Messages and information from friends, old acquaintances, people who have found the site, people who remember my family:

I found a book about Beatrix Potter, by Leslie Linder (The Journal of Beatrix Potter, 1966, Frederick Warne), and in it is this plate of newts as they were, at least in the late 19thC. And, indeed, something like these animals existed in the fifties in and around Market Harborough

Gary Waterfield: Your site about the Dickins family March 27th., 2001
Margaret Tierney:
We lived near to your Grandparents March 26th., 2001 
Sally-Anne Watts:
Your website February 19th., 2001 
Norman Labrum:
Old acquaintance October 30th., 2000 
Homesick October 13th., 2000 

Contacts: Peter Harris : Peter Jackson Merv Tilley  

Merv Tilley sent me this newscutting (large graphic), but my memory is poor, I am sure there are names I know attached to these faces; please email me if you can help me name them. And here is Merv's latest email of November 29th., 2001, with great information: Now then, let's see if some of you can send me mugshots, taken in whatever sour surroundings of what you look like nowadays. 

Dear Paul, 
What a change to your site over the past 12 months; I see you included the photo of Harbro Swimming Club. 

Left to right bottom row Winkey Oram (Welland Park Rd), Dave Wilson, Pat Patrick(Nithsdale Av), Peter Harris & myself (Granville Street).  Middle row left to right Roger Copping? (Bath Street), Richard Wogger Wallis (Patrick Street). Extreme top right corner Froggy Freer. Third from left, back row I believe is Bernard Harris, Peter's brother. 

What times they were out of the baths into Wests, the Bakers: buy a cottage loaf, still warm and munch it on the way home.  Remember the corner shop on Caxton Street, Arkles, a pennuth of kali and a liquorish stick, also Dimblebees in Little Bowden by the School (locust beans and liquorish root when sweets were rationed)? 

Pete Jackson prompted some memories, being chased by Webby often, and the newt pond. I can remember we all used to build a bonfire on the waste ground behind Glyn Stanleys house. Scrumping was a popular sport together with fox & hounds or sometimes both together. 

I recall there was an orchard halfway down Newcombe Street, we always got chased and I can remember one dark night creeping round with the gang to the orchard, eating pears leaving the core still attached to the branches. I would loved to have seen his face that following day. 

Simple pleasures of a bygone age. I have had Bernard Harris in Canada contact me and Peter also has my Email thanks to your web site. Hope this email finds you and your family in good health.

Good luck and God bless
Kind regards,


What an email! I can remember the builders yard in the unpaved street behind Caxton Street, and the dens we made there. And, birdsnesting, and, not so innocent, but just as stupid as when I dove head first off onto a step in a haystack, to be tough, was when we stood yards apart throwing stones at each other. Ha! Never hit anyone, as far as I recall. Also, in the Rec, I made an older boy, whose name I forget, angry with me by throwing him out, with a lucky, lucky ball when we were "playing" cricket. He snarlingly told me that I could never do that again. Hurt pride, I suppose, but of course I never did, either!!

Next, is a section of Peter Harris' unexpected email to me (see below) and it makes my chequered existence seem set in a minor key:

"That day at the swimming pool stills holds pride of place in my life as we were able to save the life of a young boy. I would love to know what became of him. All I can remember is that he was visiting Hothorpe Hall, the Lutheran Mission near Theddingworth. I received all sorts of praise for that action, and it still makes me feel very good.

After I left Market Harborough Grammar School, I worked for just over one year as an apprentice mechanical engineer in Leicester. Unfortunately, one evening in 1957 when I was returning home on my motorcycle, I was hit head on by a car which was overtaking a lorry on the A6 between Kibworth and Great Glen. I was very badly injured and spent some months in hospital. It took me 4 years before I was able to play sport at a reasonable level and now that I am 58 years old, I tend to suffer a little with arthritis. However, I still manage to play golf!

