Every year since 2005 ( and ‘empty nest’ ), I have been lucky to get enough gigs in the UK Folk Clubs and Festivals to pay for my airfare and expenses to visit my beloved family and friends, mostly in the Summer there.
Each time, I made sure that I could spend a few hours revisiting childhood days. It always gave me great pleasure to do the ‘rounds’ from Lewes, through Ringmer up to Glynde and out on the A27, taking the ‘pilgrimage’ in reverse as the years rolled by.
Why ? I hear you ask.
Wonder no more :-
My parents were young in Ringmer.
Daddy was born in 1922, on, Glyndebourne Estate
where his father, William Thorpe later helped Sir George Christie with the design of the wiring for the Opera House in the ‘30s.
By the time I was born, at 45, South Way, Lewes, in 1948, Daddy had been to the RAF and back, studied at Brighton Tech., and become the lighting engineer there, travelling to Edinburgh Festival and even Paris with the ‘50s touring company.
Mummy and her family also settled in Ringmer, but she had been born in 1927 in Eastbourne….. I also visited her birthplace and was greeted very warmly and shown around by the new owners. People are very kind if you tell them a bit of history about their dwelling !
During the war, the Christies opened up their house to some evacuees from London and Mummy and some other young women from the village became the Nursery Nurses there.
I loved to hear stories of their childhood adventures in the area, and, naturally their fairytale romance and wedding in St. Mary’s Church, Ringmer.
Daddy had a green MG and much courting and speeding through the country lanes happened in that little car.
I have stories to share about the inbetween years, but , for now, it needs to be said that their ashes are scattered on Mill Plain.
Now – here’s the serendipity about all this. Last year, just before Christmas, I received an email from Paul Haylor, my first love ( we were 10 ), asking if the YouTube singer he saw was in fact me !
Oh my word ! Talk about a memory flood. After 60 years, we were corresponding about days at Wallands Primary School
and all our old buddies, and Lo and behold ! Lyn’s name came up, of course.
This brought together a select few of old WPS friends and we had such fun recalling those days, as you do !
Where we lived
and played …
Then Lyn asked if I was a writer – and would I be interested in being her B-C-ing-U South African contributer.
With pleasure – so – Here I am !
During my next visit, I shall have to include a visit to my long lost friends as part of my Pilgrimage.