Pushing the boat out*


When I was a child, we lived at Oulton Broad and our house had a big river frontage. My grandfather had bought the land when it wasn’t much valued and he’d been lucky.  It was the first house in the road to be built and the building materials were brought along the river by barge.

We had, as well as the frontage, mooring spaces – to the side, there was a cut where I should think you’d have got four medium-sized boats and there was also a slipway, which you see here.  There was nothing I liked better than messing about in the water.  Going without a lifejacket, even in the shallows, was forbidden.  My mother was protective to a fault.

The boys were John and Pearson – both about my age (I was probably ten, possibly nine in this picture) – Pearson was my mother’s godson and spent summer holidays with us for several years, it being more to his taste than Basingstoke where he lived, and John was a London boy from Stratford who, with his younger brother George, stayed with us for a couple of summers – it was a charitable thing, arranged through the WRVS.  I’ve no idea how much of a kindness it was, a very different lifestyle was physically healthy, I’m sure, but the double adjustment must have been difficult.  Anyway, we all got on pretty well and they shared my enthusiasm for getting wet and muddy.

*Thank you, Tim.

6 comments on “Pushing the boat out*

  1. Z Post author

    We didn’t keep in touch with John and I can’t remember his surname. Pearson and his wife Helen came to visit once, years ago, but I wouldn’t know how to find him now. His surname is Clark/Clerk/Clarke/Clerke, I can’t remember how it’s spelt – haven’t tracked him down, anyway.

    Not among family and friends, but I was often called Alice, until my thirties when I finally cut my hair short.

    1. Z Post author

      Might possibly have been Peter (whom you haven’t met yet, not Dilly’s father but the other one) ‘s father, who was a professional photographer – since it was in a photographer’s sleeve. My father had a good camera too, but there are very few family photos, he usually took pictures of scenery.

    1. Z Post author

      Pushing the boat out, from Tim on Facebook, is a good start. I’m sure someone can come up with something fine?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.