Residents Recollections – Social

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Residents Recollections – Social

The Memories

A collection of memories provided by present and past residents of the Parish of Sprowston. Many have been letters but other a taken from notes made during meetings with the relevant people of their family.

The Sunday School Treat –in 1910

Our Sunday school treat was looked forward to with great delight, near to the day we kept our fingers crossed for fine weather. This was a very special treat and I can remember having a new dress for the occasion every year. All the children had to be at the Church at half past one. Farmers lent their wagons for us to ride on, and some had forms put in so that the children could sit, but in some wagons the children had to kneel or stand. The horses were of the heavy type and did not run, just plodded along and we were told to be careful not to frighten them, when waving the flags we had been given near their heads. We sang and cheered all the way to Sprowston Hall Park and tumbled out of the wagons, to chase around, compete in the many races and also try out the swings. At 5 o`clock we had tea, usually consisting of gooseberries or strawberries, to eat with our bread and butter, and lots of sticky buns. After tea the prizes were given for the races and then it was time for our return. Three cheers were given for the Squire, and off again on another hilarious ride.

Audrey Baker.

This was given to Sprowston Heritage before her relocation to Suffolk.

Recreation Ground Memories

In reply to the article in May's addition of Just Sprowston about the play equipment and any memories.

As I remember it from the early to late 70's the equipment on the play area we always refer to as the "Swings" there was a "Witch's Hat". What we would dare to do was stand in the middle by the post while the rest would try and work it round and backwards and forward all at the same time to get the "Hat" as close to you as possible. Trying to get on to the "Hat" from inside was always a challenge too.

There was also the "Horse" mainly made of wood which held about five or six children and the older kids would work that to either eject themselves as far as possible from the back or the front. Another thing older kids used to try was to get it so far that it would stick in the upright position on it's two mechanical legs, rendering it unusable until the "Parky" could come and release it.

There was six swings for the older children. Two or three baby swings which were a similar style to the shopping trolley to hold the child in, only made of wood. A slide which we would wax so you could slide faster. Three bars joined together in a line but all different heights to swing and hang from.

The two most dangerous objects when not used properly were the roundabout and the "Jazz" which I think was also referred to from time to time as the "Iron Horse" to distinguish it from the wooden "Horse".

The roundabout could be dangerous because it was open with iron bars across on a wooden base to form separate standing areas, about six in all. Not like the ones that had raised wooden sitting areas. It was only about six inches off the ground and sometimes while running round to push start it if you fell and your foot went under it could do a lot of damage. Also falling off it and one of the metal bars coming round at speed and hitting you. With two of you pushing the bars you could spin the roundabout to a blur and then it would be a test to grab the iron bars to try and get on before it slowed.

The "Jazz" could be quite lethal for younger children. It would hold about six and it was basically like a long railway sleeper with handles and held together by iron bars, four triangular legs and an inner frame work. To operate the "Jazz" backwards and forwards two children; one each side, would stand and hold the bars to work it back and forth. You could get a lot of power quickly standing and the whole thing would quake making it difficult for younger children to hold on and many came off. You could be knock under it or against the iron legs. The whole middle section that you sat on came out further than the area it occupied so if unaware will walking passed the contraption you could get a nasty smack. Individually you could work the Jazz up to the top and then launch yourself off the end to see how far you could travel through the air. Again the older kids would work it to the top to try and jam it so it wouldn't work.

The seven trees was indeed the hardest to complete but not the only group of trees to climb through. As far as I can remember they started at two trees and you progressed up to twelve or thirteen but you had to complete the seven to continue. A friend of mine fell during his attempt at the "Seven Trees" and dislocated his collar bone. It didn't deter him and once out of his sling he finally completed the challenge.

One of the games that we used to play involved the "Big Oak". A big oak tree standing about four or five feet away from the main woods we would use as a starting place for a hide and seek game that unfortunately I can't remember the name off.

We would select by a process of elimination one of us to close their eyes against the "Big Oak" and count to a hundred while the rest of us ran off to hide in the woods. The tree was big enough that if you were on one side you couldn't see in the other directions without walking around it. Gradually by stealth you would make your way back to the "Big Oak" hopefully without being spotted. If you were spotted you would have to come out of the woods and wait with the spotter at the "Big Oak". The spotter would have to keep one hand on the tree at all times and would have to describe the position you were in the woods to verify its authenticity. If one of you could get to the tree you would release the others and force the spotter to start all over again. If everybody was spotted then the first to be seen would have to be the next to count. To call everybody in from the woods something like "olly olly in" was shouted.

Sorry for running on a bit but I hope you find this of some interest.

