Monday, 7 March 2011

Visiting my Grandfather in Weymouth.

Visiting my Grandfather in Weymouth was quite a trip. I traveled down on the bus from Kingston Russel which took about an hour and was usually a double decker so . could sit on top at the front. The route took us via country lanes through Martinstown and down through Upwey, finishing up at the old Bus Station behind King Street near the railway station.

As my Grandfather still lived in Derby Street it only took 2 minutes to get to his home where we used to chat. Some days I went fishing on the New Pier at Weymouth harbor. Even caught a fish sometimes too, a small bream or whiting. As I was walking back to catch the bus I passed the Pavilion theater and noticed a workman high up on the building with water in a bucket (which he was spilling) and a whisp of smoke coming out of the wall nearby. I walked on down to the bus station and was amazed when the bus home drove up to the esplanade to see the Pavilion burning like an enormous bonfire. As the building was wooden no real surprise I suppose. This happened when I was 12 years old in 1954.
Picture courtesy of BBC. 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

More of Life at Kingston Russel

More of Life at Kingston Russel Farm.
I have been back in recent years with my parents (now sadly departed) and it brought back a flood of memories.
Learning to drive a tractor, going into the dairy and seeing the cows being milked, collecting our daily quart of milk straight from the cooler, fresh and creamy. All things that helped me grow up and understand how to get on with country folk. All things that would not be permitted these days I am sure, due to all sorts of rules and regulation.

Collecting birds eggs was also part of a normal boys life too.

The man who lived in the house next to us was a professional rabbit catcher! This was in the year before the dreaded mixamatosis hit the rabbit population. I went out with him some times as he set 120 traps each day, those rather cruel things. He also had some ferrets and I was allowed to borrow one some Sunday mornings and go out on my own adventure. It seemed very exciting to take his dog, a ferret and some nets and find a rabbit warren to hunt in. Once in a while I caught one, cleaned it, took it home to my mother and skinned for her. Mum would then stuff the rabbit and bake it for lunch. It was a great treat.

The two Baker brothers ran the farm and some evenings when it was dark they would take a tractor out into a field and zoom about with a powerful hand held light. This would allow them to dazzle rabbits so one of them could club the poor animal and that was that. Such was country life.