remember - except for being so much smaller, of course!

At the top of Stepney Lane, on Beverley Road, is my old school, now Stepney Primary School (renamed from Beverley Road Junior School some years ago) Such a fine building, I tried very hard to place exactly what was where and have only just worked out where the entrance I can picture in my mind is!

Across the road is Pearson Park, one of my favourite places and somewhere which seems to feature at regular intervals in my life.

I braved one of the coldest days of the year - in Hull the Northeasterly wind really doesn't have anything to stop it and I'd forgotten how bitterly cold it blows! I walked past the bowling green where Daddy and Grandad both feature on the honours board (if it still exists) As a small child, walking through the park on the way to my grandparents' house, we'd stop to see if Grandad was playing bowls and stay a while for a chat. Daddy felt proud to follow his father's footsteps and play there too and was particularly chuffed to win the competition which meant that the Boyd name was engraved twice on that trophy.

Here's Grandad with other members of the Pearson Park Veterans bowls club in front of the pavilion, in the 1960s (I think) He's standing, wearing a pale raincoat, fourth from the left.
Here's the path along which I took my first wobbly solo bike ride - I can remember shouting out "I can't stop" and then falling off, laughing!

Pearson Park was also the site of my nursery school - Miss Dolman's. I'm there on the right, holding on to the waist of the girl in the dark blazer in front of me. Can you imagine what Health and Safety issues would arise from this scene today?

The large house with two gables and a grand front entrance has long been developed into an hotel and in the garden where the seesaw photo was taken there now stands a modern house. I seem to recall this was a prize from a competition on a cornflake packet but quite how true that is, I have no idea!

In the far corner of the photo there's a brown stone house, which, like many of the large properties around the park, is converted into flats. Guess who just happened to be living there when I first met him?

Over the years, we've fed the ducks and fished with a net and a jamjar for all kinds of creatures. I've played in the playground myself and then sat on a bench with my Mum watching Edward play on rather safer swings and slides with softer landings than I had.

Thank you, Zachariah Charles Pearson, for a special place indeed.


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