4 thoughts on “Snowy Norton c2011

  1. A View that has never changed in my nearly 88 years, our playground as children, our courting days sitting sedately on the seat around the old Elm Tree and daringly holding hands, if parents hove into view you rapidly put space between boy and girl. Our children, Grandchildren and now great Grandchildren played there, threw food for the ducks and paddled in the same pond we did.
    Wartime as an Army Cadet we marched proudly behind our Drum and Bugle Band from Church Parade down the High Street and in those days a lot of people walking and watching. My memory of Dad opening the garden wall door saying come on girls and walking the Geese and ducks from Mill Lane across the Green to the pond, he would sit on the round seat having a smoke or be talking to the Blacksmith who would be seemingly working late into evening. Then he would walk them back home quacking away.

    In those days the pond still had the clay bottom replaced with concrete plus water spout many years later. We skated on the pond in winter as well as the water meadows at the bottom of Beaconsfield Street as it then was, went through the ice a couple of times but it was not deep. Spring and Summer holidays the Green would be crammed with people who came by the bus load to picnic on the green, by holidays I mean the Easter Whit and Mid Summer days they got, yes single days not the extended weeks they appear to get now. It would be a Carnival with Ice Cream Carts little stalls selling balls balloons and such, they would spill off the Green into the Show Field behind our house, Mother would open the garden door and let them use the toilet for a copper and sell home made lemonade, us kids wanted them to go home and give us our green back, it was difficult to play cricket with a crowd eating sandwiches half way down the pitch.
    Each time I left Norton then came back it had not changed apart from in time becoming one big car park. In 2005 with a BBC camera crew I was shown walking up and down that section in the picture for a documentary about sixty years after the war ending, was that my fifteen minutes of fame? well no it was on a loop lasting thirty minutes shown daily for a week so three and a half hours of fame, I did not get any big film offers from it, but the BBC crew were captivated by the Green and took pictures from all angles, wonder where they went?

    I sit on the green at times in summer now after visiting my Wife, Parents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins in St Mary’s Church Cemetery, that is the thing as you grow older you are left with memories which are very real, you hear the smack of the ball on the bat, the cry of howzat, happy voices as we roller skated round the green and down Bradbury Road bank, skated on the pond and sneaked a kiss from your holding hands sweetheart before her dad came into view as he waited to see her home safely. With a big family at least I am never alone, they all know and love Norton as I do, the Green is at times still turned into a Carnival, last year I passed by and you could not see grass for people, hearing the children happy laughter my thoughts were nothing really changes in Norton.
    The Highland Laddie by the way is now Weatherspoons, quite changed inside the last time I was in though the outer building looks much the same.


  2. A lovely photo John, well done. Norton was always a charming corner much admired by photographers, artists and writers. It is a place to find peace and contentment on a bench looking over the pond thinking of nothing in particular. My parents used to drink in a pub called The Highland Laddie, is it still there?.


    • Your question regarding the Highland laddie, about six or more years ago the pub was then the Highland lad. It closed down after fell into disrepair, over a year later it was taken over by the Weatherspoon pub chain reopened and refurbished and made it a very nice venue, worth a visit.


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