James Baxter

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A walk down memory lane after 60 odd years or more ..

This is just one tale what I wrote in 2014.

My friend David from my childhood days and I went on and along the places we used to laik about at Baildon in 1950s as kids. It was a wet and miserable day, but we did not notice it. From his house, in Collier Lane, which was just across from mine, we took a stroll up the snicket to the moors, this went up the back of my old house. We tried to remember all the names of most of the people that lived at the time, and of how their gardens looked. Up this snicket my father had a small holding in the orchard, where he kept a lot of poultry, off above the large house that was built at the other side of the very high wall, which was laced with broken bottles along the top to keep out trespassers. It was a large orchard at the time, with a long greenhouse with fruit wines in. When we were young there were no houses built in the fields half way up, just open fields towards the moors, but these days they reach to the top of the snicket, built in the 60s. The snicket now is all over grown and, by the looks of it, very little used, with weeds all the way up.

Along the field side on the right, was farmer "Harrison's" small holding. In our day the old iron fence, that was still in place, very rusty and brown, but still has strong as in the old days; this kept the pigs from escaping down the snicket. Once at the top, it opened out to more houses built on an open field that had been opposite.

Taking the road towards the moor alongside the edge of Hope Hill, where we had lots of hours sledging down the very steep hill on a Saturday morning and arriving home very wet through, then passing a house that in the early days was a Dog Kennels (Dove Hall) now a private house, but now a tarmac road had been laid, as in our day it was a very rough road of which, when we had a heavy rain, lots of the loose surface would create dams all the way down. Once passing this part of the road, to our left was the panoramic view over Shipley and Saltaire, and in the foreground was all the open fields we played in, bird nesting and collecting mushrooms. Many new buildings could be made out, in the distance our old school was still up, but not a school as we knew it at Saltaire.

Then we opened a metal gate to enter Baildon moors, in our days it was the five bar gate, that we closed securely. After heavy rain that following night the ground was very boggy on the moor, taking the well-trodden path to the right, we proceed along the side of the moor towards to the top part of the 18th hole, and passing the bullet hills, taking diversions of bogs we came across, but as young boys we just went through them in our wellies.

As we pasted many places we laiked about, we discussed many memories of the times we had in the bracken, playing many a game of hide and seek, and cowboys, taking the old path down along side of the houses built alongside of the moor, but in our days, it was all open with large fields giving us a short cut home. Today we had to keep to the roads back home, passing the golf house.

And once we arrived back to where we started you wondered where all the years had gone.