Home is the subject of this week's Gallery. I have chosen to remember my childhood home. I lived there all my life, my parents didn't move until we had all left home. It was a too-small two bedroomed semi-detached with five of us squeezed into it. My parents slept in what would have been our dining room, leaving one small living room for us all to sit in, eat in, watch TV in and play in. It was next door to a haulage contractors and on the Heathrow flightpath. It wasn't the easiest of houses to live in but we made memories there. We had fabulous next door neighbours and a garden which we could run riot in. The bottom of the garden was an overgrown wasteland but it was where we made mud pies, built camps and let off steam.
|The bottom of our garden.|
As a young child our house had views of Windsor Castle and was surrounded by horses' fields and trees. As time progressed everything green was turned into new housing estates. Our views were replaced with row upon row of identical houses.
|Early days in Slough.|
A few years ago we returned to Slough, and went on a nostalgia drive around our old haunts. My childhood home was all boarded up and due to be demolished. In a flash I remembered the things that would be forever lost. The pet graveyard where our animals had been buried, the trees that were planted by my sister in the "plant a tree in '73" campaign, the apple trees which we used to harvest every year, the rickety old fence that my dad set fire to one bonfire night, the huge nut tree that blocked the light into our living room and the concrete yard where I learned to roller skate. All gone forever.
A development of flats now stands where my childhood home used to be. The whole street has been transformed into homes for hundreds of flat dwellers, replacing the row of mix and match semis and detached homes from my childhood.
|My home on the left.|
The bricks and mortar are no more, but the memories remain.