After the accident, travelling to Leicester was very difficult and I joined Looms Ltd., in Bath Street for a couple of years. In 1963, I joined Barclays Bank in Mkt. Harboro' as a junior clerk and I worked for the bank in many roles until 1980. At that time I had been appointed as the branch manager for Swadlincote in Derbyshire. However, I decided to leave the bank and become the financial director for a small company which manufactures and distributed video games. This only lasted a short time as I found that I enjoyed banking much more. I therefore took a job in Nigeria as a bank training consultant and I have worked overseas since 1982. Most of this time I have been in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. I was actually working in Kuwait at the time of the invasion, fortunately, the week before the Iraqis actually invaded, I went on holiday to America. Unfortunately, my then wife and I lost everything that we owned except the clothes we had taken with us. I am still waiting for some compensation!

David Baker was in the year below me at the Grammar School and he was a really good sportsman. We both played for the School 1st Eleven at football and cricket. I used to play for Harboro' Town at cricket because J.C. Davies (our ex-head master) was involved with the club. After my accident, I became a wicket-keeper and continued playing cricket until I was 50. In my last game, I kept wicket to Chris Cairns - the N Z fast bowler - in a charity match at Melton Mowbray. Mike Hayward continued to play sport, but I lost touch with him when I left Market Harboro' and moved to Nottingham in 1969."

december 30, 1999 (5).jpg (30615 bytes)

Above, Peter and Gretchen, December, 1999. A lovely surprise for me to receive this photograph.

And here is another memory, of me swimming up the pool in the 25 yard dash and seeing my grandmother on a chair right in front of me as I won the race. And the only reason I did that is by swimming under water when I dove in, to obtain a head start. Not quite cricket, what! Not in those days, perhaps. In all of the practice races I came second, to a taller boy, probably David, but I think not.. That was in my last year at Little Bowden. Third in the diving, where Peter came first.

Peter lived on Granville Street in a house with a large yard. And then, 02/29/2000, as you have seen above, I received an email from him, now living in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. He was told of this site by his brother Bernard. Odd, how all those memories surge back of playing by the Welland, of fishing in the canal and at the quarry off the Braybrooke Road over the railway line.

Not a bad thing, to have one's past rush back. I can smell the grocers' shops, with the cashier at the end of the vacuum tubes; the soup from the Symington factory. I can remember bicycling with my Grandfather out into the villages on a Sunday's evening, for him to preach in a Chapel, with perhaps twenty in the congregation, and at least one child not paying attention. There were evenings out in the fields. Trying to climb into the hedge for birds' eggs for our collections, or a baby pigeon, or newting in the pond, or running from the fields with an irate farmer in full cry. And the sun going down.

What I had on 04/18/2000 was an email from Peter Jackson, telling me of other people, and of the fact that an old folks' home covers our old newting pond. Here's a part:

"Just discovered your website. It certainly stirred up a few memories. Polly Geeson, Bill Fairfoul, Miss Towers and were you there when Miss Dunkley had the piano fall on her foot?.
Being chased by farmer Webb in his horse and cart and newting where the old folks home now stands.
They were truly good times. Thank God I am not trying to grow up now. I used to knock around with Peter Harris and the gang and can now remember you from the very pleasant growing up period we were privileged to have. Nice to make contact again, ain't technology great!!"


05/01/2000 Anarchy in London: courtesy ET: roll on the Apocalypse, what? And, right, the Eagle's Mekon

Yes, it is great, and I hope this set of pages develops as intended. It would be really nice to receive old photos and stories to add to the collection. 

But, technology has always been around, of a different style. Remember this floating chariot? The Mekon always appealed more than that sanctimonious Dan Dare. The centre pages of the Eagle were brilliant with their sectioned drawings. I remember one of the "wonderful" new MGA. It may have been rubbish, but it was British Rubbish. One of my Vancouver friends had an MGBGT etc., which he loved although it cost him an arm and a leg to maintain. Another friend had a Triumph, of the yo-yo rear wheels, and scary times.

Nevertheless, I do remember visiting these particular technological marvels: Telford's and Brunel's bridges. The latter, in Clifton, Bristol, was close to where I lived for some years. Motorcycles and home-brewed beer. Not always together, let it be said! But my sister Lynn and I both remember the cider houses and their bulbous red nosed inhabitants.