Me and a friend of mine both grew up in Sprowston and often meet up for a chat in the pub which invariably ends up with us discussing articles from Just Sprowston and recalling our days growing up there.



Email from Mark Ridden 03/05/2015

Mrs S Knights memories of Sprowston

Letter from Mrs S Knights.

I went to live in Sprowston with my mum and dad in 1937. My parents bought a house on mortgage, £10 deposit down the house cost £490 built by Mr Webb, this was on Blenheim Road. Some more houses were built on Cozens Hardy Road by Grange and Samuel. I remember a sweet shop on Wroxham Road owned by Mrs Walters, it became an off licence, but is now private, then coming along Wroxham Road was Mr Graver's blacksmith's, I remember seeing horses being brought here. Opposite where the shops are on Wroxham Road was a farm. The shops were, Mr Andrews grocer, Mr Griggs garage, Mr Griggs newsagent, Mr Kelf Fish and chips and the Post Office owned by Mr and Mrs Cunningham. Mr Hackett built the Falcon Road estate of bungalows I think about the early 1960s. Two-bedroom bungalows £1200, three bedroomed bungalow was £1500. I went to the School Lane School, Mr St Quinton was the headmaster, then they built the Sprowston Central School, Recreation Ground Road, Mr Gage was the headmaster, my son also went to this school, then Cannerby Lane School was built. Sprowston had and does now 2 churches, St Mary's and St Margaret's and St Cuthbert's, I believe they may have more, I have left Sprowston many years ago now. I hope some of this information is useful to you.

Sign yours faithfully, S Knights (Mrs)

The following postscript was added. I also remember the German planes coming over one afternoon in 1942 and as we ran to the garden shelter we were machine-gun by the German B. Luckily he missed us all, I remember picking up the bullets.

Bertha (Nellie) Edwards - formerly Bishop.

Nellie Edwards 2nd. from left front row as Little Miss Muffett in an Elementary school play. Nellie was born in 1899 and had sister's Bertha and Ethel and a brother Charley. The headmaster of the School was a Mr. Delves.

I think Mother lived on Lawson Road before she was married.I remember vividly my young days at 20 Ash Grove; I remember vaguely Mrs. Middleton telling me my brother Charley had died I think I was about four or five. We had a big kitchen with a large table where we had breakfast and dinner, where it was always warm with a range, I think it was called, with a big fire and oven attached, and a shelf above for drying linen, etc. We had tea in the middle room - also with a coal fire I remember, too, sitting on a little seat near it when I was doing homework as I was always feeling cold then. There was a cupboard too in there where we kept our toys dolls cradles, etc. and I can still picture the shock I had when my sister Ethel broke my favourite baby doll. The stairs led off that room too. Also there was another door which led to the front room mostly used on Sundays the organ was in there and Bertha played it. I also learned a little bit from her, as I had no lessons. I think Miss Peak taught Bertha. We had a lovely long garden, and Dad had a lawn at the top with lots of real lovely roses - he loved and tended them and knew all the names. At five I went to Sprowston School - as we all did - because we were out of the Boundary of Norwich. The only time I think that I was naughty was when I wouldn't eat my porridge - I just hated it, and Mother said I had got to sit there till I did. The others had all gone off to school and I was crying as I knew I would be late. My Mother eventually relented and I ran there all the way, and it was a heck of a way too. I fell down and hurt my knee and have got the scar still. The Headmaster was very kind, Mr. Delves I think was his name. He had a son Tom but was always called Sonny - I thought it stupid. I think there were two daughters, Kate and Ethel, I am on a photograph with some of the children as I was Miss Muffet in a play - I think Tim has the photograph as Phil (my husband) specially asked for it from my Mother. I remember too it poured with rain one day and we always went home to dinner in those da) (no school dinners) and we did that journey four times a day and it was an awful long way. On that wet day Mr. Delves came to me and said I was not to go home in the rain - my sister Bertha could go but I was having dinner with them. It was awfully kind and thoughtful of them but I was very shy and didn't like the thought of it. However, they were all very kind to me and I remember the sweet course was a treacle suet pudding which I liked. My childhood days were very happy. Mother always had a scone ready for us when we came out of school and we played with hoops, etc. tops, balls, diaboloes with which we used to try and beat our friends in reaching the top of the highest tree. After tea, a (Game of Ludo, snakes and ladders, etc, then went to bed - three of us in a big one - and always said our prayers before being tucked in and kissed goodnight by a dear, loving Mother. As we got older we spent a good bit of the evenings in doing homework - had lots in those days and dared not go back to school the next day without having done them. I remember getting up at 6 a.m. once to finish them.